For those of you wanting to listen to today’s message, this link will guide you there. Enjoy!
To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
I’m going to start at the end of verse 13 because it’s something that people distort, and that is the word perverse. I’ve heard countless of narrowly focused people who determine that perverse speech only means curse words and vulgarities, such as kinky sex acts, for instance. The word perverse means awkward, illogical, unreasonable. It’s being deliberate and obstinate in one’s defiance to speak or behave in an appropriate way.
Think of the ways people can speak illogically and unreasonably about God, Jesus, religion, spirituality, our humanity, the creation of life, etc. We could deliberately choose to say, “There is no God, I am my own god” and for those of us who believe the opposite, we would see that speech as perverse. We can pervert (which means distort or corrupt) the facts and the truth. So can you see why the writer would hate perverse speech?
Now let’s consider the rest of verse 13…
Pride and arrogance are two things that many of us struggle with, and of that many, most don’t realize that they carry these boulders of burden. We quickly surmise that pride is the satisfaction of accomplishing or possessing things, qualities, etc. We can also have pride in others. We can be proud of the achievements others have made.
This is not the pride that is detested in the verse shared today. No, the pride here is the one where you’re too darn stubborn or embarrassed or insecure or emotionally drained to ask for help when you know you need it. Or when you won’t admit that you don’t know something or how to do something. You won’t ask the questions because in your mind you think the person will think your question is stupid or look at you in judgment because you should have the answers, and so you choose instead to search high and low by yourself rather than asking.
It’s like going to a library and avoiding the librarian and the card or computer index for answers. Instead you search book by book, row by row, looking for the one book you need. I’ve allowed pride to derail, stagnate, and disrupt my world too many times. I’ve struggled because of pride. The enemy uses pride to lie to you and convince you of all of the things I just mentioned. What you feel and process in your thoughts become the words you utter, then declare, then turn into action.
No different than the tool of arrogance that the enemy uses as a hammer to define you in “its” image. Arrogance voices “I know”. Arrogance says “I don’t need anyone’s help. I’m smarter and more capable of everyone I know”. Arrogance declares “There’s no one in the world doing what I’m doing, the way I’m doing it, and by the standards I’m doing it”. The enemy uses arrogance to convince you to think, believe, speak, and live out your life in the lie that you’re self-made, achieving all that you have all by yourself, everything you have is through your efforts.
Arrogance never gives credit to God, and even when there’s a semblance of credit, your efforts and power far surpass that which you have credited God for. It’s like saying, “God blessed me because I _____”.
Ummm God blessed you because He’s God; because He wanted to. He doesn’t need your permission or a checklist to determine when, where, or how to bless you. In that case, we would be able to manipulate and control Him. You breathe because He says so. You have because He makes it possible. You think by His authority.
God places people, things, and other resources at your disposal, but an arrogant person will swear they found or created these things and opportunities on their own.
When you separate yourself from Him, you align yourself with the enemy. There’s no third party candidate.
Don’t let the enemy grab ahold of your mind and make you into a fool. That’s what happens when we choose to be prideful and/or arrogant.
You have choices in life. You can choose to do right or wrong; cheat or be faithful; be abusive or be loving; be controlling or supportive; be honorable or dishonorable; dignified or act like a complete idiot; curse at someone or choose other words to express your disappointment or anger; lash out in anger or walk away in love; be prideful and suffer, or open and receptive; steal things or earn what you want; gossip or refrain from such chatter; be arrogant or give glory to God for all that we have…we all have a choice.
No one and nothing is forcing us to make a decision in life. We choose the words and actions we engage in each day. You can’t get away with the excuse, “The devil made me do it” because although you are always under constant attack by “it”, the decisions you make are solely yours, as are the repercussions. Don’t be like Adam and blame the serpent, Eve, and God for the choices that he made. Be responsible and accountable.
So what choices will you make today?
Father, thank You for this day, another day to express my gratitude and joy. Father, I want to be the idea You created me to be. I want to walk with the sense of dignity that comes from doing right, living right, speaking and acting in love, and placing You as my first priority.
I rebuke evil, pride, arrogance, infidelity, greed, lack, and other sinful ways. When I face these traps, Father, warm my heart but turn my head—so that I may lovingly walk away. In Jesus’ Name I pray to You and praise You. Amen.
Are you following Breaking Bread on social media? Please do. Like/follow/subscribe to BBWN on – Instagram – Facebook – Twitter
Copyright 2012-2022. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com