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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Healing and Pride

I listened to an excellent sermon yesterday by John Ortberg called Healing . . . All My Soul. In it he speaks about three kinds of sin that infect us. There are individual sins we commit at the most superficial level. Second, and deeper is that we don't just commit sins, we are sinful; we are prone to sin. Third, and deeper still we have all inherited, what some theologians call, original sin which traces back to Adam and Eve. Ortberg speaks of our tendency to not be willing to confess our sin at an honest level, perhaps not even between us and God. He then spoke of our need to be healed at a deeply profound level. It led me after listening into a time of confession that provoked me toward confessing pride. C.S. Lewis speaks of pride as the worst of all sins, perhaps even the root of all other sin. I realized while praying, not for the first time, that one of the reasons I crave being successful is so I will feel better about myself. This is opposed to resting in the love and the grace of God and knowing that I am loved and accepted by God right now, whether i am "successful" or not. That led me to this thought. I have often thought about how much pride and boasting are a part of much of the sports we see on TV and so I said this about myself. "I am as full of pride as a 350 pound defensive lineman strutting around the backfield after sacking the quarterback on a third down late in a close game."

2 comments:

  1. Check out this video commentary by Bob Costas on football players that demonstrate excessive selfish celebratory behavior after touchdowns. Goes very well with your last quote.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YeHuLE4XM3I

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  2. My favorite verse as it relates to this concept is 1 John 1:9: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

    The "all unrighteousness" bit at the end of the verse includes not just the sins we commit but includes the other two categories mentioned by John Ortberg. I also believe there is another category of sin: There are sins that are committed against us by others that we are required to forgive. We are robbed, raped, abused, lied about, betrayed, etc... Perhaps that falls into the original sin category, but I believe we need to see this as a deliberate category as it relates to 1 John 1:9. Once we realize that it is God's faithfulness that purifies to our original "Garden of Eden" state then we are truly empowered to "forgive those as they trespass against us."

    Thanks for this pitch. It is a great reminder for me. I will be on my face as soon as I hit send. Pride is awful.

    eternally his,
    chris.

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