Pride and Trust

March 30, 2010 at 8:59 am | Posted in Devotional thoughts, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Here are two recent devotional thoughts on trust and pride:

            Cathy and I have found ourselves in a position of having to purchase two cars in two months.  We are thankful for God’s supply, but we are stretched financially.  For most of our 28 years of marriage, we were in faith ministry or in small churches that couldn’t pay us much, so we have never had reserves of any size and have always lived by faith in the matter of finances.  However, in the past few years, we have done better financially and have begun to build some reserves.  Currently those are depleted.  Strange how that has played on my mind; what was the norm for years is now very uncomfortable.  Even though our reserves were saved just for occasions like this, now that they’re gone, I am nervous about losing the fridge or hot water heater, or that some other emergency need may come along.  Where is the trust in God I had for so many years?  How come it’s harder now than it used to be?  One financial principle I’ve often taught is that “a luxury once experienced becomes a necessity.”  I have made myself comfortable with a small financial reserve, and now I think I must always have one.  Last week I read this prayer of Agur from Proverbs 30:7-9, “Give me neither poverty nor riches . . . that I be not full and deny you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or that I be not in want and steal and profane the name of my God.”  It’s easy to see, even on my small scale, how riches can lure one from trust in God.

            Yesterday I read on the Desiring God blog that John Piper will be taking an eight month personal leave from his ministry.  In his own words, he said “I see several species of pride in my soul that, while they may not rise to the level of disqualifying me for ministry, grieve me, and have taken a toll on my relationship with Noël and others who are dear to me.”  And later he commented, “In 30 years, I have never let go of the passion for public productivity.”  What a warning to all who are in ministry.  Whether one is an internationally recognized speaker and author like Piper, or preacher in a mid-size church like me, or a solo pastor in a small church like I was for years, pride can creep in and ruin the ministry, the minister and those close to him.  I know the pride of the last two all too well.  No matter what level of ministry one is called to, “public productivity” can easily become the goal over pleasing God and faithfulness to his word.  May God protect us all.  May John Piper’s great example serve to encourage many, myself included, to seek God’s glory, our humility, and faithfulness to our true calling.  You can read Piper’s article here.

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