Tag Archives: Pride

Facing Giants

DAG1 Samuel 17:37 “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

We all will face giants at one time or another in our lives. We try to defeat these giants. It could be a giant of fear. It might be a giant of some type of personal sin that you fall into again and again. It might be the sin of pride, envy, lust or something else. Your giant might be one of addiction, something that has a grip on your life.

How do we deal with giants? The answer is in the Old Testament account of David and Goliath.

David boldly defeated the giant Goliath, armed only with a slingshot and five stones. The will of the Philistines was broken. The Israelites were reinvigorated. And it was all because a shepherd boy answered the call of God and cut down the giant.

What can we learn from this story about facing off with our own giants in life?

First, recognize that we all have giants. We all face severe hardships, seemingly insurmountable obstacles. We all have problems.

Second, realize that the battle belongs to the Lord. David told Goliath, “For the battle is the Lord‘s, and he will give you into our hand.” (1 Samuel 17:47). That is why giants defeat us again and again, because we face them in our own strength and we lose. We need to realize this is the Lord’s battle.

Finally, trust in the Lord. Don’t look at God in the light of your giant. Instead, look at your giant in the light of God.

Aim

In our stressful military world, we are often pushed and pulled in different ways. At times these ways be contradictory to previous instructions and require clarification and negotiation to sort it out. I think it’s fair to suggest that it can be demanding, frustrating and even aggravating at times. I would also suggest that at times we don’t respond as well as we could.

Matthew 22:36-40 reminds us, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”  (Leviticus 19:9-18, Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Mark 12:28-34, Luke 10:25-28)

When we find ourselves squeezed in stressful situations our aim is to respond the best way Jesus tells us. Love God, Love Neighbor. He knows that what is inside of us dictates what comes out of us. He want us to know that too.

aim-toothpaste

Like a tube of toothpaste, no matter how hard or softly it’s squeezed only toothpaste will come out.

If we love self over others, when squeezed, Pride, Arrogance, Abuse, Disobedience and Ungratefulness comes out of our spiritual tube (2 Timothy 3:1-5). But in contrast, if we love God over self and love our neighbor, when squeezed, Kindness, Graciousness, Truthfulness, Hospitality and Welcoming comes out (Galatians 5:22-23)

If you love your neighbor as yourself, you are doing well (James 2:8).

Aim for balancing Truth with Grace.

Antidote to Future Pride

Know, therefore, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness …” Deuteronomy 9:6

An immunization shot gives a weak form of a disease—not enough to do harm, but strong enough to cause our bodies to generate protective antibodies. In today’s reading, Moses implied that past sins, if confessed and learned from, can in a sense “immunize” us against future sins. The protection is not infallible, but the spiritual antibodies, as it were, formed by repentance can help keep us from similar or worse future sins, especially pride.

immunizationInstead, it’s all about God. He was the one leading Israel to victory. He was the one judging the wickedness of the Canaanites and decreeing their defeat. He was the one keeping His promises to the Patriarchs. There was no reason for the people to feel prideful.