CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

April 16, 2011

Lenten Study: 7 Deadly Sins—Pride #3: Taking Joy in Beating Others Down


CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

LENTEN STUDY: 7 DEADLY SINS

PRIDE #3:

TAKING JOY IN BEATING OTHERS DOWN

Monte W. Holland

INTRODUCTION

     The following study is a journey through Lent, the forty-day pre-Easter season (which excludes Sundays).  Easter’s date, determined by the time of the first full moon after the Spring equinox, is very late this year.

     Traditionally, many Christians use Lent for self-examination and a renewal of their commitment to their faith.

     This year I  chose to do a devotional study on aspects of the Seven Deadly Sins, sins identified by very early Christians as key behaviors separating man from God and God’s will. The seven sins are not listed together in the Bible—each is, however, spoken about in various Scripture sites.

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THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS:

GREED, ENVY, ANGER, LUST, GLUTTONY, SLOTH and PRIDE.

THE ASPECTS OF THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS ARE:

#1 Breaking the Mosaic Law

#2 Defying God or rebelling against God

#3 Acts of violence to others

#4 Failing to make proper sacrifices or worship

#5 Not living up to or reflecting God’s glory (not living as one created in God’s image)

PRIDE #3

TAKING JOY IN BEATING OTHERS DOWN

SCRIPTURE:7 For I endure scorn for your sake, and shame covers my face. 8 I am a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my own mother’s sons; 9 for zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me. 10 When I weep and fast, I must endure scorn; 11 when I put on sackcloth, people make sport of me. 12 Those who sit at the gate mock me, and I am the song of the drunkards. (Psalm 69:7-12 (NIV))

Then you shall declare before the LORD your God: “My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down into Egypt with a few people and lived there and became a great nation, powerful and numerous. 6 But the Egyptians mistreated us and made us suffer, putting us to hard labor. 7 Then we cried out to the LORD, the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice and saw our misery, toil and oppression. 8 So the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with miraculous signs and wonders. (Deuteronomy 26:5-8 (NIV))

DEVOTION:  We are a proud people. We love our nation. Often, it seems as though we are prouder of our nation than we are of God. Can that be true? When our pride runs away, such notions and perceptions can run rampant. Wars have become a staple of our time. World leaders seem to need a war to boost “national pride.”

     The psalmist endures scorn for God’s sake. Shame covers his face. We insult persons who are

very obedient to God or who are obedient to God in ways different than ours. Our world is charred by wars with religious/ethnic origins. What is the source of such wars? Fear of persons who are different or hatred of those who are different stirs the pot of violence? Violence comes because of pride in our particular religion, heritage, or accomplishments.

     Pride isn’t all bad. We are a social species—it is natural to group according to special interests and common backgrounds. Pride can cause us to capture and preserve our heritage and celebrate it. However, pride goes wrong when one heritage is ranked as superior to another. Pride and ranking are a volatile mix that fosters hatred and violence.

     I am an avid sports fan. I like to see my teams win. But, in the end, I must realize that it is only a game. The intensity on the field and the desire to be the best needs to end there. Off the field it is the quality of the whole person that matters.

     Pride tries to elevate issues of heritage, nationalism, and excellence in sports to the same category as personal relationship with God and service of God. When this happens, pride has gripped us and begins leading us toward being separated from God and God’s will.

     Which flag is preeminent in our lives: our national flag or the Christian flag?

PRAYER: Eternal God, I tend to be short-sighted. I look at the greatness of nations, ethnic groups, and sports teams and forget that their greatness is only for a season. You are the source of all that is great and unending. May I humbly look to you in all matters. Amen.

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To start at the beginning of this Lenten study on the Seven Deadly Sins, click on: Ash Wednesday: Intro to Lenten Study on the Seven Deadly Sins

To read the previous devotion, Lenten Study: 7 Deadly Sins—Pride #2: Live for the “One”, click on: https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2011/04/15/lenten-study-7-deadly-sins-pride-2-live-for-the-%e2%80%9cone%e2%80%9d/

To read the following devotion, click on: Lenten Study: 7 Deadly Sins—Pride #4: Don’t Brag 

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ADDITIONAL READING:

Reaching Full Potential: Crime or Church?

The Partners in Progress Mission Project in Haiti

Jasper Milquetoast: Precious Stone, Physics Teacher

Laurel Mountain Borough, Pennsylvania: Quaint

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