Pride is the only disease that makes everyone sick
but the one who has it.
Philippians 2:1-8 (NRSV)
1 If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, 2 make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. 5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, 8 he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death- even death on a cross.
Pastor, author, and teacher Leonard Sweet tells the following fable about a frog. It was getting cold in the autumn and Mr. Frog saw the geese flying south. He figured that the chill of the autumn days would be getting even chiller. Wouldn't it be great to go south like the geese?
One day when two geese were resting alongside his pond, he said them, "I'd like to fly south with you." They said, "Well, if you figure out a way we can get you south, we'd be happy to take you." So he thought about it for a while. He scurried away and a few minutes later he came back with a very strong piece of cord, he said, "Now, if one of you holds this end in your beak and the other holds this end in yours, I'll simply hold on in the middle with my mouth and then I can fly south with you."
So they put the ends of the cord in their beaks, and the frog grabbed on in the middle with his mouth, and off they took southward. After a while he begin to feel the warming air. He was already looking forwarding to spending the winter months in a warmer climate.
After having flown a few hours, taken a rest and gotten hooked up again, they were flying low over a farmyard. A cow looked up and was amazed at what she saw when she observed the geese and frog flying overhead. "Whose genius idea was that?" She asked. In a moment of pride, the frog said, "It was mine!" Having let go to respond to the cow's compliment, the frog fell from the sky and ended up being a green splat at the cow's feet.
Pride is part of our inner self that always desires to be better than others. As someone has said, "It germinates in the swamps of comparison and competition."As one of the seven deadly sins it is probably the root of the others-envy, anger, sloth, greed, gluttony, and lust. Pride is the most seductive and ultimately the most harmful. Pride is holy halitosis. Like all bad breath, you're generally the last person to know you have it until it is too late. Think about it.
See you in church this Sunday for the beginning of our new sermon/study series, Sinning like a Christian: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins.