Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Great Divider

This year Southern Baptists are debating over the issue of personal prayer language. LifeWay has recently published a report showing that Southern Baptists are split on this issue. There is great potential that the outcome of the convention this year will be greater division among Southern Baptists. Why have Southern Baptist leaders allowed personal prayer language to become such a divisive issue? Is it someone’s agenda, a lack of communication, or a commitment to uncompromising truth that has caused people to gear up for this theological battle? If this issue divides us, it is for one reason only, Pride.

There is no greater destroyer and divider of unity and peace than pride. Whether it be relationships in marriage, in a job, in a church, or in a denomination pride divides us. Pride shows itself when I make myself the measure others must live up to. If you don’t worship like me, pray like me, believe like me, look like me, think like me, and act like me then there is something wrong with you. Pride also sees people as expendable when it comes to getting your way. Pride also seeks position and power above purpose and patience. Pride is never wrong. Pride is also prayerless in it's daily activities. When attacked or criticized, pride fights back. Pride will always have the last word.

Pride must be defeated for there to be restoration in our relationships with God and other people. The first step is to admit that pride has been in control of your life. The second step is to repent of the damage your pride has caused. The next step is to surrender to the Lordship of Christ. Make Christ the measure and the focus of your life. The fourth step is to commit to spending time with God in prayer. The final step is to view yourself as a servant. Don’t see yourself as a reformer, a hero, a conqueror, a protector of theology, or a ruler but as a servant willing to give your life for others. When you become more concerned about God and other people, not yourself, marriages, churches, and denominations will experience restoration. My prayer is that every messenger that attends this convention will come with a servant’s heart and leave their pride at the door.

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