Sermons

Summary: The main way in which we Edge God out of our lives is through pride and fear. Let us examine if we have this problem and if we have how to deal with it

Edging God Out through Pride and Fear

It is almost the end of your second module. The freshers’ night is long over. Yet, permit me to start today by picking on the Freshers a little bit. For those of you who no more consider yourselves as freshers, please try to look back to a time when you were a fresher in this campus.

I would like you to think about your emotional journey when you first came to SAIACS. Great institution. You have heard many great stories about the institution and that is why you applied here. For many of you , it was a dream destination for Theological studies. So among all other emotions that you had about finally making it here, would I be wrong if I say that we had a little bit of pride about the fact that we made it here? Weren’t we a bit proud of our accomplishment? I will leave you to think about that to yourselves.

But you also know that as you progressed into the second module, as you understood what is plagiarism and how serious it could be for your academic career, as you came to understand the rules set out by the academic dean and the student dean and the chef and the librarian and the campus manager and the chaplain etc etc, as you started getting your first assignments for the second module, the first wave of pride that you felt would have given way to something else. Some of the other emotions could have been anger, skepticism etc. But among the many emotions you have felt, would I be wrong in suggesting that there was a hint of fear in us? Especially regarding the assignments?

Pride and Fear. Do we have them? If you don’t have those emotions, you don’t need to listen to this message anymore, but if we have those emotions, let us look at what message the Lord brings to us about them today, shall we?

So what is wrong with Pride and Fear? Is there anything wrong with being proud of getting admission to a premier Theological Institute? Is there anything wring in being fearful about the grades? On the surface of it, not much right? But let us think again?

We ran a program called lead like Jesus during the last two Saturdays for some of the students and staff members . Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges, who co-authored the book Lead Like Jesus, says that Pride and Fear if left unchecked can lead to EGO. Are they right?

Last evening when I was preparing for this message, my wife asked me. “What are you going to speak on?.” I said EGO. She smiled and said, “ Oh.. that should be easy for you. Isn’t it? “ I responded naively, “Yes I have enough material for the message”. She smiled again. That is when it hit me. She wasn’t referring to me having enough material to prepare a sermon on ego. She was pointing to my own Ego. She was referring to the fact that I had plenty of it. And she knows it best. I have been a successful corporate executive. Wherever I have been posted in the corporate world, I have succeeded, and I have contributed significantly to the growth of the unit. When I was the manufacturing head, I have been able to grew the volumes multi fold. When I was the Quality Head, I was able to get international recognitions for the company. When I was the L&D head, I was able to grow the learning penetration multifold and gain international recognition and awards for the organisation many times. So am I proud of them? Sure I am. About 12 years back I shifted to Bangalore and a small congregation approached me to take leadership of them. I thought it should be easy for me. After all, I have been associated with growth wherever I went, so, how difficult could it be to manage and grow a church in a progressive city like Bangalore? So, I took the leadership, and started applying all my corporate wisdom and strategies for growth to the church. Within three years, the membership of the congregation came down to one third of what we started with, the founders left the congregation, and we were faced with some difficult decisions. To continue or not to continue? I tried different things, brought in new people, but could not sustain the growth at all.

What was the problem? The problem was my pride and fear. Through my pride and fear, I was Edging God Out of the equation and trying to rely on my own strength and wisdom for the congregation. Edging God Out. That is the EGO that Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges talk about in their book Lead Like Jesus. EGO: Edging God Out through pride and fear.

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