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Summary: Seven sins have been identified by the church as "deadly." What sets these sins apart from thousands of others? How does the sin of Pride affect our lives and our world?

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Luke 12:13-21 “Pride Goes Before a Fall”

INTRODUCTION

Often times when we read the stories of the Bible we can see ourselves in the characters. We might identify with Peter who always seemed to speak before he thought. Or perhaps, the father of the boy with epilepsy who cried out, “I believe, but help my unbelief.”

It is disconcerting, though, to identify ourselves with a person who is on the wrong side of the story. This is the case with this story of the rich fool. Who among us have not sat back (or wished to be able to) and said, “It’s been a great year, I think that I’m going to give myself a bonus and start up another IRA or go on a pleasure cruise.”

The rich fool is identified as greed and prideful. We share that moniker.

THE HISTORY OF PRIDE

All of the seven deadly sins—the core sins of life—are centered in self; they are built upon our selfishness and self-centeredness.

We read in the third chapter of Genesis that God created humankind and place our ancestors in the idyllic spot called the Garden of Eden. They had everything—but they wanted more. Satan’s temptation to Eve was not only that the fruit looked delicious, but also that she would be like God. Pride is the desire to be lord of our lives and to be served rather than serve.

Pride can be traced before the fall of Adam and Eve, back to the fall of Satan. The prophets speak of Satan’s pride and there is a tradition that Satan was God’s greatest created being, but he wasn’t satisfied at being number two. He wanted to be number one; he wanted to be God. His prided caused him to fall.

THE TROUBLE WITH PRIDE

The destructive force of pride is shown in this story of the rich fool. The problem was not because he was rich, and we must understand that this is not a story against success. The problem with the rich fool is that he was totally self-centered. He prided himself as the source of his success, and understood that he was to be the sole beneficiary of his success.

The man took no thought about God in his plans. His thought process was limited to what he wanted to do.

The man did not see himself as part of a community, and that he was interconnected with others. He thought of himself as separate and alone—beholding to no one. He did not consider sharing his riches with those in need or giving back to the community of which he was a part.

OPPOSITE OF PRIDE—HUMILITY

The opposite of pride is humility. Humility, however, is not a weakness of personality, or the unwillingness to accept credit for a job well done or for the success of a project.

Humility is seeing life from God’s perspective and walking in that reality.

· All that we are and have is a gift from God,

· Since everything is a gift, we should live lives of thanks and praise,

· We should also share what we have been given.

CONCLUSION

Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave, not so that we could be consumed by pride, but so that we could walk in a relationship with God. Part of that relationship is walking humbly before God and humankind.

Amen


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