Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | January 25, 2015

January 25, 2015 “Ego Deflation”

“First pride, then the crash—the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)

Good Morning and Blessed Lord’s Day Everyone!

It is interesting to me that with all the unrest reported in the world these days, the story that has garnered the most headlines and scrutiny in the United States these past two weeks has nothing to do with ISIS or the state of the economy. Rather, the media is voraciously focused on allegations that footballs used in the AFC championship game were under-inflated, giving the New England Patriots, (who won the game by a wide margin), an unfair advantage due to an infraction of specific NFL rules and standards. To date, no specific culpability has been forthcoming, so the controversy continues. At the heart of all this, I believe, is a matter of pride…team pride and individual pride. I don’t know how this particular overblown, or in this case, under-blown (pun intended) controversy shall eventually be resolved, if at all, but I do believe it serves as an example of the truth of this verse from Proverbs: “First pride, then the crash—the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.” Eventually, accountability will be demanded.

An overabundance of pride inevitably leads to a crash. Continuing with the football theme, I experienced this personally when I was playing football in a midget football league as a sixth-grader. I was the quarterback. My team was trailing 6-0 with little time left in the game and we were pinned deep in our own territory. The coach called me aside and instructed me to run a “Statue of Liberty” play…a fake pass where I hand off the ball to the halfback. He then said “no, no…kick it yourself.” What I heard was “keep it yourself”, which I did. Believe it or not, it resulted in a 98 yard touchdown, tying the game! I was on cloud nine with pride. Now we were just an extra point kick away from a win! Instead, I called for a quarterback sneak, wishing to cap off my recent, but short-lived glory with the winning score. I was stopped short of my goal, and the game ended in a tie instead of a win for us. My ego prevented us from a likely win. Talk about “ego deflation”!

In this world, no one greater than Jesus Christ ever walked the face of the earth, nor did any angel of heaven outshine him. Lucifer (Satan), brightest of the angels of heaven, beheld him and began to compare the matchless one with himself, and became jealous because of his own pride. Though he dwelt in the presence of the King of Glory, his thoughts were more focused on his own splendor than on that of his Lord. C.S. Lewis noted,

“In the midst of a world of light and love, of song and feast and dance, Lucifer could find nothing to think of more interesting than his own prestige.”   

Where are your own thoughts directed? One of my favorite hymns tells us where our thoughts should be directed. It’s first verse goes,“When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride.”  The Enemy who had succumbed to the allure of pride himself tried to tempt Jesus in the same fashion, but failed. Instead of pride, Christ chose the Cross, and for us, that has made all the difference in the world. Because he humbled himself, his the Name above every name, and eternal life is our inheritance if we humble ourselves before Him. Let’s pray!

O Lord God; Take my pride and turn it into humble obedience to You, for You alone are worthy of my adoration. I love You, my Lord and Master, and my greatest joy is to serve You. Hear my prayer, I ask this day, in Jesus’ Great Name. Amen!

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