Pride

Posted: January 23, 2019 by keystoneyouth in Death Row Lessons
Tags: , , , , ,

screen shot 2018-12-28 at 3.58.29 pm

Introduction:

  • Refresh:
    • Kill Sin or It Will Kill You.
  • Sin is not like the creatures in BirdBox… that if you don’t see them they can’t harm you. It’s the exact opposite, until the blindfold is removed and you see sin for what it is, it will do the most harm to you.
  • That’s exactly what we want to do in this series… take off the blindfold and expose sin in our lives and then fight back against sin with the power Jesus gives us in the Holy Spirit.
  • Tonight, we start with pride.

Attention Funnel: Dumbest Guinness Book of World Record Records

  • Why do people spend time trying to achieve a Guinness World Record? To make a name for themselves.

Big Idea: We should spend our lives making much of God rather than making a name for ourselves. 

  • To look at pride, we are going to look at the story of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel.
  • Nebuchadnezzar is the absolute ruler of the world at this point in time (586 B.C.) He can pretty much command anything and it gets done (POWER). He can get pretty much anything he wants (WEALTH). Everyone in the world knows who he is and pays him respect (FAME).
    • Warning: With wealth, knowledge, power, and fame often comes pride.
  • The book of Daniel tells us about King Nebuchadnezzar because Daniel was one of the people from Israel that that he took captive when he raided and destroyed Jerusalem.

Main Points:

  • Pride is making a big deal of ourselves
  • Pride tries to steal what belongs to God.
  • Get your eyes off yourself and onto something better.

Read 4:28-30

What is Pride?

Pride is making a big deal of ourselves.

  • Nebuchadnezzar makes a big deal of himself.
  • HE has built Babylon by HIS might power for HIS recognition and fame.
  • Nebuchadnezzar looked out over Babylon, the greatest city in the greatest empire in the world, and all he sees is himself.
  • A prideful person looks out over all they are, all they have done, and all they have… and sees a mirror reflecting their greatness.
  • Nebuchadnezzar was far greater and far more important than we will ever be… none of us will ever have the type of power, wealth, and fame that he did, BUT we all have the same type of heart that he did. One that loves to focus on self.
  • I want to really work to do some diagnosing before we move on by asking what are some ways prides shows up in our lives?
    • I want to give you three specific ways along with some examples that hopefully begin to remove the blindfold to pride in our lives.
  • 1) Pride shows up in self-importance.
  • There are several ways to think about this.
  • We might think, “Because I am __________, I am important.”
    • Here’s a big one in Lancaster County: Because I am a hard-worker. Lazy is the ultimate insult in Lancaster. And while it’s not bad at all to be a hard-worker, when that is what we look to for our importance it’s a sign of pride.I see this almost every time I go on a service/missions trip.
    • Other ways we fill in this blank might be with athletic, beautiful, funny, popular. What is it for you that you think because I am ___________, I’m a big deal?
  • Because I did ____________, I am important.
    • I won 25 games of Fortnite, I made varsity as a freshman, I was the lead in the play, I got into a top college.
    • Or for me… I taught such a great lesson, ran a certain race, or read a certain number of books.
    • What accomplishments in your life do you look to thinking they make you a big deal?
  • OR, Because I have ____________, I am important.
    • Nice clothes. How often do we buy and wear clothes thinking they will draw attention to us or just help us fit in better?
      • Last week I was watching a college football game and at one point the camera showed a previous player standing on the sideline wearing a Gucci sweatshirt. I looked up how much it cost… over $1,000! What drives someone to spend that much on a freaken sweatshirt. Because it screams to the whole world… because I can afford this I am important.
      • We would never be so foolish right, but next time you are out shopping stop and ask yourself, “Why do I feel like I need this piece of clothing, or this brand, or this pair of shoes?”
    • Other ways we might fill this blank in are: certain friends, a certain car or truck, a girlfriend or boyfriend, and on and on. What things that you have do you look to and feel like you’re a big deal?
  • What would you fill all those __________’s in with? If you aren’t willing to take a stab at answering that question, it’s because you really don’t want to see your pride.
  • But maybe you say, I really don’t think I’m important at all, in fact I feel terrible about myself, I feel like my life is awful, and I feel like I’ll never do anything good. Well that’s another way pride shows up.
  • 2) Pride shows up in self-pity.
    • The person who is constantly saying woe is me and complaining about how bad their life is, is in effect saying I deserve better.
    • The person who feels terrible about themselves is usually more self-conscious about what people think about them than anyone else.
    • When I walk into a room and all I can focus on is what are other people thinking about me, that’s pride.
    • Self-pity is just as much a form of pride as self-importance because it seeks to draw attention to yourself. It puts you at the center, it’s just you are there because life is miserable in your eyes rather than great.
    • Where do you complain the most? When do you feel the most self-conscious? Where are you most afraid of what other people think about you or of failing? These questions can help you locate pride in your life.
  • 3) Pride shows up in self-righteousness.
    • This is perhaps the worst form of pride. Because it says I am more important and better than other people based on my beliefs and behavior.
    • In some ways all of pride is self-righteousness, but I want to focus specifically on using Christianity to puff up your self-worth.
      • Thinking, “Because I believe in Jesus… I’m better than all those atheists, agnostics, and HEATHENS.”
      • Because I don’t smoke weed and drink on the weekends… I’m better than all those druggies and partiers.
      • “Because I haven’t had sex… I’m better than all those sluts.”
    • And here is why I say this is the worst: Because it takes what is meant to humble us and uses it for proud self-importance.
      • Christianity is meant to humble us… we are weak losers in need of Jesus. Broken messed up people in need of someone to come fix us.
      • And when we become self-righteous… we say, “I’m better because I believe in Jesus and have better behavior then other people.
    • Like if I got glasses and then proceeded to brag about how great my eyesight is. The very reason I need glasses is because my eyesight is bad… and when I get glasses I realize just how bad my eyesight really is.
    • It is a great shame that we who would call ourselves Christians look down on other people because they don’t think, speak, or act like us. As if Jesus saved us because we were better than other people…
  • Here are just a couple questions that can help us in diagnosing pride.
    • Where and how are you most likely to look down on other people?
    • When do you feel most self-conscious about yourself and about what other people think about you?
    • What do you want and hope that people will praise you for?
    • Where do you get angry or overly upset if you are criticized or made fun of?
    • What do you post to social media hoping for attention in response?

Why does God hate pride?

Read 4:31-33

  • Think about this for a second with me… Nebuchadnezzar was the King of a Nation that grew in strength by conquering other people.
  • Babylon was not known for killing people with kindness… it was known slaughtering people and forcing them into submission.
    • 2 Kings 25:6-7
    • I imagine that these are just the beginning of horrors that Nebuchadnezzar oversaw or ordered.
    • Nations who feared Nebuchadnezzar probably looked at him in a similar way that we look at terrorists – evil, ruthless, without compassion.
  • And yet out of all the things Nebuchadnezzar does… God chooses to focus in on his pride. Why?
    • In part, probably because it was at the root of all the other things he did.
    • But also, I think it’s because Nebuchadnezzar was stealing from God.
    • God alone deserves to be the center of attention, he alone deserves to be made a big deal out of.
    • So when we make a big deal about ourselves, we are taking what God deserves.

Pride tries to steal what belongs to God.

  • This is why the Bible constantly refers to pride as something God hates, is opposed to, and will destroy.
    • Proverbs 8:13, Amos 6:8, 1 Peter 5:5, Isaiah 2:12
  • Pride is taking what does not belong to us.
    • God is the one who gave Nebuchadnezzar all he had, and yet he is taking credit for it rather than giving God the credit.
  • God created us as humans to point to him, to focus our attention on him, to make a big deal about him.
  • And when we don’t do that, we are robbing God and harming ourselves.
  • How many of you have ever gone deer spotting before? It’s when you take a spotlight and drive out after it’s dark and shine it on the fields in hopes of seeing deer. Whoever holds that spotlight has a lot of responsibility. They need to shine it right on the field in order to see the deer. And the first thing you learn about spotting is that you never shine that light in someone else’s eyes, because it can harm your eyes. Imagine that you go out deer spotting and rather than shining the light on the fields you spend the entire time shining the light back on your own face. Not only are you not doing what you are supposed to do, but you are also harming yourself.
  • Either we use our lives to shine a spotlight on God, or we use them to shine a spotlight on us. And when we shine it on ourselves, we are actually harming ourselves… living against how God designed us.
  • This is why God drives Nebuchadnezzar to become like a beast. He’s not just making him look like a crazy person, he’s effectively saying, when you are driven by pride you are less then human. You are no better than an animal.
  • God is saying, “You are failing to do the very thing I designed you to do. The very thing you were created to do. And so you are more like a beast than a human.”
  • God hates pride because it robs from him and makes us less than human.

 

How do we fight against it?

  • I love verse 34-35 because they teach us how to fight this awful disease of our souls.
  • Read 4:34-35
  • Hear what Nebuchadnezzar says, “I lifted up my eyes, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him.”
  • When does Nebuchadnezzar’s sanity return to him? When he gets his eyes off himself and onto God.
    • When is life no longer is about making a name for himself, but about making much of God.
  • You don’t become humble, which is the opposite of pride, by gritting your teeth and saying, “I really need to be humbler. I really need to try harder not to be proud and think about myself so much.” If you do that, you’ll just keep thinking about yourself.
  • You get your eyes off of yourself and onto something better.

Get your eyes off yourself and onto something better.

  • As a kid I can remember going to watch sports games and one of my only goals was to get a video of myself up on the screen. So I would jump up and down, scream, do whatever I thought it might take to get a video of myself up on that big screen. Now I realize how foolish that was. How ridiculous it looks when we go to a sports game and just try to get up on that big screen. But that’s how some of us live. We live to get ourselves up onto a screen or recognition and importance… doing whatever it takes to try to get there. When we realize how foolish it is, the response is not… “I really need to try hard not to think about that screen when I’m at a game.” The response is to enjoy the incredible game that is going on in front of you. Taking it all in. Watch the players, watch the incredible passes, shots, and moves that they make. Take in every moment.The response to pride is to look at God and see how incredible he is.d see how incredible he is.
  • How do we do that?
  • Some weapons for fighting against pride (Not B.B. gun weapons, but powerful rifle weapons) – Highlight verses with these things.
  • Spend time doing things that focus your attention on God. (A walk in the woods, a gaze at the night sky, taking time to thank him for all he’s given you, listening to worship songs that make your heart happy in him).
    • God made the mountains and every molecule of water. He thought of, designed, and created every species of animal there is. He put every single star in every single galaxy and knows each one by name. He made us with all of our intricate features from our taste buds to our toenails. He holds the whole course of history in his hands and bends it where he wants it to go. THERE IS NO ONE LIKE HIM! Do things that get your eyes on him.
  • Think about what the gospel says about us and about God.
    • I love 1 Corinthians 1:26
    • First, that we are so desperately broken, messed up, and sinful that we needed Jesus to die for us. Never get over that. He didn’t die for me because I was lovely to look at, or had the right beliefs, or had it all together, or had the most followers on Instagram. He died because I was a broken, messed up, loser.
    • And yet think about what this says about God… Rather than crushing us in anger because we constantly take what is his, he crushes himself in anger for our sake. What kind of God is that? That’s an amazing God. That’s a loving God. We no longer have to fight for how important or how good we are. We no longer have to draw attention to ourselves. We can know we are loved by God and give ourselves to making much of him.
  • Recognize how much you depend on God. Pride says, I don’t need God, I have my life entirely figured out and entirely under control. Humility says I desperately need God. God loves to hear us telling him how much we need him. He loves to have us come to him in prayer. Fight pride by becoming more dependent and needy for God.

 

We would spend our lives making much of God rather than making a name for ourselves. And Jesus is the one who gives us the power to do

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