pride is a big, fat thief

Sunday, I posted the song by Thad Cockrell called, "Pride won't get us where we're going" and I love this line,

When I lose my vision, will you lend me your eyes... to see exactly where I need to be.

It must be something... this pride. I want to make cute jokes about it, but the reality is it's ugly. I've been thinking a lot about all the ways pride is like a thief. Without regard to the damage, pride steals our friendships, our families, our minds, and our affections... and then destroys everything completely.

This is an idea that's been making a tortured trek around the hamster wheel in my brain recently. Maybe it was learning Sunday night that the brother of one of the Micah boys (and only sibling) was stabbed and killed, or maybe it was the re-introduction to one of my favorite soul-destroying films "Dancer in the Dark" or maybe it was a handful of conversations about the downward spiral of affluent youth worldwide... I'm sure of this:

the tragedies don't stop.

I'm always trying to make some sense of things and so could I just process what has seemed to settle in my gut? I'll take that as a yes. Bear with me... these ideas are not completely formulated.

On whatever end (or middle) of the socio-economic spectrum we find ourselves, I am starting to think what makes a person most desperate is certainly the same. We all know the feelings of humility, shame, and fear.

Unfortunately, the most ready weapon is itself destructive: pride. As John Piper's sermon was still marinading today in my mind, I thought about the two different groups who found themselves stuck in unbelief in John 7:1-24.

  • Jesus' own brothers asked Him to go up to a party and present Himself in all His glory, with pomp and circumstance. They wanted a parade - someone they could walk behind and maybe stand a bit in the shadow of His glory. What they didn't believe was that He was bigger than an entrance at a party or the praise of men.
  • The Jews didn't believe in Him because His presence indicted them. Their lives were brought to account in His presence. Every righteous act felt less right in the presence of One who could do no wrong.

Both, Piper said, were blinded by pride (and, as a result, unbelief). I guess I'm just wondering how many sins we can really trace back to the root of pride.

  • I think of a recent conversation with students about 12-year-old pop singers with near-adult material with eyes 'innocently' set on a crash course toward success.
  • I think of the young girls here who are married at 12 years old to 20 or 30somethings who have very little understanding of love.
  • I think of the constant worry involved in "future plans," lest a student or adult choose a less comfortable path.
  • I think of the person who is completely unaware of the layers of life surrounding him because he is so deeply involved in what he will do next.

Well, folks, we've plumb lost our vision. And I seriously think we're seeing the results of our unbelief. We are proud - so proud - that we want Jesus around for His fame and VIP pass, but we don't believe His presence can save us. We are proud - too proud - to admit that His deferring way of pointing to the glory of God is to us a lifeline, not a noose.

Instead, we've chained ourselves to the world's ugliest attractions in hopes that we will find both significance and righteousness. God help us!

Pride is a dirty, devious thing. I suppose that's better reason than any to

let LOVE fly like cRaZy