Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘arrogance’

I Did It My Way

Frank Sinatra’s song “My Way” is the epitome of arrogance.  However, he is not the only one who boasts of refusing to kneel but doing life his own way. 

Take Adam, for example.  God said “Don’t.”  But he did—did it his way.  And the world came crashing down on him.  Paradise lost, pain begun.  A life of hard work, sorrow, bereavement, and death.

And then there’s King Saul.  God said “Wait,” but he did it his way and offered the sacrifice he wasn’t entitled to perform.  Again, God said “wipe out the wicked Amalekites and all their possessions.”   But Saul did it his way, (1 Samuel 15) figuring he knew better than God.  That cost him his kingdom.  From there on, he was a paranoid shell of a man until he committed suicide.

Judas made a pretense of following Jesus but did it his way, helping himself to the contents of the group’s purse that he carried.  And when the opportunity came, he chose to make a name for himself by betraying the Innocent Man and Son of God to death.  What did it get him?  A crushing weight of guilt that drove him to suicide.

What’s the alternative ?  Psalm 1 paints a stark contrast between doing life “my way” or God’s way:

Blessed is the person who does not
follow the advice of wicked people,
take the path of sinners,
or join the company of mockers.

2  Rather, he delights in the teachings of the LORD
and reflects on his teachings day and night.

3  He is like a tree planted beside streams—
a tree that produces fruit in season
and whose leaves do not wither.
He succeeds in everything he does.
 
4  Wicked people are not like that.
Instead, they are like husks that the wind blows away.
5 That is why wicked people will not be able to stand in the judgment
and sinners will not be able to stand where righteous people gather.
6 The LORD knows the way of righteous people,
but the way of wicked people will end.

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Daniel for Our Day

Reading a book of the Bible in one sitting gives amazing perspective.  A view of the forest which we miss out on if we dive in prematurely. (Pardon the mixed metaphor.) The book of Daniel has amazing messages for today.  No, I’m not thinking primarily of all the prophesies with their strange creatures and the endless back-and-forth battles of the kings of the North and the South. 

Daniel is well-known in Sunday School stories, especially for his escape from the lion’s den and his friends’ from the fiery furnace.  But what is the significance of these stories and how do they fit together with each other and the other chapters of this book?  Too often “Bible stories” are told without showing how they fit into God’s one great story.

So what is Daniel all about?  Think of the three tests of faithfulness—refusing to eat the king’s food, worship the king’s image, or pray to the king instead of to God. 

Think of the three kings of this book who were forced to acknowledge that their power was nothing compared to God’s.  That their kingdoms could be removed like a puff of dust in the face of God’s eternal kingdom and almighty sovereignty which will demolish and outlast them all. 

This encourages me today when faced with arrogant rulers or powerful pressures to conform.  Like Daniel, I am a citizen of that Eternal Kingdom that will outlast them all.  I determine to be courageous and faithful like he was. 

Standing by a purpose true,
Heeding God’s command,
Honor them, the faithful few!
All hail to Daniel’s band!

Dare to be a Daniel,
Dare to stand alone!
Dare to have a purpose firm!
Dare to make it known.

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