I pray that this week has been filled with God’s peace and some moments of joy for all of you. Perhaps you have had a bit of time to reflect back on the Fruits of Pride, and more importantly, on the humility that Jesus exemplified for us as we follow him.
I apologize again for missing the 11th Fruit on the list I shared on Sunday. I have corrected this and will make the complete list available for you! However, this becomes an opportunity to zoom in a bit on the “missing fruit” from Sunday’s sermon.
Although, in the country we live in, we are blessed with affluence and so many things, ( it seems most of us have at least 2 of everything we could possibly need), we are often the most discontent people in the world. Is that because we can always find someone who has more, or is it a deeper issue displaying an ungrateful spirit embedded in our character?
Hebrews 13:5 says, “ Let your character be free from the love of money, BEING CONTENT with what you have, for He himself has said, I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU”. This scripture reminds us that it is the sure presence of Christ that gives us true contentment, not money. Can we trust him to keep his promise and walk with us through every circumstance, or do we need financial blessings for him to prove his faithfulness?
Paul said in II Corinthian 12:10
"Therefore I am well CONTENT with weakness, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong”. He learned to be content when he felt weak and his circumstances seemed to him like constant failure and testing. Paul found contentment as he humbled himself, trusted God’s hand, and gave thanks in every circumstance."
When Jesus’ disciples argued over who should be first in his kingdom, he placed a child in their midst and said, “ unless you become like children….”.
As I have traveled to various countries in South and Central America, I have often observed the beautiful contentment of children in these places, many of them very poor. I have also found them very grateful for the smallest gift, a coin, some extra food left over when our American stomachs were filled, or even the gift of a smile and a moment of acknowledgement.
Dale Carnegie once said, “ SUCCESS IS GETTING WHAT YOU WANT, HAPPINESS IS WANTING WHAT YOU GET”. I pray that as we reflect on these truths, the Father will give us a spirit of contentment with his presence and a spirit of gratitude for what we already have.
THE FRUITS OF PRIDE
1. If you feel that others are not as spiritual as you are
2. If you are having difficulty getting along with someone.
3. If you think you are more important than others
4. If you feel you are given a task that is below you, and complain.
5. If you feel you are not given enough recognition
6. If you have a demanding spirit
7. If you thing you deserve what other people have
8. Feeling sorry for yourself, focusing on yourself
9. An unteachable spirit… “ I knew that”
10. If you love to point out errors in others, but ignore your own problems
11. If you are discontent with the life God has given you
12. If you always try to appear strong, not admitting weakness
13. Sarcastic humor
14. If you have an independent spirit “ I can handle it!”
15. Impatience/ Habitual tardiness. Both communicate that your schedule matters more to you than other people
16. Unforgiveness, not being willing to let go of offenses
17. If you hold others to a standard higher than your own
18. If you are embarrassed by other people’s mistakes
19. If you think a group you belong to is better than others
20. Prayerlessness, taking God’s presence for granted
21. BONUS.. If you think this list will apply to someone else!
Remember, if you are proud, God will not humble you. He will let you fall and make a mess of things. You must humble yourself. Humility is not putting yourself down, it’s being who you really are, without masks or pretense.