the sin that drives people away from redemption
I feel the roughness of his fingers as they intertwine with mine. He’s talking.
“At what point, in the church, will we begin to call arrogance sin?”
I feel the question to my bones.
“It’s easy to pick on topics that aren’t personal to us. There’s plenty that I don’t deal with. It’s easy to point out. But pride? Arrogance?”
His hand is tightening around mine but he doesn’t notice.
“I would go so far as to say that the number one sin that holds people away from God is pride. And I’m not talking about unbeliever’s pride. I’m talking about Christian’s.”
The sun casts shadows and the barn floor glows pink.
“I’ve watched it happen. We snub our noses in business and say, ‘its not good business to deal with them’ and send our neighbors away from redemption.”
He kicks at a pile of straw and lime-dust rises.
“And I’m not pointing just at others. Me.”
He pauses and pain slices his face.
“My pride sends people away from redemption.”
After he leaves to get hay, I’m changing milkers and thoughts are swirling.
“How, God?” I’m asking. I swat the red heifer, tell her to stand still. “How do I not fall prey to the sins that eat away like a cancer? How do I avoid the very things that the church ignores?”
Avoiding the “labeled” sin is simple. Too blatant, too obvious and I steer clear automatically. But hidden stench? The pride that slinks through my heart?
Just today- my thoughts filled with arrogance. And its not that the thoughts came but that I allow them. I excuse them. I try to make them acceptable instead of tearing them out of my heart in horror.
But what if I slap the label on my own sin? What if I start calling myself to account for the hidden things that take up residence in my heart?
If I label my pride as sin, approach it with horror instead of apathy, will it help the church as a whole?
Every change begins with a person.
God, oh, God, hear my cry. Cleanse this heart. Don’t ever let my broken sinfulness send someone away from redemption. Let my life draw them in.
This thought has been marinating in my heart recently too! I posted a video and lyrics of Casting Crowns’ Jesus, Friend of Sinners today, with the phrases that have impacted me most bolded. http://www.bethszimmerman.com/2012/05/20/jesus-friend-sinners/ And I sat talking with my budding missionary (22 y.o. miracle a.k.a. college student) this last week about the fact that I cannot judge his sister (who had a salvation testimony as a teen) as unsaved simply because I see besetting sin in her life when I KNOW that the same exists in MINE! Not sure I convinced him … but he’s young! He’ll get it! Love your heart, Tasha!
Happy Friday to you Natasha girl! I’m always blessed by your Holy Spirit led, honest heart here sister. So blessed. This is what came to my mind as I was reading along, because pride happens to be my personal thorn in the flesh.
“Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? Romans 2:4 niv. It’s such a eye opening, powerful verse! Thank you for sharing your heart with us once again! ~ Blessings, Amy
Hmmm… beautiful verse. Am copying it down now to look more at later. Thank you!
“Just today- my thoughts filled with arrogance. And its not that the thoughts came but that I allow them. I excuse them. I try to make them acceptable instead of tearing them out of my heart in horror.”
That is the part that gets me. It’s so easy for me to rationalize my pride:
“But I’m right.” (even when I am and others agree and the cause is noble and just, my “rightness” is not the point of Jesus dying.)
“There is no honor in doing things knowingly incorrect”
“We are called to a higher standard”
and so on ad nauseum
I think, for me, as I struggle with addressing my pride and arrogance it is a focus on the gentle and quiet spirit that I must re-cultivate. It is the “pray without ceasing” life that will keep me tuned into the spirit instead of my humanly-influenced views on right and wrong that so assure me I’m on a noble path.
Amen dear sister….
This is timely for me, too. Bless you, Natasha, once again for your transparency.
Natasha – this is exactly what God has been teaching me these last few days especially – that my pride is the soil in which so many sinfilled attitudes and actions flow from. I have scribbled a poem about this, but haven’t posted it just yet.
Can’t wait to read it!
I am no writer, these are all simply random scribbles, as God lays lessons on my heart.