Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pride comes before the Fall

Pride is something that is never preached about. All manner of sins of the flesh and greed and murder might get mentioned by a priest or minister is your lucky, but never pride.
I have witnessed in myself and many other devout Christians fall into greater sin because of pride. Many great ministries and works of God have been destroyed or lost their effectiveness because of this alone. Whether its from financial irregularities or sexual misconduct the root cause is pride. Even great healing ministries and works for the poor and religious and lay communities have crumbled or been destroyed because of the sin of pride. Pride that said We have the Truth. We are the Only ones teaching the Full Gospel. We have miracles occurring in our meetings. We are helping the most people. We are Holy people.  YOU are not as fruitful as we are. We are loved by all. We have the best music ministry in town. All this comes from pride and presumption. We lose site of the fact the ONLY by God's grace can we produce spiritual fruit. That comes from a life of prayer and examination and obedience to authority.
St. Ignatius required his religious to perform an examnen every day, even multiple times a day in order to root out sin which causes spiritual blindness. Few of us look for the pride in our lives. We are stealing God's glory by claiming we accomplished this or that for the kingdom. Or believing in our own righteousness  is because we have disciplined ourselves we think into praying regularly or performing some other spiritual exercise. We are the branches not the vine. If the branch is out off from the vine the branch dies. Jesus is the vine. We are only capable of sin without his grace.
The list of famous people and ministries in the past 30 years who have been destroyed because of this is unbelievable. Most were producing great fruit but lost their way blinded by their own self importance and accomplishments. They let go of the ONE who planted and nurtured the vine
Lay Charismatic communities, Religious communities, individual ministries Protestant and Catholic  are no more because of pride which opened the door for other sins, lust, greed, arrogance and the rest of the seven deadly sins. It's heart breaking and a scandal to the world.
We must examine ourselves in light of the gospel that we are redeemed and made holy only by the grace of God won at Calvary by the shedding of the blood of Jesus which opened the floodgates of grace for humanity.
The Pharisees were full of this kind of religion. They constantly pointed out everyones sin and believed they were the only ones keeping the complete Law and its commandments. Jesus had to repeated try to straighten them out, but I guess it took the destruction of the Temple  after Jesus' resurrection to open their eyes.
God help us not to wait that long.

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