The Power of a Humble Life
Talk began with video excerpt from Brian Regan’s standup, “I Walked on the Moon.”
In the clip that you just watched, he asked, I think, a very pertinent question. And that is, what is it about the human condition that causes us to want to “one-up” someone else all the time? What is it that causes us to, and it makes us feel superior to others? What causes us to always compare ourselves to other people and why is it we’re always worrying about what other people think about us? You know, this is what’s called the pride of life. C.S. Lewis is, I think most of you are familiar with, says, we have this great flaw. All of us have this great flaw within each of us, and though we see it in other people, and we loathe it, we have a hard time seeing it in our own lives. He says it’s like a spiritual cancer that eats up our souls. It keeps us, he says, from being able to love, or ever find any real contentment in life. And, you’re probably thinking, because this comes up a good bit whenever I talk about the issue of pride, is, isn’t there a positive side to pride? And there is. There are two definitions. The first is, “justifiable self-respect”. It’s the idea of taking pride in what you do. Seeking to be the very best you can be in what you do, and that’s a positive definition of pride. But what I’m going to be talking to you this morning about is, the simple definition of pride as arrogance. Or self-conceit, but the Greeks called it hubris. To have a too high view of yourself. And Lewis goes on to say that pride, if you really want to get to the heart of it, is really kind of, it’s competitive, so to speak. He says it’s rooted in comparison, where a person wants to be better and superior to you. He says, “We are proud of being wealthier, or better-looking, or more successful, or more intelligent, than the other person.” He kind of puts it this way. It’s not that I want to be more successful, or let me put it this way, it’s not that I want to be the most successful person in the world. I just want to be more successful than all of you guys.
You see, that’s the heart of pride. It’s a comparison, and, as I share this morning, I think what you’ll see is what it’s capable of doing to us, as men. Now, let me share with you some really good insight on this problem. There was a guy by the name of Ernest Becker who was a very famous anthropologist. He was an atheist most of his life. Apparently, he may have come back to his Jewish roots at the end of his life, but he wrote a book that most people consider one of the great pieces of non-fiction of the 20th century. It was called The Denial of Death, and it won a Pulitzer Prize. But in the book, he makes this observation, that we all, all of us have a great need for what he calls “cosmic significance”. And he says, what we look for in this cosmic significance is what we, as men, build our identity around. In other words, we have this great need that our lives really matter. That our lives have significance of some sort. When you read the Bible, there is a word that’s used often, and it’s the word “glory” and glory means importance and worth. It means “to matter”.
Tim Keller says that all of us are starved for glory because we have this deep sense in our souls that our lives just don’t really matter. He says the worst thing for a human being is not to be disliked, or to be vilified. He says the worst thing for us, particularly for us as men, is to be ignored. To be overlooked. To feel like my life is just not very significant. And he says, this is why, in the deepest recesses of our hearts, we are seeking for glory out in the world. Out in our sphere of influence. And this is why so many men have instability in their hearts because they are desperately seeking to impress and win the approval of others. And, for this reason, and we see this often in our work, we as men are constantly looking for ways to convince the world, and ourselves, that we matter, and that our lives are really important.
There was an interesting interview in Vogue magazine a number of years ago with Madonna. I mean, here’s a person that’s famous, wealthy, I think has sung at the Super Bowl. Listen to what she says in this interview. “I have an iron will and all of my will has always been to conquer some horrible feeling of inadequacy. I push past one spell of it, and discover myself as a special human being, and then I get to another stage and think I’m mediocre and uninteresting. Again, and again, my drive in life is from this horrible fear of being mediocre. Of being unimportant. And that always is pushing me, pushing me, because, even though I’ve been somebody in the eyes of others, I still have to prove that I’m somebody. My struggle over this has never ended and it probably never will.” Do you hear what she’s saying? Here’s this famous rock star, who has this great fear of being mediocre, of not mattering to anyone, of being overlooked, to losing her status as a rock star icon.
And you know we all face this dilemma deep within our souls. So, what does a person do? What am I supposed to do? Without realizing it, guys, we take matters into our own hands. We’re always seeking to glorify ourselves. We have this unending quest to prove to the world that our lives matter and that we’re important. And what better way to do that than to prove that I’m better or superior to those people around me? You see, this is the heart of pride. This is what arrogance really is, and the problem, Lewis says, is that we’re just not even aware of it in our own lives. Now, what I want to show you this morning is, what it can actually do to your life. And you’ll see it can easily cascade into each of our lives. I want to go back to C.S. Lewis. He says, “Pride has been the chief cause of misery in every nation, and in every family since the beginning of the world.” Now, guys, that’s a strong statement, but I think, as you’ll see, he’s absolutely right. G.K. Chesterton says, “Pride is a poison, so very poisonous that it not only poisons the virtues, it even poisons the other vices.” In the book that Steve mentioned, I talk about the four areas of our lives that are impacted by pride. I don’t have a lot of time this morning, so I’m going to just touch on each of them. But, first and foremost, it so easily erodes a man’s character. You see, it causes us to be impostors in life. We become guilty of duplicity. I don’t know if you know that word, duplicity, it means “a contradictory double-ness of false speech or action.” It’s hiding one’s true intentions by deceptive words or actions. And if you’re guilty of duplicity, then in all likelihood, you don’t have a lot of integrity, because integrity means to have a unified soul, where your thoughts and your words and your deeds are all aligned.
Dr. Peter Moore puts it this way about pride. “The proud, coming into a room full of people, don’t see other people with needs, problems, and life experiences to learn from. What they see is an audience. People to impress, to be admired by, and from whom to gain a measure of self-esteem. Because of their underlying insecurity, they tend to gravitate to those who radiate celebrity, charisma, power, and influence. These are the people who must be impressed and charmed, and by whom it is essential to be admired.” And then listen to what he says. “If personal values must be bent in the process, so be it.” So, it has an impact on our character. It erodes our character. The second thing it does, and this is huge. It keeps us, as men, from finding peace in this life.
David Brooks, I don’t know how familiar you are with him, he is a journalist, and he writes regularly in The New York Times, and he’s a terrific writer. He wrote a wonderful book called, The Road to Character. And he says that proud people are unstable because they attempt to establish their self-worth by winning the approval of others. And then he says this, and I quote out of the book, “It makes them utterly,” and I want you to think about your life in the community we live in, he says, “It makes them utterly dependent on the gossipy, unstable crowd that surrounds us in our community. For this reason, the proud person is very insecure and insecure people are very fearful. And that’s what robs men of having peace in their lives.”
You see, for most men, life is all about what I do, and how successful I am at what I do. And which causes us to wonder, well, what do you think about what I do? How do you rate me and my life? Which then leads to the great question that we all ask ourselves in the deep recesses of our hearts. What if I fail at what I do? What would that mean? What would you think about me then?
You see, guys, I truly believe that one of men’s’ greatest fears is the fear of failing. It’s like a psychological death for so many people, and the more arrogant you are, the more fear you have. I want to ask you two questions as you think about this. How different would your life be if you had no fear of failure at all? How different would your life be? And second, what would your life be like if you didn’t have to worry what people think about you? How would that change you? You see, I contend it would change you radically. It would change everything, but most significantly, it would transform your fear, your anxiety, into peace. Third, how does pride affect my life out in the workplace? You see, that’s where I think maybe it affects us, as men, more than in any other place. I mean, think of all the comparison that goes on at work. Think about the fact that most men today think that the true measure of a man is based on how much money they make, which, again, comes out of the workplace. Pride also impairs our ability to learn and grow because the proud think they know everything.
Dr. J.P. Kotter, who is a professor at Harvard Business School says, “Arrogant leaders generally over-evaluate their current performance and competitive position. They listen poorly and they learn slowly.” One of the greatest business books that I think has ever been written is Jim Collins’ book, Good to Great, which I think many of you probably are familiar with. I’m going to come back and refer to it in a few minutes, but after he wrote that book, he wrote another book, a really good book, and it’s called How the Mighty Fall. And what his team of researchers did was they went and they researched all these companies that at one time were great organizations, and yet, over time, they failed. They went bankrupt. They went under. Companies like Motorola. And what they realized is that all of these companies that failed go through five stages, and he says, the first stage is arrogance. Interesting. These are his words. “These companies came to regard their company’s success as an entitlement and they lose sight of the true underlying factors that led to the company’s success in the first place. They do not seek to continually improve their organization and they take the attitude, we will continue to keep things just the way they are and we’ll continue to be successful because we are such a great company.”
Now, finally, I want to talk about the real dark side of pride, because there is a real dark side to it. I don’t know how many of you remember the story of Mark and Lori Hacking. This happened about 10 years ago, and it never really made the press because there was never any kind of high profile trial because Mark Hacking pled guilty to killing his wife. But they were just a normal couple, or so it seemed. They had a great life together. He was studying to become a physician like his father and older brother who were very, very successful physicians in their communities. But what most people don’t know is he had dropped out of school, but he kept pretending like he was taking, he was studying to take these medical exams, when, in reality, he was basically hanging out in some of the neighborhood hangouts. And then he basically told his family he’d been accepted into medical school. I don’t know whether it was the University of North Carolina but it was a medical school in North Carolina and he and his wife moved. And he would have books out on the table. She was thinking he was going to school every day, and then eventually, he was found out. And she discovered that he was deceiving them all, and that he had never even graduated from college. And when she confronted him with it, instead of owning up to it, he killed her and tried to cover it up as if somebody had murdered her. And of course, they found him out, and he finally pleaded guilty. But his whole family, everybody that knew him, was shocked. But listen to what his father said, Douglas Hacking, the very prominent physician said. “Mark had two older brothers, who both were high achievers. He felt pressure to excel as well. And, as one of Mark’s best friends, Brian Hamilton, put it, ‘failure was just not an option for Mark.’” You see what happened? You see where pride fits in here? Mark Hacking compared himself to his older brothers. He believed if he was going to be a real man, like his brothers and his father, he needed to be a high achiever, and you see the dark side of pride is that this man was trying to live up to a standard and when he couldn’t, he used deception. And then he was even willing to kill his wife instead of being exposed for what was true. This is the dark side of pride.
Now, let me share one more that’s probably going to hit a little closer to home to all of us. I know there are a lot of fathers in here. Listen to what sociologist Anthony Campolo says. He says, “We will never know how many children have their lives made miserable by being pushed to achievements which make their parents look good. Children who are driven to psychological exhaustion for academic achievement often know that their labor is primarily to enhance the status of their parents. Behind the claims that the parents expect the children to do well, because success in school will increase their options, is the ugly reality that the achievements of the children visibly demonstrate the superiority of their parents.” The dark side of pride.
I wrote a blog a couple of months ago, and some of you I’m sure read it. I got most of the material from an article in The Atlantic magazine that was entitled, “The Palo Alto Suicides”. I don’t know what you know about Palo Alto California. It’s in the San Francisco Bay area, and Stanford, the great educational institution is located there, and a number of high-tech companies have their home offices there, like Tesla. And not surprisingly, Palo Alto is one of the wealthiest cities in the country and its residents are some of the most well-educated. For this reason, and the reason the article was written, is it was so perplexing that the ten-year suicide rate among students at the two high-achieving high schools in Palo Alto was four and five times higher than the national average, and that just baffled people. And most of these were what they called cluster suicides. In other words, multiple deaths in close succession. Now, there was a psychologist, Suniya Luthar, who taught at Arizona State, and she was quoted in the article. Listen to what she said. “It’s not uncommon for children in affluent families to experience a high rate of anxiety and depression. They feel a great deal of pressure to excel at multiple academic and extracurricular pursuits. They see themselves as,” and listen to this, “as catastrophically flawed if they don’t meet the highest standards of success.” But where does all that pressure come from? Well, the article says, from their parents. Why? The pride of life. We think our children’s achievements are a reflection on us. It’s the pride of life. You know, a shift has really taken place in our country. You go back 100, 125 years ago; a parent’s main objective for their children was to be people of strong character. And that’s all changed. Now it’s all about how well they perform out in the world.
I think Lewis might be right. Pride has been the chief cause of misery in every nation, in every family, since the world began. And I might add that God hates pride. In Isaiah 2, it says, “For the Lord of Hosts will have a day of reckoning against everyone who is proud and lofty, against everyone who is lifted up, that he may be abased.” In Proverbs 16:5, it says, “Everyone who is proud of heart is an abomination to the Lord, assuredly He will not go unpunished.” And there is a phrase that you see over and over in the New Testament. God is opposed to the proud. I don’t know about you guys, but that gets my attention, that God sees the pride of life as an abomination. And so, the question is, what do we do about this? How do we deal with this? And there is a simple answer. Humility. Humility.
You know, humility is something that I’m not sure that many people grasp and understand. And to be honest, I’m not sure that many men really want it. And one of the problems is that historically, humility has been linked to the word “meekness”, and, of course, meekness rhymes with the word “weakness”.
I don’t know of any fathers that say, I want my son to grow up and be meek. But if you understand what the word “meek” is, you might change your mind. It comes from the Greek word “praus” which means a powerful animal that knows how to restrain his power.
Go back to Jim Collins, in the book Good to Great. You remember what he said the key to these great companies, these companies that went from being really good companies to being the great companies of the world? He said they all, without exception, had what he calls “level five leaders”. You remember that? Level five leaders. He says, “these level five leaders are a study in duality. They are modest and willful. They are humble yet fearless. None of them desire to be business celebrities.” In Collins’ own words, he says, “These great business leaders were seemingly ordinary people, quietly producing extraordinary results.” What was the key to their greatness? He says, very clearly, they have this paradoxical blend of personal humility and profound professional will. Now, let me give you another insight into humility that I think you’ll appreciate. As I said a little while ago, the proud person compares himself to others and then gloats when he feels superior, and what he ends up doing is taking all the credit for the superiority he feels. It’s like that saying. Have you ever heard it? He was born on third base but somehow thinks he hit a triple.
You see, pride looks at life and takes credit for all the good things. Pride says, I accomplished it, I worked harder than anyone else, I deserve it, and I should receive all the glory. I think Drayton Nabers, in his book, The Case for Character, gives us some of the most insightful words about humility. He says, “Humility is a form of wisdom. It is thinking clearly. It is simply being realistic. It is knowing who really deserves the credit and the glory for what we do.” In the Old Testament, Moses says arrogance is looking at your life, is looking at your abilities, is looking at your achievements, and thinking in your heart, my strength, and my power and my ability has led to all of my success. This is pride. You see, humility helps you recognize that all you are and all that you have in life is first and foremost a gift from God and also, from the people who have contributed to your life.
Now, there is a story that I share a lot. Some of you have heard it. It’s in the book that I wrote, The True Measure of a Man, but this story is so pertinent to what we’re talking about, I just feel compelled to read it to you. It’s very powerful. Listen to it. It comes from the story is told by Steven Scott. He says, “My former church pastor, Dr. Jim Borrough while visiting a church in the northwest, was asked by a woman to meet with her husband, a multi-millionaire entrepreneur with thousands of employees. Although this man had tens of millions of dollars, and everything money could buy, he was unhappy, he was bitter, and he was cantankerous. No one liked being around him, and contention and strife followed him everywhere he went. He was disliked by all of his employees, and even his children, and his wife barely tolerated him. When he met the man, Dr. Borrough listened to him talk about his accomplishments and quickly realized that pride ruled this man’s heart. He claimed that he had single-handedly built his company from scratch. Even his parents hadn’t given him a dime. He had worked his way through college. Jim said, ‘so, you did everything by yourself?’ ‘Yep,’ the man replied. Jim repeated, ‘So, no one ever gave you anything?’ ‘Nothing,’ the man said. It’s a picture of someone taking all the credit for everything in his life. So, Jim said, ‘Well who changed your diapers? Who fed you as a baby? Who taught you how to read and write? Who gave you your first job after college? Who serves food in your company’s cafeteria? Who cleans the toilet in your company’s restrooms?’ The man hung his head in shame. Moments later, with tears in his eyes, he said, ‘well, now that I think about it, I haven’t accomplished anything by myself. Without the kindness and efforts of others, I probably wouldn’t have anything.’ Jim nodded and asked, ‘Well, don’t you think they deserve a little thanks?’ That man’s heart was transformed seemingly overnight. In the months that followed, he wrote thank you letters to every person he could think of who had made a contribution to his life and then he wrote thank you notes to every one of his 3,000 employees. He not only felt a deep sense of gratitude. He began to treat everyone around him with respect and appreciation. When Dr. Borrough visited him a year or two later, he could hardly recognize the man. Happiness and peace had replaced the anger and contention in his heart. He looked years younger. His employees loved him for treating them with honor and respect that true humility engenders.” You know, this is such a great story, guys, because, first and foremost, you see the dark side of arrogance and what it can do to a person’s life. You see what it can do to their relationships. This man, it says, was unhappy, bitter, and cantankerous. Nobody liked him, but most significantly, he took all the credit for their contribution to all of his accomplishments. And clearly, he had no awareness of the pride in his life. But, when he was confronted, and he looked reality in the eye, a major transformation took place in his life. It not only impacted his relationships, but notice, it changed him. You see, this is the power of a humble life.
In the book that’s coming out, I have about ten great leaders, and it’s very clear, many of them who you know, and it’s very clear that the heart of their success was their humility. So, the question that most people ask about this time, is, okay, how do I make that a reality in my own life. You see, pride comes very natural to us, and unfortunately, humility does not. You can’t just flip a switch and automatically say, all right, I’m going to be a humble man from now on. You see, pride is deeply ingrained in our very being as we seek to prove to the world that our lives matter. And therefore, to become humble, you have to become responsible for the humility that’s in your life. Now, let me put it another way. You have to become responsible to seek a humble life. Ultimately, guys, we are responsible, hear this, to cultivate a humble heart. It has to be cultivated.
There is a key phrase in both the Old and the New Testaments, and the phrase is “humble yourself”. Humble yourself. In II Chronicles, it says, “If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear them from Heaven, will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.”
In Matthew 18, Jesus says, “Whoever humbles himself as this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of God.” Three times in the Gospels, it says, “Humble yourself and you will be exalted.”
James says, “Humble yourself in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.”
Peter says, “Therefore, humble yourself under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you at the proper time.” Now, I’m sure that you are sitting there thinking, that sounds great, but what does it really mean to humble yourself?
Well, the Bible says there are several ways. I don’t have time to go into this with any depth at all. I’m just going to mention them very briefly. The first, in my opinion, I’ll say that again, in my opinion, is the most important. Remember, we said earlier, humility begins with the understanding of who gets the credit for all we are, all that we have, and all that we accomplish. When we believe it comes from ourselves and I’m so great, that’s where arrogance comes into our lives. However, when we see that all that we are and all that we have is a gift from God, it will keep us humble. But, you know what else it will do. It will cause you and your life to overflow with thanksgiving. You’ll be grateful. You’ll have a grateful heart. At the very end of King David’s life, at a time when the nation of Israel probably would have been the strongest, he had everything to gloat over. These are some of his last recorded words. “David blessed the Lord in the sight of the assembly and said, ‘Blessed are Thou, O God of Israel, our Father forever and ever. Thine O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty. Indeed, everything that is in the Heavens and the earth. Thine is the dominion O Lord, and Thou dost exalt Thyself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from Thee, and Thou dost rule over all, and in Thy hand is power and might, and it lies in Thy hand to make great and strengthen everyone. Now therefore, our God, we thank Thee, and we praise Your glorious Name.’” Guys, humble people are grateful people. They recognize who deserves the credit in their lives. Pride causes us to forget God. Thanksgiving is the way we remember Him and keep Him in His proper place in each of our lives.
A second way we’re humbled by Him, very clearly the Bible says, is the confession of sin. This is what Jesus says clearly in Luke 18 in the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. A third way is to live each day dependently upon Him, acknowledging your weakness, seeking His strength. You see this throughout the Psalms of David. The mighty warrior king. You consistently see him acknowledging his weaknesses and asking God to fill him with strength. And a final way we can humble ourselves, and I really like this, is something to really think about that Dallas Willard, the great philosopher professor says, and he calls it “the discipline of secrecy”. It’s based on Jesus’ teaching on The Sermon on the Mount, about keeping your good deeds secret. Willard, in his own words, says, “One of the great tragedies in our lives is the belief that all of our virtues and accomplishments need to be advertised. We have this deep yearning that they must be known.
The discipline of secrecy, right in practice, enables us to place all of our public relations in the hands of God.
By doing this, we allow Him to decide when our deeds need to be known. When we desire Godly secrecy, love and humility before God will develop to the point we will not only see our friends and family associates in a better light, but we will also develop the virtue of desiring their good above our own.”
You remember what C.S. Lewis said about pride? It’s like a spiritual cancer, so pride, basically, at its core, is spiritual. It seeks to be independent of God. Soren Kierkegaard, the famous Danish philosopher observed, that, “We all suffer from spiritual pride. This is where a person thinks that they can run their life, they can achieve prosperity, and they can find a purpose that is big enough to find meaning and they can accomplish all of this without God. The prideful heart of man causes them to believe, I do not need God in my life.” Could this be true of your life? Does God play an integral part of your life today, or do we keep Him kind of on a retainer over here for when we need Him? If you’ve ever read the four Gospels, Jesus says frequently, if you really want to find your life, if you really want to find your life, if you really want to find out who you really are as a man, and find out who you were meant to be, He says you have to lose your life to Him. He says, you have to die to yourself and you have to live for me, and when you do, He says you will find a life that I have for you. And this scares most men. This scares men. The thought of giving control of my life over to Him.
But I have to ask you something, guys. Are you really in control of much of anything?
Think about it. You had no control over where you were born. You could have been born in Bolivia and living there today. Did you have any control over the color of your skin, the color of your hair, your height, your weight? Did you have any control over the talents and the abilities that you were given? Do you have any control over the economy? Over the stock market? Over interest rates? Or whether we go into recession? And although you live healthy lives, in one sense, we don’t have control over cancer, or Alzheimer’s, or strokes. And what I’m realizing, is as my children get older and become more independent, I’m realizing that soon, I’m going to have little control over them. And they’ll be making their own decisions and choices and who knows whether they’ll make good choices or bad ones. And this is a biggie. We have no control over the aging process. It just keeps on rolling. And, in all probability, you don’t have any control over how and when you die. And finally, when you do die, you’re going to experience the loss of everything that you gained in this life, so you have to ask yourself, what do I have control over? Christ invites every single one of us to entrust our lives into His hands, the one Who controls everything. And guys, that is the ultimate act of humility.
I leave you with a story and a couple of final quick thoughts. I’m assuming you know the name Andrew Carnegie. He was a Scottish American. He led the expansion of the steel industry back in the 19th century. Many identify him as one of the wealthiest Americans to ever live. This is from his biography.
“Andrew Carnegie was born in Dunfermline Scotland but grew up in Pittsburgh. When he was a young boy, he found his mother one day weeping in despair. Young Andrew tried to console his mother and urged her not to cry. He confidently assured her that one day he would be wealthy and that they would ride in a fine coach pulled by four fine horses. His mother replied, ‘Well that will do no good over here if no one in Dunfermline can see us.’ Andrew Carnegie made up his mind that day that he and his mother would make a grand entry into Dunfermline in a royal coach drawn by the finest horses so that the entire town could witness the event. He would show them. You see, making it big in Pittsburgh was not enough. He had to prove the family’s success in front of their hometown audience. A little over 30 years later, Andrew and his mother returned to Scotland. He had become one of the world’s richest men. The trip had been long planned with his mother and a select group of their friends. There was an official parade with the climax of the day being Carnegie’s bestowal of a new, beautiful library for the city of his birth. For he and his mother, this was a magnificent day of triumph. They both had longed to win the approval of an audience that they valued so much. The people of Dunfermline. Andrew Carnegie and his mother had shown them.”
Now, I share this story with you because, guys, whether you are aware of it or not, because of pride, we’re all seeking the approval of some audience. It’s not a matter of whether we have an audience, but who is our audience. You know what the real problem is, guys, is that we are allowing this audience to make the final verdict on our lives. We let this audience establish our identity as men. And you know what the real problem is? We’re seeking to impress the wrong audience. You see, you need to hear this. We were designed to live our lives so that the audience we seek to please first and foremost is God. And when you read about the life of C.S. Lewis, he got this, and he got is pretty quickly. He understood it. After he became a Christian, not only did he understand about the audience that he was there to serve, he completely, he says, “It transformed my identity.” As he read the Bible, he said he found a new way to establish his identity as a man. He called it, coming to terms with his real personality. These are his exact words.
“It involves losing yourself in relationship to the Creator. Until you have given yourself up to Him, you will not have a real self. And you know why? Because you’ll always be controlled by the opinion of others.” C.S. Lewis
You see, this is what pride does to us.
There was a great man in the Bible whose name was Joshua, and, in a pivotal moment in Israel’s history, he asked the people to choose the God that they would serve. And guys, I believe if he stood before us today, he would confront us with a similar choice. He would say, choose for yourselves today the God Whom you will serve. The god of wealth, the god of prestige and power, the god of pleasure, the god of achievement, but, as for me and my family, we are going to serve the Lord. And so, guys, I leave you with this thought today. Every single one of us must choose the God we are going to serve, and then we will have to live with all the consequences that flow from that choice.