Pride…Will Steal Your Life Away! – Part 1 :: by Don Twobears

Matthew 6:28-34:

“And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Therefore take no thought, saying, ‘What shall we eat? or, what shall we drink? Or, wherewithal shall we be clothed?’

(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

There was a day in my past, when I actually resembled “Tony Orlando.” Moustache and all! I must admit, though, it was never my intention to look like him. Today, fewer and fewer will remember who Tony Orlando was, and even less (who I was) back then. I also remember a time, when the young guys would slick their hair back, making sure they had that duck tail just right too. Then they would spend hours in front of the mirror, making sure that they had that pompadour, squinting like James Dean.

Of course then came the days when we had the longer hair and it curved across our foreheads, just like the Fab Four. Ahhh those days from the 50s to the late 70s, weren’t we spectacular? Now…I’m just old! Some days are better than others, joints hurt some days and then there are days when they don’t. Now ask me if anyone wants to do the one mile run? I’ll admit that I would rather sit down and watch YOU run that mile!

When I was overseas, I just had to be the best at martial arts. We were really going to give it to the Viet Cong then. There is a saying, “Don’t show up at a gun-fight, with a knife!” Made perfect sense then as it does now! Only now days, my hands hurt most of the time, as do my knees, but…that’s an entire new story all together and not what I have in mind this time around.

In my last article, I discussed the merits, or lack thereof, in dealing with “pride.” That’s a horribly insidious SIN, in and of itself, to be truthful and honest. Just as I mentioned before, we are all afflicted with it and horribly so! What did you do…way back when…when you were in your prime? Ah…huh! Yep…everyone is welcomed here, we are all in the same boat, at one point in time or the other, right? As we say in Texas we have a number of sayings here: “It’s time to cowboy up!” That means, it’s time to show your true colors.

“There ain’t no, such a thing as special pews in church!”

Pride can cause a number of problems, mostly because as a SIN it begins within each of us. It can make an adolescent become a bully. It can make high school students sneer down their noses at those less fortunate, those that don’t have all the best clothes to wear, or the nicest car to drive. It is a SIN that is learned and then compounded every day, and if you’re willing to be truthful with yourself and others, everyone has dealt with it. The reason I brought up the aforementioned situations is this: It was odd for me to be like that in those times…I am an American Indian. Those things really didn’t have much to do with me and yet, I was totally involved, right up to my eyeballs.

Pride took me places I am not happy with myself in remembrance of. I could have and should have been better about those things and yet, I was just as guilty as all the rest. I look back and cringe to be sure and yet today it is worse than ever before. We live in the, “It’s all about ME” society. We like to talk about being progressive or more enlightened now days, yet when we take a moment and look around, we have fallen much farther than all the previous generations.

Somewhere in my mind, the question keeps rising, “Why do we keep doing all the same things and then expect a different outcome?” That is the height of lunacy. We should feel the need to STOP, look around ourselves, regroup and then head in another direction. We should be able to recount the obvious hurdles of the past, realize why they failed back then and the re-root ourselves to grow in other directions that will prove more worthy. But we don’t! We doggedly head down the exact same paths, thinking we are smarter than those before us and end-up doing the exact same things they did. What’s even worse, we have the arrogance to look around with utter shock on our faces.

Here’s the problem: We look across the great and deep divide, we see that it’s much greener over there! So we jump in the car and drive right off the cliff! Duh! How many people must drive over the cliff before someone says, “STOP….you’re going to drive off the cliff and die!” Of course, we get out of the car and look over the edge of the cliff and then say, “Hey…you’re RIGHT.” Of course now, you’re saying, “But…I wanna go over there!” So then someone gets the idea of building a bridge across the “great divide” and everyone should be happy then….right? Wrong! They put up a “toll booth.” And now everyone that wants to cross the bridge must pay a Toll.

Come to think of it, that would only be fair, someone built the bridge, it cost them a lot of money, so now everyone pays a small toll fee to use the bridge. Only now, a lot of people start complaining, that they don’t want to have to pay the Toll. They don’t understand, it’s one way or the other! I don’t care how wonderful a person you think you are, you must still pay the toll to use the bridge.

Pride will make you lazy and leave you feeling you are worth more than you actually are and there is Scripture about this;

Romans 12:1-3: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”

Pride makes you believe you are more worthy than others, in almost every case that you come across, in the end it will leave you all alone. There is a saying, “He/her thought he/she was a legend in his/her own mind.” Sad to say, the young never understand this until they are much older and even then, some will still miss the point. If you don’t believe me, take a long, hard, look at those of Hollywood! Since the beginning, they have all thought they were so wonderful, so deserving of the adulation of their Fans. I like to think of that sort of pride, as the ultimate act of pride. The idea of raising oneself, so highly, above all others…it is shameful in the least!

Pride will make you lose track of who you really are. It will blind you to those things of God more worthy than your simple life. Some shove the things of God as far away as they can, because they are more concerned with being a God themselves. They commit acts in public that they know are wrong. They believe they are above the laws that should guide all of us. Then one day, sitting in front of a mirror, they see their own haggard faces, how drawn and old they have become.

They notice how their star image has lagged, their fans have fallen away; they feel old, ugly and all alone. And by then, they can’t remember how they first began, who they were back then. They have lost themselves all together! As I said before, the young seek this out, not understanding the life they are so willing to give-up and then end-up with nothing left of themselves. Some have come to this conclusion at a very young age; they have died from many different things. How sad to see the worthlessness of being famous! Never once do these people they think to ask “What does God think of me?”

Pride makes you lose your self-respect, as well as any respect you may have for others, relegating them to the new term for you, of them as the “little people.” So…is there anything you feel is prideful in you? Is there someone you hurt because of whatever idea, or that it made you feel better about yourself, whom have you stepped on lately? Or maybe you feel you deserve something more than others, so you decide to steal it. Hmm, feelingprideful now? You don’t deserve something that is not yours, but you want it and feel you deserve it more than another (as you are stealing this thing), whatever it-may-be.

Your pride has driven you to become a thief. Pride will make you think to yourself that you are too good to get your hands dirty through work. Prideor the lack thereof, as in self-respect, will have you feeling you should stand in line with your hand out, to receive what you have not worked for. Pridewill have you thinking that you should be cared for in every way, by those that are willing to work, when you and I both know that you should feel ashamed. There is Scripture to this effect as well;

2 Thessalonians 3:10-14: “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.”

Am I speaking about those that have lost their jobs, for whatever reason? NO! As long as there was nothing that person was doing that was wrong, of course. If you are old enough, then retire. If you are still young, find another job. (Don’t be concerned about the pay, the Lord will provide what you lack.) As long as you are doing what you KNOW is right and honest, according to the Lord, then you are covered by HIS promises from the Bible, IF you belong to HIM. IF you do NOT belong to HIM, you are on your own!