Summary: To share how pride cons us into a life separate from God and how we must re-claim our relationship to Him!
Last week I share with you about The Thief Named Grudge and I do hope that by exposing Grudge that we all are better equipped to keep our him from robbing us of the valuable things he steals from our lives; Joy, Time, and of course our focus.
I believe it is a great thing that we were able to expose the thief named grudge but we have among us other criminals that we must expose as well. This morning I want to expose to you; “The Con Artist Named Pride”
What is a con artist anyway? I found a really fascinating video this past week that features various types con artists that are seeking help in a support group. Watch this with me and see if you may have been conned by any of these artists.
VIDEO: Con Artist Support Group.
A con artist is someone who is skilled and experienced at devising and executing scams and other fraudulent schemes. In worldly terms, the purpose is normally to get as much money from a victim as possible, but to do so in a way the victim actually believes they are getting a benefit.
This is exactly how Pride works in our lives. And I believe that the Con Artist Named Pride is even craftier than any of our professional Con Artists from our video. He creeps into our lives, makes us feel comfortable, befriends us, and all the while he is taking as much of us as he possibly can.
Some of you may be sitting here this morning thinking to yourself about how this message will not apply to you because you tell yourself that you are too good to allow pride to affect you and that you never have had any problems with Pride because you are better than everyone else.
What is pride? Pride means to act arrogantly; a high opinion of ones worth, self-conceit.
We all know people that by their actions we would nominate them as prideful people. But let us be careful because pride shows up even in the lives of every person sometimes without us even recognizing it.
Illustration: A young woman went to her pastor and said, "Pastor, I have a besetting sin, and I want your help. I come to church on Sunday and can’t help thinking I’m the prettiest girl in the congregation and I know I shouldn’t think that, but I can’t help it. I want you to help me with it." The pastor replied, "Mary, don’t worry about it. In your case it’s not a sin. It’s just a horrible mistake."
I want to share with you today a parable as for our Scripture. It is a parable that exposes the con artist Pride in all His glory.
Luke 18: 9-14 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
I enjoy the parables don’t you? We can look at them today and get the same message that they did over 2000 years ago. Jesus not only was talking to the disciples of the time but to us today as well. Jesus is talking to every one of us, who at times have been conned by Pride.
Pride cons us of many things really. Frist of all I believe that the Con Artist Named Pride can,……….
I. Con us into believing we are better than everyone else.
A. I think we would all would agree that the Pharisee in our parable believed this. I look at this parable and see something more than just what we read. I think about how this Pharisee may have gotten to this point and I see it happening in our world today.
1. Pharisees during this time were much like our pastors of today. They were considered to be the ones that understood God’s Laws and would share His wisdom and guidance to His followers.
2. I don’t share this with you because I want to elevate myself above anyone or to make myself sound important. I share this with you because I want you to understand that pastors, evangelists, priests, monks, and all the Billy Grahms are not perfect so please do not place them in such categories and become an accomplice to the Con Artist Named Pride.