Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Worldliness Exposed - Part 4

Never fear, we're coming to the end! This one and perhaps one last closing conclusion will be the finish! After which, when I get to the end, PLEASE feel free to leave a comment or thoughts on the subject. Anything is welcome.
Well, what is the last issue involved in that infamous 'world' concept in 1 John 2:15-16? It is, as I mentioned, probably one of the hardest, biggest, and most complicated issues of the three, and I personally think probably the greatest of evils. John calls it, literally, "The pride of life."
Now I'm sure we all know what exactly pride is, I'm sure you may know it very well in some people yourself, most do. But for the record, I'm going to define it. Pride is being overly satisfied and impressed with something, and in this case, your own life. What is funny is that most all humans have this fault at some level or another (me hardly being the most humble, I freely and ashamedly admit), and indeed existed long before humanity did. Even before the beginning, when Satan rebelled, why so? Why would the second in command of all existence rebel against the First Command? It doesn't make sense! He had everything BUT the top throne, what else did he need? Exactly!
The very fact that Satan could not have the highest throne was the problem, the very statement that he was second best. Thus, pride in his own existence and life told him he didn't have to settle for that, and thus, he failed.

Since pride, not greed or lust (which are the other two evil categories off sin, remember?) felled Satan, its very probable and explainable how it plays the leading role in fallen humanity today. Naturally if Satan is at the bottom of the world's evil, what else but pride is itself at the heart of his world and the people who love that world? Sadly, though its considerably diminished in those of us who are graciously reborn, its not destroyed...and probably won't be entirely until the Last Day.
I'm not here to preach about how pride you are, or that its the problem. God knows I've problems enough myself in that area, I'm personally not as humble as I should be...Romans 2:1 is enough to keep me silent from telling you about that. But I do believe the concept that in all humanity, except the perfect ones (which aren't around here, unfortunately), some pride exists. That's just human nature.
Now, that being given, let's look into it. "We know what pride is, Alex, come on!" Yeah, I know that, its not hard to see. But let me pose to you this illustration: Suppose a teenage guy is attending a high school gets involved with a crowd of kids like himself, being a new kid there. He makes friends, earns a little friendship, becomes a member of the typical after-school gang, etc. However, he soon discovers that his friends smoke cigarettes freely, and not illegally (let's just suppose for the sake of this illustration that these kids CAN smoke legally, for the moment. To save complications.). When this group of friends discover that their new friend does NOT smoke, they begin to mock him, snicker, find it amusing, and consider him a 'sheltered child.' When this happens, and this new kid discovers he's not 'cool' enough for these kids, he feels hurt and perhaps angry. So, even though he does not want to smoke and has never had the desire to get involved in it...he starts doing it. And for no reason than to be worthy of his friends.
Now, of the three categories of worldly sin, which is this? Its not lust of any flesh...he had no desire to smoke for its own sake. Neither dose it gain him anything material or was brought about by any greed for anything other than his new friends' acceptance.
In short, this is a form of pride. This boy decides he doesn't deserve to be treated this way and hates being mocked and humiliated, and so, to save his self-respect, he gives in. The pride in his life and how others judge him destroyed his own will.
One more last example I'll bring up, from the Bible itself:
Here Jesus is teaching:
"The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi.'"

Hmmm, so what is Jesus saying here about the Pharisees? Obviously the Pharisees were of the world, there is no doubt of that. After all, these same people crucified their own God, and not only them, but most of Israel did not hear His words. But what was their sin, their evil? It wasn't a bodily desire or lust of flesh, obviously. Now Jesus does remark later on that the Pharisees DID love money, so perhaps they were involved certainly in Lust of the Eyes, but that's not what this is here...and nor did they kill Jesus for money or material gain.
So why did they love sitting in important seats and being respected, and hated Jesus when he dared undercut their reputations and authority? It was brought about by something that destroyed all of Israel later on...pride. They thought of themselves greatly, and when Jesus humbled them, for the love of their pride they crucified him.
So, then...based on these things, is the Pride of Life not only being proud in itself and thinking you're a pretty good person and even decent enough in certain things, but perhaps just desiring the praises of men as well? Not just being well thought of by yourself, but from others too, or desiring to be? Pride can also be apparently, when you're looking to be accepted, respected, or just hate being humbled and thrown off your own high seat in your mind. (Note: there's nothing wrong with desiring people's love, affection, or goodwill, that's not an issue here...I just mean personal respect for yourself. That's the issue.)
So then, the Pride of Life....thinking too much of yourself, that I'm a pretty decent and good enough guy on my own, or letting others puff me up to that point, or worse, wishing they would and wanting the praises and respect of men....all of which is pride in life.

SO. Now we've studied into and considered all three of the things make make up the world entirely, that we're so bidden to not love and avoid. The Lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. That being said, comments? Look for the last post on this subject next time!


  1. I would be truly honored if you gave your poetic advice on my blogs of poetry and follow them.

  2. Average Terran,

    I thank you for the offer, very much, and for reading and enjoying my studies here, but I fear I'm not much of a poet. Your blogs seem interesting though.


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