With wonderment I began to see for the first time how truly selfish I was. Now the question was; what was I going to do about it?

Today’s Reading: Deuteronomy 17; Psalm 104; Isaiah 44; Revelation 14

Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” A second angel followed and said, “’Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,’ which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.-Revelation 14:6-8

The Book of Revelation is mystical and strange, but there is no mystery that it proclaims the glory of God over all. And like the entire Bible, it draws constant attention to God’s holiness and the importance of seeking restoration with God before the final day of judgement.

Lately I have wrestled with bad behavior of others which has both surprised and disappointed me. Fortunately, now, when I observe this “bad behavior,” I am learning to see myself, like in a mirror, one that I am not afraid to look at anymore.

You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. -Matthew 7:5

In the interest of time, due to a crazy week of home improvement colliding with travel plans on both ends and lots of work related opportunity and challenge (as usual); I have selected a page from the epilogue of a book I hope to be releasing next year.

I am able to speak with authority about selfishness and self righteousness, because I have struggled with this disease my entire life, and still do. What I am certain of is this: anytime my focus is more on me than on God or others, I am heading for trouble. This happens time and time again. Fortunately I have been rescued by God, and in His power I have hope of restoration, through the blood of Jesus Christ.

God please grant me the faith and power to surrender my will to yours. Amen.

Here is a page from “Wisdom of The Hidden Places; A Search For God”

American writer John W. Gardner once wrote: “Self pity is easily the most destructive of the non-pharmaceutical narcotics; it gives pleasure and separates the victim from reality.” Eventually I came to see that any focus on self, unchecked, was profoundly destructive, the basis for all that was evil; the very foundation of sin! Slowly, over time, I began to emerge from the poisonous fog of self obsession, trying to escape the prison of my narcissism — my alternative reality.

I was a cultural Christian drowning in the spiritual hydraulic of my narcissism only to be rescued by a collaboration of principled atheists and agnostics, true believers and the Holy Spirit. God was everywhere, even in the places he was not invited or rejected. His Spirit didn’t have to be embraced or even acknowledged, but it couldn’t be denied.

My story is not the proclamation of personal holiness, or a testimony of some great spiritual achievement, it is rather a story about a lost boy who struggled to find the love of an earthly father, who wrestled with grief, personal power and other powers while learning how to love.

I found my Heavenly Father in the end, but in no way do I consider myself better than anyone I have met along the way — I remain a sinner. The difference is this — I have been set free from my slavery to sin and have chosen to follow the righteous path; and only in God’s power, not my own, did this journey became possible.(Romans 6:6)

Through my father’s struggles and mine; and in the struggles of my children to find their place with God, I learned who I was, and who I was meant to be. As I began to rest more and more in God’s perfect will, I was less inclined to over-reach for the things of this world. That’s when everything finally started to fall into place. The more I learned to trust God, the greater my peace and joy. Situations that had once caused anxiety were now turning into anticipated opportunities to see God’s hand in my life.

You are [not] awesome!

Today’s reading: Numbers 4; Psalm 38; Song of Solomon 2; Hebrews 2

April 27th, 2016

pride puffed up

This is not meant to be mean nor an accusation, simply a truth that the deceiver would have us reject for a puffed up view of ourselves. You and I, we are not awesome. Psalm 38 is a great example of living by this truth.

David starts by acknowledging his wretchedness as he begs God not to chasten him in His hot displeasure. He then proceeds to address his hopeless condition, his self imposed troubles are too heavy for him. He proclaims God as his only hope, dismissing all the worldly places to turn to for refuge and help including his own self. As he stills himself, he begs God to hear him in the intensity of his troubles where a single slip leads to the advance of the enemy. He puts all his trust in God. Rejecting the world and himself. He needs God and he knows it. He knows God is the source for all good that he so desperately needs. Do you need God? 

Pride and Self Righteousness

Pride leads one to believe they do not need God. Self righteousness is the form of pride that takes this lie and projects it out in a way that attempts to steal what is God’s. Wherein self dares look out towards our fellows and up toward God as if to say “look at me.” 

Let’s define self righteousness in terms of God’s love. He so loved a wretch like me that He gave His only Son to save me while I was still a sinner. All the while He knew that I would take this amazing gift of His love and parade it around as if it was my own. He knew this and He still paid for me. He purchased me and you with His only Son. Praise God for His unconditional love! He is love! Self righteousness is pride that attempts to steal God’s goodness for ourselves. We are not worthy. (Revelation 4:11) Self righteousness is parading around as if you are a source of good. Do not be deceived. All good is from God. (James 1:17)

In George Whitfield’s famous sermon, Method of Grace, he describes self-righteousness as “the last idol taken out of your heart.” Many a scholar believe pride to be the great sin. Self righteousness then seems to be the worst sort of pride. Wretched and perverted stuff indeed. 


A false sense of ownership seems to be at the core of pride and self righteousness. You know your Bible and have understanding where another perhaps does not, are you doing better than they are? You gave that homeless person some food and shelter, you’re doing pretty well huh? No actually, God prepared that good work for you ahead of time. (Ephesians 2:8-10) It is His, not yours. (James 1:17) 

Did you know that the most used words in our language are I, me, my and mine? How ugly is that? Pride is to be hated. (Proverbs 8:13, Proverbs 16:5) Why does God hate pride? Why is God jealous? (Deuteronomy 4:24) Why does God guard His name jealously? (Ezekiel 39:25) God is love. If people are supposed to know we are His disciples by how we love (John 13:35), what happens when we try to have the source of that love point to us?


Extra credit:

  1. A simple exercise. Try to not use the words I, me, my or mine today.
  2. Self examination in pride. A checklist for self examination in pride: Manifestations of Pride from Exemplary Husband.
  3. Read George Whitefield’s sermon, Method of Grace, where he lays out the steps on how to obtain the peace that transcends all understanding among the devil’s worst attacks of self deception, including self righteousness.
  4. A question to wrestle with. Should we be praising each other? To win friends our culture points to praise and feeding another’s ego as go-to secrets to success, but what does the Bible say? Here’s one verse to consider in your study. Proverbs 29:5 What is the difference between praise and encouragement?
  5. Further readings on proprietorship in pride.
    1. All good is from God. What should we do when we receive false praise for good? One response to consider, redirect it to make sure it goes where it belongs by saying praise God
    2. God is sovereign. He owns it all. Learn this truth and be freed from the woes of comparison and jealousy.