Pride can sneak up on any of us and blind us from the truth. In my bedroom above my bed, I have a painting of Jesus kneeling in the garden of Gethsemane. It is a reminder for me of how even Jesus didn’t abise His power and position.
The painting is one of three that my father painted while I was in the hospital after my accident. It was the first time he painted anything in decades. When I was younger he had many passions and hobbies that he devoted his time to.
- Building models
- Coaching soccer
- Riding motorcycles
However, after my accident, he never painted again, nor pursued any of his hobbies in his last days. In his last few months of life, the former army sergeant depended on me to help him get around the house. I can remember watching him and my mother both waste away as their bodies failed them.
I’m reminded of Job’s proclamation of how we come into this world with nothing and will take nothing with us (Job 1:21). Job lost everything, God humbled him and he still worshiped God.
Job’s legacy is to focus on what lasts, this world and everything in it is temporary, even our bodies will waste away (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). The first Adam came from the ground and returned to it, the second Adam (Jesus) came from God and returned to Him.
Jesus focused on God’s will and what lasts. Things don’t last, but they can leave a lasting impression on us and distract us from what’s eternal. Materialism (worldliness) gives us a false sense of worth because things are temporary.
God knew that worldliness leads to a decline in spiritual motives. Like success, things can cause us to become prideful when we don’t keep them in their place. God is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14).
God commands His people to worship Him alone. That is why He gave our Jewish stepfathers the Mitzvot, 613 commands to help God’s people worship Him alone. It is where we get our 10 Commandments from.
- Thou shalt not have not other gods before Me.
- Thou shall not make unto thee any graven images.
- Thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
- Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.
- Honor your father and mother.
- Thou shall not kill.
- Thou shall not commit adultery.
- Thou shall not steal.
- Thou shall not bear false witness.
- You shall not covet.
God gave His people the commandments to help separate His people from the world. The commandments help keep the creation and gifts in the right perspective. They help us keep God on His throne.
When our priorities get out of whack, God will humble us (Deuteronomy 8: 2-3). When we humble ourselves to God and His ways we will worship what is right. Humility helps us not worship other gods!
This weekend, like millions of other soccer fans around the world, I have soccer fever. Not only has the women’s World Cup begun, Lionel Messi had his first game in the United States.
Around the world, many fans worship soccer stars for their skills, success, and fame. Again, we see a spiritual battle working below the surface.
When I was younger, I learned how to play soccer in Italy; I haven’t played in years because of my accident. Pride has a way of puffing us up, even angels can lose focus and worship the wrong things (Isaiah 14:12-15, Ezekiel 28:12-18).