Please Don't Feed the Monster

"You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”  Genesis 4:7

Growing up, I was a pretty good kid:  made good grades, followed the rules, read my Bible every day, didn't always wash behind my ears, but I wanted to do my best in everything.  I was often the teacher's pet, too, and basked in the glory.

People told me I was a good kid.  After hearing that I was a good kid several hundred times, it became apparent that others, including my teachers, believed I could do no wrong.  Au contraire pierre . . .

Little did they know they were feeding the monster.

By the time high school came around and knowing I would get away scot free, I decided to pick on a boy who sat in front of me in Driver's Education class.  I reasoned that he had it coming.  He had picked on me and others for years.  I was just righting the wrong.  So, when he got up from his seat, I would move his desk as he was about to sit down, or write on the back of his neck, or take a straw and blow in his hair.  Each time he complained, the coach teaching our Driver's Education class just dismissed him, telling him to sit down, behave and leave me alone.

There are a great many lessons here, but the one I want to focus on is the ease with which the monster, Pride, can grow in our lives.  It has a very slow metabolism, so just a little snack can make it nice and fat.  A couple of feedings and this monster is not making it through the door!

Have you ever noticed that?

There is a delicate balance between pride and realistic confidence in who God made us to be, and that difference is dependence.  God wants us to be completely dependent upon Him.  Independence is the world's way, but it's not God's way.  Independence leads us to have an unrealistic over-confidence in ourselves--pride.  It's an ugly thing, and we often don't even realize just how ugly we are to others.

We have to remind ourselves every day that God is the source of all good things (James 1:17).  He is the vine and we are the branches (John 15:5).  We can do all things through Him (Philippians 4:13), but apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5).

You'll be happy to know that the coach in my Driver's Education class finally found me out, and the pain of his disappointment still stings.  I apologized to the boy sitting in front of me, too.

I've found that if I don't want the monster, Pride, to grow, I have to surrender my life, my selfish ways  not just each morning--but each moment--to Jesus!  I can't feed the monster snacks when someone pays me a small compliment, does me wrong, or when I really want to have my own way.  I have to feed the Holy Spirit within me, and when I do, life's cares become as light as a feather . . . a true reflection of His Spirit . . . and He teaches me.

I'm so grateful He's still teaching me.  I have an awful lot to learn.

Goodnight, Runners.


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