Between the Words ... Pastor Jim’s Perspectives on the Weekend Behind and the Week Yet to Come (August 19, 2019)

By Jim Garrett

August 19, 2019

The sermon from this weekend’s pulpit was about pride. The preacher made an interesting comment to the effect that, “Pride is the enemy of Joy.”

I must confess to you: I had to think about that for a little bit. Of course, we can all probably come up with MANY enemies of Joy BUT, as I thought deeper, I began to realize that the focus of the message was not on joy – or lack thereof—rather the focus was on pride.

Pride is defined as a sense of self-majesty (as directly opposed to a sense of “ruin”). In other words, it is a thinking more highly than one should or even higher than is true. And yes, pride and arrogance are proper translations BUT, we must realize that Biblical pride, especially in the Old Testament, is diametrically opposed to “ruin”. In other words, when we begin to read about pride going before the fall and pride leading to destruction, we should readily see that, because those two ends are exact opposites, the former quickly digresses to the latter; it is a natural degradation of thing – it is also the Law and the plan of God. So, it begins to make sense when we read Job 33:17 (NLT):He makes them turn from doing wrong; he keeps them from pride”. Doing wrong IS destruction – and when God is keeping us from pride, He is correspondingly keeping us from ruin and destruction.

So yes, Pride IS the enemy of joy – but it is also the enemy of contentment, peace, goodness, completeness, success, and much, much more. If we want these things, the joy, the contentment, the completeness, the success, and all these other things, we must walk absent of pride – but in humility before Him. I love to read this passage that refers to the result of a king, a leader of a nation, as he turned from his pride, as he faced the purpose of God, and as God protected him and ALL his people: “Then Hezekiah humbled himself and repented of his pride, as did the people of Jerusalem. So, the LORD’s anger did not fall on them during Hezekiah’s lifetime (2 Chr. 32:26 NLT).

May we walk NOT in pride – but in true humility.

On another note, I was thrilled this weekend by two separate events with our local church, OCF.

One, I was able to conduct my first OCF Baby Dedication. As we dedicated John-John, I was reminded of the responsibilities that are due for our children — and I am speaking to every parent, grandparent, great-grandparent and beyond. And I am also talking to the church. We ARE family. We ARE community. And we need to work together, pray together, and live together to teach our children about Jesus Christ well.

Two, I was able to baptize ten believers in the pond of one of our church members. Some were children, some were teens– there was even an adult. To hear the testimonies, to hear the shouts of respect and joy from the families, and to see the faces on several of these as they came out of the water– it was a fabulous experience and, as the pastor, I had the honor of being a part of it.

Lord, let me remember these experiences like they are new — every time I get to do this. Make it fresh. Make it like a first time all over again.

Pastor Jim

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