Sunday, December 6, 2009

Simple - Enough : Reprioritize

Here is this morning's sermon. You will need QuickTime to listen. Listen here.
Characteristics of a controller
  1. Controllers have a driving need to run the show and call the shots.
  2. Controllers have an inability to trust others.
  3. Controllers are fearful of having their flaws exposed and fear of being vulnerable.
  4. To keep this anxiety from overwhelming them, controllers try to control the people or things around them.

It is possible to control. It is possible to love. It is not possible to simultaneously control and love.

A biblical alternative to control is service

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many. –Matthew 20:28

Those who have learned the power of sincere, loving, and selfless service experience fulfillment in life.


There are people who use up their entire lives making money so they can enjoy the lives they have entirely used up. –Frederick Buechner

No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. –Matthew 6:24

A biblical alternative to possessions is contentment

Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.” Jesus replied, “Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?” Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” –Luke 12:13-15

Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. -1 Timothy 6:6-10

Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty. -Socrates


Pride - φυσιόω – phusio - To inflate or puff up

Pride is an unhealthy love of self.

It is better to lose your pride with someone you love rather than to lose that someone you love with your useless pride.

A Portrait of the Proud

  1. Are you tempted to sacrifice your own well being or that of others in order to maintain a certain reputation?
  2. Do you often compromise yourself and what you genuinely feel or believe in to preserve an image?
  3. Do you believe that people have less time, interest, affection, or respect for those without high capabilities?
  4. Do you feel lost, anxious, or alienated if a conversation moves away from things you can speak knowledgeably about?
  5. How do you feel when other people are talking about themselves? Do you find it hard to keep your mind from wandering? Do you get impatient or irritable? Do you want to want to direct the conversation back to yourself?
  6. Can your mood drop significantly when you hear that someone has achieved something you haven't?

A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you're looking down, you can't see something that's above you. –C.S. Lewis

Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. –Proverbs 11:2

A biblical alternative to pride is humility

Humble - Ταπεινός – tapeinos – modest and obedient

Humility is thinking of yourself the same way you would think of pretty much anybody else.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. –Philippians 2:5-8

Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real. -Thomas Merton

It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels. –St. Augustine


About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. -Matthew 18:1-4

A biblical alternative to prestige is integrity

Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. -Galatians 6:4

If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters. –Alan Simpson

There is never a wrong time to do the right thing.

Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not. –Robert Schuller

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