Thursday, September 1, 2016

Bishop’s Note: September 1, 2016 - The Sin of Pride

Bishop Eric Menees

The Gospel Lesson this past Sunday was taken from the 14th Chapter of Luke, in which Jesus is at a dinner party and observes people jockeying for position to be in places of honor.  For Jesus this was, once again, an opportunity to teach, and so he shares with them the Parable of the Wedding Feast. Jesus concludes the parable with this powerful statement: “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  (Luke 14:11 ESV)

Of course, the problem with pride in our lives is that we are generally blind to it in ourselves, and overly observant of it in others. Years ago this little survey on pride ran across my radar screen, and I’d like to share it with you. Answer each question quickly and honestly – don’t over think it…

1. I enjoy being the center of attention. Y/N
2. I think I deserve the very best. Y/N
3. Much of my conversation is filled with “I.” Y/N
4. I find it difficult to admit that I’m wrong Y/N
5. I seldom pass a mirror without looking at myself. Y/N
6. I don’t like to be corrected or challenged! Y/N
7. My feelings are easily hurt. Y/N
8. I am impatient with other people’s mistakes. Y/N
9. I don’t get enough appreciation for all that I do. Y/N
10. I’m offended if I render a service and don’t receive  “thank you.” Y/N
11. I seldom ask for help, because I can do the job better myself. Y/N
12. I feel pretty good that I didn’t check “yes” to every question! Y/N

The author of the survey concludes: If you have one or more “yes” answers, it reveals the presence of pride in your life. If you don’t have any “yes” answers, it simply reveals you are lying to yourself about yourself!

The problem with pride is that, in our fallen nature, it is one of our most vulnerable areas for spiritual attack and temptation. The answer to the problem of pride is the cultivation of the virtue of humility in our lives. To be prideful is to have an unrealistic image of self based on a worldly standard – generally, comparing ourselves to other people. Humility, on the other hand, is based on a godly image of ourselves.
AW Tozer says this about humility:
“A humble man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority. He has accepted God’s estimate of his own life. He knows he is weak and helpless as God declared him to be, but paradoxically, he knows at the same time he is in the sight of God of more importance than the angels. In himself, nothing, in God, everything.”

My prayer for myself and all of us in the Diocese of San Joaquin is that we will be quick to recognize unhealthy pride in our lives, and that we will cultivate humility. 

The Lord bless and keep you all!

Catechism Questions: 329-330

329. How is false witness borne in court?
False accusations, lies, withholding evidence, or an unjust verdict all violate  truth and   justice. (Exodus 23:1)

330. When is it right to speak of your neighbor’s sins
I am forbidden to gossip or slander, but I must speak the truth in love to my neighbor, report crimes, advocate for the helpless, and protect the community. (Ephesians 4:15, Leviticus 19:17-18; Matthew 18:15; James 5:18-20)

No comments: