Sin's hidden evil.
I remember the old western movies for their end-all showdown in the middle of the sandy road. The weathered stores and home fronts outline the road creating a kind of wide alley where only two men could fit. These rugged men, dressed in leather and guns face each other a rock’s throw apart. The town is silent and hidden. Either man twitches one eye and bites down on a stogy. Only the brush of a dead bush rolls across the road – no one dear intervene.
As a reformed believer, I’ve been taught to stand-off like these rugged cowboys and stare in the face of pride. My goal is always to be the first one to shoot and of course, the more precise. Pride is the root of all sin and it must be mortified. This is native to the reformed.
Killing pride is a good thing. It is even necessary. But what if pride had a backside? What is the cowboy of pride had yet another side that was going unnoticed. Could we be staring down pride with our guns slinging and be targeting only one side? Could we be winning our fight against this evil all the while naive of its backside?
I know that I have.
After hours and hours of filling my head with Biblical wisdom from the old and new reformed preachers, I grew very anxious and strong to fight against pride. I mean, I turned into the cowboy of all cowboys. I was Clint Eastwood and would pillage pride from village to village. Killing the flesh was my motto. No, no, it was more than a motto. It was a way of life. I studied to find more and more sin in my heart and watched myself with that twitching eye ready to pull the trigger. I was my own worst enemy and greatest alley. I was a professional sin killer in my own life.
So what’s so bad about that? Well, simply put, I was so stuck on killing my pride that I was becoming more prideful. I was self absorbed. You see, we tend to get the wrong idea about pride. We think it only to be self adoration and self exaltation. But in reality, it is thinking of ourself too much. It is being consumed with me. So, pride could come in the exact opposite way – condemning and accusing yourself.
We humans move from one extreme to another. We find it hard to find the balance. Such is true for this human. I was so into killing my pride that I was always seeking my self. Sure, I was doing well by killing sin, but at the expense of adding to it. This is partly because the cowboy of pride was facing me. The backside is hidden. I didn’t see it.
Lately, my prayer has been to not be so concerned about myself, but rather be concerned about others – even if it means weeding out my own sin. I know that God will clean me up, so I need to quit trying to be the Holy Spirit. I’ll leave that to God. He does it better. I also pray that God will continue to help me find my sin and pull the trigger on it – from every angle.
Pride has a backside. Be aware of its hidden evil.