I’m currently doing a Bible study with some other members of our church based around Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges. Here’s the description:
“As Christians, we believe that all sins are considered equal in God’s eyes. Yet while evangelicals continue to decry the Big Ones–such as abortion, adultery, and violence–we often overlook more deceptive sins. It seems we have created a sliding scale where gossip, jealousy, and selfishness comfortably exist within the church. In short, some sins have simply become acceptable.”
Sins like anger, envy, jealousy. It’s been an interesting read, and I find myself discovering more about putting sin to death in my life.
The last chapters we covered dealt with pride and selfishness. Bridges says, “We are born with a selfish nature…Even after we become Christians, we still have the flesh that wars against the Sprit, and one of its expressions is selfishness.”
It’s easy to say to yourself that you’re not selfish and prideful, or at least not as selfish or prideful as others…and then as soon as you think that, you realized you are guilty of being selfish and prideful.
We’re called to love others, but it’s hard to do that when we’re focused on yourself. You want to be the center of attention. Even if we’re not fully expressing it, our hearts can be just like this guy…
Romans 12:3 says, “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”
I forgot where I heard it, but I heard an analogy that stuck with me to this day and I wanted to share it with you. Pretend your life is a movie. People go wrong when they assume they are the star of the movie, that they are the main character, turning to God only when they need help… sort of like if you were Cinderella and God was the Fairy Godmother.
Here’s the right way to think about this. If life is a movie, Jesus is the star. Everything in the movie relates to God’s glory. We just get the amazing opportunity to be extras in this spectacular production.
How many times have you heard the story of David and Goliath? Question: In this Bible passage, who represents you? Are you David, overcoming giants with God’s help? Are you Goliath, causing trouble?
Check out this short cartoon by Adam4d for what I think is a great view on this classic Bible passage.
Pride and selfishness is something we have to deal with every day. Thankfully, God helps us fight that battle. And remember, the war has already been won!
Want to talk to your preteens about pride and selfishness? Luke 14:7-14 is a great place to start. Discuss Jesus’ advice and if they have seen something like this in their life. You can have your kids try to draw out comics, write a poem, or come up with a short play that represent Proverbs 29:22-23 or 1 Peter 5:5. Make sure you join in as well!