Monday, December 26, 2016

Pride and Lovelessness

When pride comes, then comes shame;
But with the humble is wisdom.
Proverbs 11:2

Most sin brings the opposite of what it desires.  The desire to be loved is good, but seeking that love in places aside from the Lord brings loneliness.  The desire for food is good, but gluttony brings physical discomfort and unhealthiness.   Pride is characterized by having an overly inflated sense of self-value or self-importance.  While the ultimate statement of our worth and value are found only the Lord’s evaluation of us at the cross, seeking to find that value elsewhere brings only hollow shame and disgrace.  However, humility stands in stark opposition to that.  Biblical humility seeks to understand Who God is and then understands ourselves in relationship to His greatness and glory.  This alone brings us to a place of true wisdom, for there is no reason for self-glorification.  This spares us the embarrassment that comes from finding out the reality of our limitations.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Love Conquers All

Hatred stirs up strife,
But love covers all sins.
Proverbs 10:12

Reality TV has had a great amount of success.  It is often surrounding a great deal of intrigue, back-stabbing, and open conflict.  There is something in us that is drawn to conflict – that longs to repeat a nasty tale about someone else.  Furthermore, that same part of us will be drawn quite regularly to take any offense against us (actual or perceived) and begin a larger conflict.  Here, however, we see an important characteristic of godly love.  It is not loving to cause strife and conflict.  The word used for “strife” here shares a root with the word for brawling.  It is hatred that motivates us to cause and exacerbate discord and conflict.  Love, however, seeks to conceal the shortcomings of others.  This is not about hiding sin, or going easy on sin, but it does have very much to do with not letting the shortcomings of others destroy relationships.  As we love one another with God’s kind of love we will seek to cover the shame of the sins of our brothers and sisters – not publicize it and use it as an opportunity to cause more disagreement.