Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Why We Attend a Local Church

I've heard more and more recently of people thinking of leaving their local church in search of "greener pastures", only then deciding that not attending a church is their preferred pasture. I find this to be a disturbing trend, not because I'm part of the leadership in any church, but because I'm a member of the body of believers. (Thus, in this post, I am not referring to those who leave their church because a job has moved them far away, nor am I speaking of those that left us because they were not truly of us (1 John 2:19); instead, I'm addressing the new "fad" - albeit, not as new as you might think - of deciding that "no church" is better than the local church.)

The local church is the manifestation of the invisible, catholic (universal), world-wide Church. In effect, claiming to be a Bible believing Christian, while separating oneself from the local body of believers, is akin to a solitary sheep heading off into the wilderness literally "in search of greener pastures". Allow me to draw this illustration out just a bit further: the "flock" is, by definition*, to be a "flock" and led by a shepherd. Jesus uses the imagery of sheep and a shepherd often, drawing a parallel to His leading and protecting those that the Father has given to Him. He speaks of the shepherd going after one stray sheep, leaving the rest of the flock safe on the mountains (Matthew 18:12). And He showed compassion for those that were "like sheep without a shepherd" (Matthew 9:36).

The human reasoning behind this "congregation-of-one movement" is really just alluding to a kind of self-delusion (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25) in that, "I'm not denouncing Christianity", and "I'll still be a part of the universal body of believers". They are just neglecting to meet for public worship services. This is all to similar to the excuses ("I can be a good Christian at home" or "It's a personal relationship - it's none of your business") that I used to give before God regenerated me; before He replaced my heart of stone with a heart of flesh.

It's right about here that God's Word sheds some light on this age-old subject:
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Heb 10:24-25)
So, maybe there's a loop-hole here: we can just meet with some brothers and sisters at the local Panera for brunch on Sunday mornings! I'm not sure that's what the Holy Spirit had in mind in this passage. If it had been the intent for believers to substitute "small groups" for the public assemblage for purposes of worship, then it would seem that the Apostle Paul went above and beyond in expending so much energy on building solid congregations on his many journeys; not to mention that most of the Epistles were written to congregations or in reference to a particular church body. You see, from the above passage, it's in the "meeting together" that we "stir up one another to love and good works".

It should also be noted that the New Testament, in many passages, instructs believers in the context of an "assembly". In Hebrews 13, believers are exhorted to obey, or submit to, "them that have rule over you". Adam Clarke expounds on this passage:
"[In Hebrews 13:7], the apostle exhorts them to remember those who had been their leaders, and to imitate their faith; in this he exhorts them to obey the leaders they now had, and to submit to their authority in all matters of doctrine and discipline, on the ground that they watched for their souls, and should have to give an account of their conduct to God. If this conduct were improper, they must give in their report before the great tribunal with grief; but in it must be given: if holy and pure, they would give it in with joy."
-Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible, Adam Clarke, LL.D., F.S.A., (1715-1832)

I believe without a doubt that the New Testament teaches that all believers are to be part of a local church. This is modeled throughout the Acts of The Apostles and when Paul writes to Timothy, he is giving encouragement for a pastor over a local body of believers. He tells him to "give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching" (1 Timothy 4:13) and these activities should occur most readily in the context of a local assembly of believers. The assumption is that we will be gathered together to hear the public reading of the Word, and in this assembling together, we will come under the "exhortation and teaching" of our leaders.

I want to share this little nugget that I discovered in studying this issue. In Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible, I was reading the notes on a passage I mentioned previously, specifically on Hebrews 10:25, "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is", and was intrigued to discover that this contemporary fad is anything but contemporary. Mr. Barnes comments on the phrase, "as the manner of some is":
Why those here referred to neglected public worship, is not specified. It may have been from such causes as the following:
  1. some may have been deterred by the fear of persecution, as those who were thus assembled would be more exposed to danger than others.
  2. some may have neglected the duty because they felt no interest in it - as professing Christians now sometimes do.
  3. it is possible that some may have had doubts about the necessity and propriety of this duty, and on that account may have neglected it.
  4. or it may perhaps have been, though we can hardly suppose that this reason existed, that some may have neglected it from a cause which now sometimes operates - from dissatisfaction with a preacher, or with some member or members of the church, or with some measure in the church.
- Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible, Albert Barnes (1798-1870)
Did you catch that? "As professing Christians now sometimes do"? Here is a gentleman speaking from the historical context of the early to mid 19th-century, and that comment could have been pulled from the pages of a modern "evangelical" publication (well, maybe not - as it seems to be a little too "judgmental" in its tone for our delicate sensibilities today).

In closing:
Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment. (Proverbs 18:1)


If you're reading this post, do you have any thoughts on this? Have you spoken with anyone that has expressed these sentiments? Or have you thought along these lines? I'd love to hear any comments or feedback.








*FLOCK, n. [L. floccus.] - A company or collection; applied to sheep and other small animals. A flock of sheep answers to a herd of larger cattle. But the word may sometimes perhaps be applied to larger beasts, and in the plural, flocks may include all kinds of domesticated animals.
(Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary of American English)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pride and Humility - Part 21 - Impatience, Irritability, Jelousy, Envy, Being a User

Being impatient or irritable with others

A proud person might be angry with others because they are concerned that their own schedule or plans are being ruined.
  • "in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love," - (2 Corinthians 6:6)
  • "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness," - (Galatians 5:22)
  • "with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love," - (Ephesians 4:2)
  • "So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;" - (Colossians 3:12)
  • "so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises." - (Hebrews 6:12)
  • "As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord." - (James 5:10)
The verses are describing someone with the character trait of being patient. This is patience with respect to others and the behavior of others. Each of these verses uses a form of the Greek work, makrothumia.
μακροθυμία | (makrothumia) | mak-roth-oo-mee'-ah: longsuffering, patience. This word combines the root words, makro, meaning "long," and thumos, meaning "temper"; it literally means "to be long-tempered." This implies the opposite of "short temper," describing the mind holding back a long time before it expresses itself in action or passion. - (From Forerunner Commentary)
I want to point out something interesting that I learned while studying this section. I'll try my best to describe it as I understand it. There are two words used in the New Testament that are often translated as "patience" or "to be patient". One is makrothumia that I just introduced above, the other is hupomone. This word, hupomone, comes from hupomeno which means "to endure, to remain and not flee, or to bear calmly (as in trials)". Thus, the reader will generally see a form of this word used in the context of suffering through a trial or mistreatment, while makrothumia describes the character of the person in bearing through said trial or mistreatment; it too can refer to generally "being patient with another".

Here are some examples of the use of both hupomeno and hupomone:
hupomone:
  • (hupomone) "and endurance produces character, and character produces hope" - (Romans 5:4)
  • (hupomone) "As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience." - (Luke 8:15)
hupomeno:
  • (hupomeinas) ..."but the one who endures to the end will be saved." - (Matthew 10:22; Mark 13:13)
  • (hupomenontes) "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." - (Romans 12:12)

Maybe a better explanation can be found here:
Spiros Zodhiates, in The Complete Word Study Dictionary of the New Testament, on page 939, says,
Makrothumia is patience in respect to persons, while hupomone, endurance, is putting up with things or circumstances.

Lost in translation: I find it interesting in my beginning studies of New Testament Greek to discover the nuances of particular words, to learn the slight leanings toward a particular usage wherein one should use this word or that word, depending on the object or intended idea. This is not to say that such "shadings" do not exist in the English vocabulary, but I find that more and more we just pile prepositional phrases on top of "simple" words in an attempt to clarify our intended meaning, rather than stopping to choose the "perfect" word for the situation.

In my own misguided efforts to incorporate a new word into my vocabulary, I discover a general ignorance of the word and come across as "snobby" or elite in my usage of it, rather than educated and learned. However, in studying the New Testament, I have learned that much of the Apostles intended meaning rests on explicit word choice, so as not to leave anything to implication leading to a frustrating and debatable ambiguity in doctrine. So, I do not seek accolades for my word usage, instead I seek to put on a humility in the mind of Christ, much like Paul. My goal is not to appear educated and learned, so as to elicit the praise of men, but to rightly express my thoughts in a clear and concise manner.

Anyway, coming back to the theme of this post: being patient with others.

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pride and Humility - Part 20 - Minimizing Your Sin

Maximizing others sins and shortcomings while minimizing your own

I recall my pastor humorously referencing the difference between "major" and "minor" sins: "Your sins are major, mine are minor".

If you do not see that as humor, but it instead captures a great part of your "worldview", and you find it difficult to equate your sin with what you perceive as the greater sins of others, then you have a problem.


Let's start with 1 John 1:8-10,
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Believe it or not, there are those out there that hold to a heretical belief that it is possible to attain sinless perfection on this earth and in this flesh. Apart from this heresy, if one believes that they have attained to "some level of perfection" by holding to the Law and claiming: "I've never killed anyone or anything major!" then we need only redirect them to James 2:10-11,
For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.

For he who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.
[emphasis mine]
OK. Let's just follow this out a little longer... you haven't killed anyone, or committed adultery, or maybe you can say you've never lied, nor stolen anything. There's just one little hang up, in the twenty-second chapter of Matthew, Our Lord Jesus Christ made the following declaration:
And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment."
(Matthew 22:37-38; see also Mark 12:30 and Luke 10:27)
Can anyone say that they've loved God with all of their heart, and soul, and mind? Always and in all ways? Ever? I think not.
"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" - (Romans 3:23)

Let's say we do at least admit that we are sinners (if we weren't sinners, we wouldn't need a Savior, right?) but we like to just smile that big grin and say, "I’m just a sinner saved by grace" or
"We’re all human, we all make mistakes". Here's the thing, Jesus was speaking straight to that hypocritical part in all of us that wants to point out others faults, but gloss over our own:
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. (Matthew 7:3-5)



Monday, June 15, 2009

Pride and Humility - Part 19 - Voicing Your Opinion

Voicing preferences or opinions when not asked

Who wouldn’t want to know what you think about... anything, right?


When I'm studying these points and trying to envision the ways I fall into each one, I often discover that I don't have to scratch very deep to hit the nerve. For much of my life, I've based a great deal of my pride on what I deemed as my abilities to learn, comprehend, understand, and apply knowledge to any situation. Little to no thought was given to the fact that these are gifts given freely by Our Father in Heaven. Too often I've used these gifts to promote selfish desires and to seek glory for myself. I perverted and twisted God-given abilities to promote fleshly motivations in pursuit of worldly lusts.

Now, being in Christ, and a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), I find a new drive and a new motivation within me, to live for His glory and to see His will done in heaven and on earth.
"that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised." - (2 Corinthians 5:15)

When I find myself wanting to say something like, “You haven’t asked, but I’ll tell you what I think anyway…”
I try to reflect on what I've learned in His Word about denying self and doing nothing from a position of conceit. In not pursuing my interests, but by putting on the mind of Christ is humility, I am realizing that it is in prideful conceit that I think that person wants to hear my unsolicited opinion on that matter.
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4 - ESV) [emphasis mine]

I'd like to draw your attention to the word "humility" in verse three of that citation from Philippians. In the King James, that word is rendered "lowliness of mind". It is the Greek word, ταπεινοφροσύνη (tapeinophrosunē), pronounced "tap-i-nof-ros-oo'-nay"**, which means
"to have a low, humble opinion of one's self". This is not acting humble or putting yourself down (see here), but is the realization of your true self before a Holy God as being wholly unworthy and possessing no inherent value. This concept flies in the face of popular culture today (even among professing Christians) which seeks to puff you up and stroke your ego, telling you that you are "all that" and "don't let anyone tell you otherwise". It's also interesting to note that in classical Greek literature, this word was used to convey a negative, unseemly "vice" of meekness and lowliness. It wasn't until the New Testament that the word was tied so closely with the virtue of humility in Christ that it took on the positive, desired connotation that we find in Christianity today.
I'd also like to point out that the concept of humility is not to leave the saints with the idea that they are of no value. Instead, it is a shift from a system of self-valuation which would drive us to seek praise from our fellow man, to the Biblical concept of the high being brought low, and the low lifted up (Proverbs 3:34; Isaiah 2:12; Isaiah 40:4; Matthew 20:25-28; 1 Corinthians 1:26-31; James 4:6)



**Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries, Dictionaries of Hebrew and Greek Words taken from Strong's Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong, S.T.D., LL.D., 1890.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pride and Humility - Part 18 - Being Disrespectful

Resisting authority and being disrespectful

This one ranks pretty high on my list, in the sense that I struggle with this one more than the rest (and the rest of 'em are definitely on the list!). This one is often shrugged off as a "submission problem", when it's actually a "pride problem".

When I reflect on this one, trying to understand why this one seems to loom large over me, knowing that it all really emanates from my heart, I think there's some element of this one that is encouraged along with the "self-esteem" camp. Much of this stems from that "American spirit" that, despite its name, permeates the whole human race. We all have that "don't step on me" attitude and we're all just a little too anxious to revolt when we perceive that our government (or our employer) is "infringing on our rights".


Aside from out-and-out armed revolution, I tend to have the attitude that, "That rule isn't as important as the big ones", or "That rule is for everyone else." How many times do I say, "It's just 5-mph over the speed limit... everyone does it"? The problem isn't so much in the act of driving 65-mph in a 60-mph zone, it's in the act of completely disregarding the law. I know it's the law, but I willingly and blatantly ignore it much of the time. Apart from this simple illustration of disobeying civil law, it is quite indicative of our general attitude toward God's Law, too.

I know that I am guilty of placing God's commandments into categories (Greater and Lesser), and to some extent there is some allowance for this. For instance, few would disagree that murder is a much greater offense than, say, driving a little over the speed limit. But they are both technically breaking the law.

Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. (1 Peter 2:13-17)
So, just as many can be found guilty of breaking some of the laws of our civil governments, we all have been found guilty of disobeying God's law (Romans 3:23). In the same way that pride causes us to disregard God's law, so too pride causes us to disregard civil law. And, in the same way that we are commanded to obey God's law now (Matthew 5:18; John 14:21,23-24), we cannot separate obedience to His Law and the law of the governing bodies that He has placed over us.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. (Romans 13:1-2; emphasis mine)


Being gladly submissive and obedient to those in authority

Being obedient first of all to God, and then to any authority over you.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2)

Pride and Humility - Part 17 - Lack of Biblical Prayer

A lack of Biblical prayer

Proud people pray little, if at all. When they do, their prayers usually center around themselves and their desires, or only on those things beneficial to them or their family. The general thoughts invoked during this type of prayer might be like, "Dear God, I want this... give me that."

There is a lot out there on the subject of prayer. Many people have written books and small group curricula that suggest different methods of "effective" prayer. Much of it focuses on using prayer as a tool to bring about personal fulfillment. However, nowhere in Scripture can one find prayer used merely as a means to present God with a "wishlist". In fact, Jesus gave us a model for prayer, the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13).

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

After this manner therefore pray ye:
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
(Matthew 6:5-15 KJV); [emphasis mine]

I hope that it is not necessary to point out that there is no "magic" in these particular words. By merely reciting what has become known as the Lord's Prayer, one does not invoke some divine "abracadabra"-like charm. This is simply a model that Our Lord has given us to show us the manner in which we can approach Our Father in prayer. Notice that he points out just prior to His prayer that we should not use "vain repetitions", in so much as thinking by merely heaping up many empty words we should garner some measure of favor from God.

Another example that Jesus gives us of self-centered prayer is in Luke 18:

"Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.'

"But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!'

"I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted." (Luke 18:10-14)

Notice the difference between the two attitudes exhibited? Even aside from the words these men used, many teachers and commentators point out the stark differences between their postures and whole behavior. Jesus points out that one went away justified, while the other did not. It wasn't the words they used, but the attitude and the heart behind the words.

Biblical praying and lots of it


In the same manner as the tax collector that we just read about, we are to see ourselves as totally dependent on God for His enablement.
The tax collector did not express any expectation that he was owed anything from God based on any religious act or thought, like the Pharisee did. He merely acknowledged that he was a sinner and sought God's mercy on his soul. In the same manner, we should approach God with the same humble attitude, understanding that we bring nothing of merit or worth to the table. Prayer isn't a negotiation.
"We can have no power from Christ unless we live in a persuasion that we have none of our own." - John Owen

As the author of From Pride to Humility says, we are to see ourselves "as needy and pray often".
  • "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
  • "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way." (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
  • "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." (Philippians 4:6)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Pride and Humility - Part 16 - Not Asking Forgiveness

A lack of asking forgiveness

"Proud people rarely admit (or see) their sin; therefore, they can't bring themselves to be humble enough to ask forgiveness for things they have done."
It's true. Asking forgiveness is such a simple thing, so why do we have such trouble with it? Could it be because it's so humbling to admit that you are wrong? Especially in a culture that encourages and rewards pride in oneself.
"Does it help your "self-esteem" to admit that you messed up... that you've SINNED? No! Why should we have to feel bad about ourselves like that? We shouldn't!" - Society's Mantra
The world has infiltrated so much of the church today. I
t's not uncommon to hear this among many professing Christians, "I can’t say I’m sorry; if I do, I might appear weak."

This attitude is directly contrary to what Jesus and scripture teaches:

"So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift."
(Matthew 5:23-24)

A quickness in granting and asking for forgiveness

Instead, in our dealings with others, we should be eager to ask for forgiveness, always wanting to be a peacemaker.

Likewise, we should be eager to forgive others, understanding how much we ourselves have already been forgiven.
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
(Colossians 3:12-14)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pride and Humility - Part 15 - Blame Shifting

Being defensive or blame-shifting

Stuart Scott defines this as, "making light of their shortcomings by pointing out those of others, or always try to explain away their sin, having an excuse for everything".

Can't you just see yourself doing this? I know that too often I've caught myself trying to defend my behavior or something I said by comparing my actions with that of another. Usually, when this would crop up in my life, it'd be a situation where a group, of which I was a part, may have done something wrong and I felt I was being singled out for punishment. Of course, I was quick to point out that I hadn't acted alone, proceeding to incriminate my friends (or siblings).

We can also see our pride billow up when we feel that our actions are being criticized by someone that we perceive as having behaved likewise, or worse even. For instance, have you ever said something like this, “Are you saying it’s all my fault? Well, what about the part you played in it?”


I think that a lot of people assume that this attitude is something born from the "Me" generation of the 50's and 60's, and while it is exacerbated by the world's love of "self-esteem", this is something that's been happening since the Garden of Eden.
The man said, "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate." Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this that you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." (Genesis 3:12-13)
It sounds pretty immature, doesn't it? You see, Adam passed the blame to Eve, who in turn passed the blame to Satan. Even today this blatant "blame-shifting" is still prevalent - many people even just blame the devil for their own evil actions (e.g. "The devil made me do it"). It is so human to blame the "tempter" for our sin. When that doesn't work, we want to blame the situation or our circumstances, wherein we point out that God ordained those circumstances. See... we even try to blame God for our sin! It would be sad if it wasn't so appalling.

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid. (Proverbs 12:1)

A proud person will make a great many excuses such as, “I was tired,” or “I was/am having a bad day.”

Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray. (Proverbs 10:17)


A quickness in admitting when you are wrong

Humble people have no problem saying, "I was wrong. You are right." - AND MEANING IT!


One's pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor. (Proverbs 29:23)

Pride and Humility - Part 14 - Lack of Compassion

A lack of compassion or forgiveness

They are rarely concerned for others or their concerns. They simply cannot see beyond their own desires.

"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy." (Matthew 5:7)

Jesus illustrates this attribute of pride in a parable found in Matthew 18:23-35.
"Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made.

So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.

But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, 'Pay what you owe.' So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt.

When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?' And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt.


So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."


A quickness in granting and asking for forgiveness


We should be eager to forgive, understanding how much we have been forgiven. In kind, we should also be eager to ask for forgiveness, always wanting to be a peacemaker.

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (Colossians 3:12-14)