Here’s my 10/8/13 email to Elders/Deacons at Crestview:
Here’s my email to elders and deacons at Crestview on 9/24/13:
This coming Lord’s Day (Lord-willing), we will finish up Luke 15:1-32 and, specifically, the parable of the lost sons and compassionate father. We will be honing in on lost son #2 – the older son from Luke 15:25-32. Most of us have no problem seeing the first son as lost, but many of us (church types) don’t see the self-righteous attitude we exalt we as something that separates us from the father. This sermon, then, is one we need. I hope you come prepared Sunday to wage war on your self-righteous, self-sufficient way of living and submit to a compassionate father full of mercy.
My life really resonated with Thabiti’s recent post on Pride and Preaching. Here’s an excerpt…
oh! how often the heart craves to hear that good report, that positive appraisal of “our” sermon and preaching. And, oh! how often we want to preach for God’s glory and all the while “be known” for preaching for God’s glory. Pride is sneaky, and the preacher is as vulnerable to it as everyone else.
These are great words and counsel. Too often we can forget that before we can boldly thunder God’s Word, we must humbly receive the correction that Word thunders in us. Pray that I would model this kind of humility for the people God’s entrusted to me.
In his excellent book, Pleasing People, Lou Priolo encourages us to examine where pride exists in our lives and gives some Biblical manifestations. One that emerged to me was unforgiveness. He writes:
[Pride is seen, in that] when wronged, being unwilling to forgive an offender who has not demonstrated extreme submission or repentance. Proud people struggle to grant forgiveness to those who are not wallowing in sorrow over their offenses. They want not a simple “I repent,” as the Scriptures require (Luke 17:4), but the great proof of repentance. If you’re having a hard time connecting the dots between pride and lack of forgiveness, imagine asking forgiveness from someone who responds like this: “I’m not ready to extend my forgiveness to you. You haven’t offended just any old person; you’ve offended ME! And I don’t grant people forgiveness simply on the basis of their word without their somehow otherwise propitiating my anger.” (Of course, when it comes time for him to confess his own sin, the arrogant individual expects those he has offended to overlook his “little mistakes.”)
A humble believer recognizes the enormity of his own debt of sin that Christ has forgiven and considers any offenses that he himself must forgive as minutiae in comparison (cf. Matthew 18:21-35). He willingly grants forgiveness to those who sincerely ask for it. (In the absence of hard evidence to the contrary, he takes the repentant brother at his word.) (Luke 17:3-4)
I thought this was helpful in my own life. First of all, I have had to deal with people who are prideful like this. Secondly, however, and much more grievous, I’ve seen this attitude in my own life of making someone feel the sting of wronging ME. It’s time for us to humble ourselves in light of the cross and let repentance come.