Thursday, February 26, 2009


Our culture instinctively values power, prestige, and privilege. We are enticed by glitz and glamour; we are intrigued by the lifestyles of the rich and famous. However, it is important to note that throughout the history of the church, God’s people have not remained unaffected by the temptation to greatness and grandeur. Even the first disciples often debated the question, “Who among us will be the greatest in the kingdom of God?” This tendency to seek greatness and self-acclamation is what scripture most often refers to as pride. Our propensity toward pride is what C.S. Lewis calls the great sin, because pride leads to every other vice.

Time and time again, God confronts our pride; He confronts our disordered love of self over God and others. God chooses what, by human standards, is deemed weak and foolish to accomplish His purpose. God chose the people of Israel who were “the fewest of all peoples.” God chose Moses, who had a speech impediment, to confront the Pharaoh of Egypt. God chose Gideon with an army of 300 to defeat the Midianite army of several thousand. God chose David, the young shepherd boy, to be King over Israel. God chose Paul, a persecutor of the church, to be the great apostle to the Gentiles. Over and over again, God chooses what seems insignificant and foolish in order to display his glory and power.

The season of Lent reminds us that we are “dust.” God calls us to humble ourselves, so that we might be lifted up. God calls us to acknowledge our weakness, so that His power might be displayed in our lives. God calls us to confess our pride and arrogance, so that we can be free to serve others. As C.S. Lewis once said, "A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you're looking down, you can't see something that's above you."

1 comment:

  1. I'm still not sure if I fully understand what 'giving up something for Lent' means. Sorry. I know I am prideful but I think I have a bigger problem -- not thinking I'm good enough for or at anything. Refocusing on God I can do. The C.S Lewis comment at the end, reminding me of pointing your finger at someone (like a pretend gun) -- while you are busy pointing that finger at someone there are three fingers pointing back at yourself.