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Remembering the Problem of Pride

For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh,

the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—

comes not from the Father but from the world (1Jn 2:16).

It had been decided that we would add-on an in-law suite to the house, so my recently widowed father-in-law could move in with us. The construction was more than we bargained for. But for the kids, it was a grand adventure.

I remember one day in particular, they were quite young at the time, when we had given them a chore to pick up some scraps on the ground (a ruse to pre-occupy them while we were working on another project). As you would have it, we turned our back but for a moment and they quickly busied themselves with their own grand scheme. They apparently decided that the job we had given them was much too insignificant. They had a bigger plan in mind. So they climbed up on the forbidden platform and started building on their own.

Their young minds didn’t see the folly of their actions. Fortunately, nothing disastrous happened. They were caught, just in the nick of time. I disciplined them with a time out. One, for disobeying. And two, for arguing about it afterward.

Humans are often stubborn . . . willful . . . and proud. To a fault. Case in point: The Tower of Babel.

Even though it’s a quick read (found in Genesis 11:1-9), I won’t paste the entire account here (just a few highlights). It’s a fascinating read, to be sure. And it teaches us much about the human psyche.

God had instructed humans, on more than one occasion, to fill the earth (Gen 1:28; 9:1). They weren’t to remain all huddled up in one region. But, rather than follow God’s direction, they wanted to make a name for themselves (Gen 11:4). So, they willfully decided to build a tower, otherwise they might be scattered over the face of the whole earth (Gen 11:4), in direct opposition to God’s will.

But the Lord came down to see what they were up to (Gen 11:5). He could hardly overlook their offense. As any good parent knows, you can’t simply look the other way when you’ve been disobeyed. Disobedience, left unchecked, often leads to a greater offense. If you look the other way, there’s no end to what can happen next time. Who would know that better than God? So the Lord scattered them (Gen 11:8). His will being done, regardless of the sinful efforts of humans.

The Good Father stepped in and made them speak in different languages—complicating communication to prevent future conspiring. But, where there once was unity, there came a division-creating obstacle. (Yet another result of the Fall for God to reverse when He would renew all things.)

You don’t have to turn very many pages in the Bible to read several other accounts of blatant and willful disobedience. It’s the plague of choice.

Something for us to remember . . . as we make our way to Easter. Because that’s what made Easter necessary.

Father, Your patience toward us is astounding. As is Your goodness and grace. Forgive my stubborn pride. But, more than that, transform me. Make me new. And help me to make better, God-honoring choices.

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