Pride definitions / thinking about pride

Pride is a border wall that separates humanity from healing, inner peace, honest relationships, and spontaneous joy. Pride prevents true openness with others and hinders genuine heart-to-heart connections. It makes us hide much of who we really are.

Pride eliminates any need for gratitude. Why thank others for what you’ve done? Pride is exaggerated self-evaluation. Humility is honest self-evaluation.

Pride wants to look good even when things are bad. It wants appearance to supersede reality. Pride denies our need for mercy, forgiveness, and inner healing. Pride pursues praise but circumvents correction.

Much wrong is done and much good is avoided in attempts to protect pride. Pride fails to acknowledge (or even to recognize) the many things it doesn’t know. Pride and pretense are heavy burdens that are too often invisible to the people who carry them.

Pride is often unaligned with truth. It is dependent on illusion. In fact, pride is the fusion of ego and illusion. Pride always goes to great length to appear as strength. Pride fears truth! It prefers feeling good about self over being in line with reality.

Pride is based on boastful feelings (even if they are unspoken). Pride makes self-deception very difficult to detect. Pride is self-exaltation in your own eyes and/or in the eyes of others. Pride is the chain that keeps us locked in the prison of self.

Pride is a function of self-focus. When we focus away from self, we forget about our pride. Pride is the belief that “I have a right to do it my way.” It leads people away from wisdom into self-deception.

Institutionalized wrong continues because pride won’t let most people even admit that it is wrong. Pride confidently and blindly assumes that God is on our side.

Nobody could keep up their pride if suddenly everybody could hear all their thoughts. Pride and ego are often nothing more than a way to hide deep insecurities and feelings of guilt, behind a narcissistic show.

Conscience convicts and corrects. Pride promotes and praises. Conscience says confess your mistakes. Pride says hide them. Pride is a bulldozer unearthing everything that gets in its way. Between conscience and pride, conscience is the much better guide. Conscience continually calls us to cast down our pride and do right no matter what other people think. Pride and conscience play tug-of-war in the human heart. The side we pull for wins.

The “I’d” in “pride” takes over our lives. “I’d rather do it my way!” “I’d be embarrassed to do it differently.” Pride and arrogance are synonyms. Pride boasts not just in having or accomplishing something, but in having or accomplishing more than other people. Crack open pr”I”de and there’s a proud “I” in the middle.

Pride searches and strives for self-exaltation. Humility refuses to be entrapped in self-focus. Partaking of humble pie and humili-tea makes it easier to swallow our pride and to focus on serving others. Humility has no need to “show off.” Here’s the key to humility: Pride can’t long survive open and honest introspection.

Proud feelings are frequently faulty, overflowing with falsehood. Follow truth, not proud feelings. Pride, like sun glasses, blocks out much light.

Pride’s a coverup, a mask to hide our hurts, flaws, insecurity, guilt and shame. It keeps us from fully accepting God’s forgiveness. Pride is a poor substitute for awe and gratitude.

Love is patient. Pride is impatient. Love is kind. Pride is unkind. Love never fails. Pride always, eventually fails.

Pride turned Lucifer, the archangel, into Satan, the source of all evil. That’s dangerous stuff! You can’t follow pride and follow Jesus at the same time. Jesus said: “Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Me.”

Pride can only be maintained by seeing God as small. Awareness of God’s grandeur and power pulverizes pride. There can be no pride in God’s presence. Ego wants to hide God’s reality behind the pretense of religion.

Make pride break its stride and make ego let go. Walk in the Spirit’s freedom, forgiveness, spontaneity, joy, peace, and innocence. The Holy Spirit’s spontaneity that shines a spotlight on reality is a great threat to human pride.

It’s the role of the Holy Spirit (not the role of pride) to lead believers. Our role is to actively, humbly, and continually follow the Spirit’s leadership. (Romans 8:14.)

Obeying Jesus’ command to “Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you,” will help bring freedom from pride. Jesus said; “Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you.” Detractors are good for you (but bad for your pride).

In writing all this, I’ve been made very aware of something. Pride often keeps me focused on what I want and distracted from what God wants.

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Called to be disciples, not dependents!

Jesus never said to make dependents. He said to make disciples!

The one who controls the mic controls the church service. Why not let Jesus control the mic? If a church opened the mic for Jesus to prompt people to come and speak what He tells them, miracles would happen!If we really trusted Jesus to run a church service, no one would need to program or control it. Who can run a better church service, 1) the risen Jesus or 2) a professional pastor?

It’s good to believe theologically Jesus is alive, but, we also need to believe Jesus is functionally alive and let Him take over! The way church is normally conducted, there is no need for God to be actively involved. Pastors can run it all by themselves. However, I believe that the risen Jesus longs to freely flow through all Christ-followers to demonstrate His presence and spiritual gifts among them. If all Christians saw themselves as ministers of God’s word & His love, the impact of Christianity would be greatly expanded.

If someone had a “party” for you, but ignored you and had everyone sit in rows while one guy lectured about you, would you like it? Perhaps that’s how Jesus feels in church.

Religious tradition can be a cage keeping God on display, but safely away from interacting with or disrupting people’s lives. If a pastor would step aside, let go of control, and turn the meeting over to God, Jesus would run it. It’s an amazing thing to see!

How we need actual demonstrations of Christ’s presence, supernatural power, and love — and not just words about Him! The Holy Spirit was given to be continually flowing inner rivers, not an occasional drip. (John 7:38) Pentecost is how Christianity looks when a gathering of believers is in one accord and isn’t quenching the Holy Spirit.

We need Christianity that’s not made in America, Ethiopia, or China, but birthed from Heaven! The kingdom of Heaven isn’t just the after life, but also a present life Christians need to go after. Christian leadership is about character, humility, and anointing, not about titles, position, and protocol.

Do people need to be continually lectured about their parents, spouse, siblings, or best friends? Jesus is all of those to me!

In the Bible “the chief priests” and “teachers of the law” didn’t want Jesus to question how they did things. But questioning is okay. Christianity is chopped up into thousands of contradictory denominations and churches. Perhaps we need to directly follow Jesus.

God’s law motivates people to do good to avoid punishment, but grace motivates people to do good out of gratitude for forgiveness. Forgiveness (both forgiving others and being forgiven) is a wonderful enhancer of mental health

If we say that we are Christ-followers, but continually disobey Him, we aren’t really following Him. Live like your life is a priceless destiny, not a meaningless meander through time.

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Follow the Holy Spirit speaking in your conscience and through the Bible

Christ’s presence in the present moment is life’s most neglected present. When Christian’s meet, God wants to take control so He can manifest & demonstrate His kingdom (government) in their midst. Messages about Christ are good, but actual demonstrations of His presence are even more powerful. Words about Jesus are a very poor substitute for continually encountering and interacting with Jesus!

To learn about Christ with your mind is far different than personally experiencing Him with your heart and then following and obeying Him daily.
Religion’s about acknowledging certain beliefs. Christianity’s about believing in Jesus to the point of surrender and obedience to Him.

The Bible says those led by the Spirit are God’s children. To learn to be led by the Spirit begin by starting to obey your conscience. To ignore or disobey your conscience is to ignore or disobey God. As long as you disobey your conscience, guilt will trail you like a hound dog. To call yourself a Christian while you continually violate (or drown out) your conscience is to say one thing and do another. Shutting down your conscience is like driving at night with your head lights off.

The Bible puts it this way: “Confess your faults to one another.” “Walk in the light.” “Repent.” “Be does of the word, not hearers only.” The Bible says, “Quench not the Spirit.” To put out the Spirit’s fire in your heart or in a group is a major sin. Many Christians “fast” from the Bible; not Jeremiah: “When Your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight.” Don’t wait for a preacher to motivate you! Read the Bible daily and do what it says!

Christians need to be responsive to the Holy Spirit’s inner promptings. To stifle the Spirit is to spiritually suffocate.

Biblically Christians gathered with awe, celebration, joy, freedom, spontaneity, testimonies, spiritual gifts, and one anothering. If you don’t like passionate, heart-felt worship, led by the Holy Spirit, you might be uncomfortable in Heaven. It’s an amazing thing to let passionate love and adoration for the living Jesus rise up from within your heart and freely flow out in Spirit-prompted praise and worship.

Worship is heart-felt surrender to the living God. People who truly worship and adore the risen Jesus are transformed from within and can no longer enjoy violating His will. We need a Jesus epidemic — millions of people addicted to getting high on Jesus! Like the top on a bottle of pop, church too often keeps the Spirit’s fizz from breaking out and shaking things up. When the Holy Spirit is shut down, church is closed, even if it’s full of people.

Going to church earns you no gold stars, cash back, or reward points from God. The Protestants said they were refocusing the church on Scripture. Instead they focused it on preachers and sermons. However, to delegate your relationship with God to a religious professional says that it isn’t important enough for you to handle yourself.

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Warfare’s unfair

Warfare's unfair. 
It's a mauling bear,
Unfair to all it touches,
Slaying God's image,
Shredding His creation,
All the while claiming,
Justice, glory, and honor.
I agree with General Omar Bradly:
"As far as I am concerned, war itself is immoral.
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What would Jesus do? Speak boldly against religious leaders! Woes to help us whoa.

I’ve just finished reading Matthew and this time I have noticed something I never paid much attention to in my previous readings. Jesus is very hard on the religious leaders of His day and speaks out boldly against them.

Jesus asks “the teachers of the law,” “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts?” Later He asks “some Pharisees and teachers of the law,” “Why do you break the commands of God for the sake of your traditions?” Then He tells them: “You nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, ‘These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. They worship Me in vain: their teachings are merely human rules.'”

In Matthew, Jesus gives a series of seven “woes” to the “teachers of the law and Pharisees.” In the first “woe” He says, “You hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”

Here’s “woe” number two: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.”

In “woe” three, Jesus calls them, “You blind fools!” In “woe” four, Jesus says, “You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.”

In “woe” five, He tells them, “You hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.” “Woe” six states: “You hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”

“In “woe” seven, Jesus tells the religious leaders that they are “the descendants of those who murdered the prophets.” Then He calls them, “You snakes! You brood of vipers!”

Afterwards, Jesus tells His disciples, “Watch out that no one deceives you.” Earlier Jesus warned them to, “Be on your guard against the yeast (teaching) of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

Speaking of “the teachers of the law and the Pharisees,” Jesus said: “Everything they do is done for people to see . . . they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi” by others. But you are not to be called “Rabbi” because you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father’ for you have one Father and He is in Heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant.”

Perhaps those seven “woes” pronounced by Jesus should help us “whoa” and not blindly follow today’s religious leaders!

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What is/was “identity politics”?

“Identity politics” can be defined as putting a political focus on minority groups. That focus first began in America 400 years ago when Africans were brought to Jamestown, Virginia in 1619, identified as inferior, and then enslaved. Then European Americans began to pass more and more laws that focused more and more on oppressing blacks. Today the real “identity politics” is the focus on silence about the terrible injustice of America’s history of white supremacy..

“Identity politics” is even written in the American Constitution where “other persons” (meaning enslaved blacks) are labeled as inferior in “the 3/5 Clause.” Another example is the Supreme Court’s “separate but equal” ruling in 1896 which was violently enforced until the 1970s.

Labeling the call for full equality as “identity politics” ignores 350 years of blatant white supremacy in America. Meanwhile, celebrating our past culture that subjugated people through cruelty and brutality seems unkind, unjust, and unloving. Perhaps we should go beyond both those positions and work for true and full equality among all Americans.

For a nation to proclaim “We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights;” while legally trafficking men, women, and children was an amazing contradiction. Worshipping God while disrespecting people is hypocrisy.

Many are afraid to read black history because it exposes America’s legacy of human trafficking, terrorism, and white supremacy. The traditional way of thinking about race hasn’t healed America’s wounds. Find a fresh way to think about race in my book: Off the RACE Track–From Color Blind to Color Kind @
https://amzn.to/2XRLmgE.

If churches will talk about the Protestant Reformation (500 years ago), why not talk about American slavery (154 years ago)? My book can help you “speak the truth in love.”

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Pastor at the wheel or all auto parts working together?

Church? The pastor at the wheel or all the auto parts working together to follow the Spirit? When Christianity is dry and boring, that’s the brakes. Let’s take the brakes off of Jesus. We park our cars in the church parking lot and too often park our bodies and minds to passively sit in the church sanctuary.

When pastors use human control, they unintentionally shut down Jesus’ cruise control. It’s time to release the church’s parking brakes and train all Christ-followers to cruise with the risen Jesus. When church steps off the spiritual brakes, Christians will be in for the ride of their lives!

To brake the Holy Spirit is to break connection with the flowing of the power and presence of the living Jesus. When we brake the Holy Spirit, we break God’s heart. (Quench not the Spirit.) You will experience an amazing breakthrough in your life when you’re finally through braking the Holy Spirit.

A use-your-gifts-sermon that allows no time for hands-on training in using spiritual gifts, doesn’t help people use their gifts. Preaching “use your gifts” frustrates people if it doesn’t include a spiritual-gifts-gathering for practicing their gifts. Christianity needs Spiritual-Gifts-Gatherings (SGGs) when believers meet to use their gifts to mutually minister to one another.

An open mic in church seems like it would give the Holy Spirit much more freedom than the traditional one-man mic controller does. Just because sermons are traditional, doesn’t mean that they are God’s design for Christian worship. (See 1 Corinthians 14:26.) I don’t think God ever intended for a pastor to be His celebrity spokesperson to a local congregation. The Old Testament priestly hierarchy was replaced by the 50+ New Testament one another commands.

When we let the Holy Spirit brake us and break our rebellion against obeying God, joy will break out in our heart. Let go and let God turn on Jesus’ cruise control in your life. God’s power steering is reappearing. People are learning that a self-driven life is far less powerful than a Christ-driven life.

Perhaps a pastor should be a spiritual coach, serving people as they grow and not a one-person show. Let the Spirit be unrestrained, freely leading God’s people, flowing from each of them like rivers of living water.

Christian congregations are full of biblical insights, testimonies, and God’s wisdom. Why make God’s people an audience? When attending church distracts people from personally attending to the Holy Spirit’s direct leadership, it misfunctions.

Whoever sets the agenda is in charge. Should a person set the agenda for a church or should the risen Jesus? I love to see people spontaneously expressing their love for Jesus without following a script or church program.

For more: search for my book: Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word of the Bible–Ekklesia.

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