Posted on September 8, 2021 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters
“The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.”
Proverbs 8:13 (NKJV)
There’s this funny show on TV that always leaves me in stitches and it usually airs on a Friday night. It’s one of them “wrassling” shows who’s popular 3 initials I won’t use because of copyright infringements (last thing I need is a lawsuit), but it sure is funny. One of the main characters gets to stand in the middle of the wrassling ring, with a microphone, verbally berate his opponents and then tells them that, after they have their exhibition of pseudo feats of strength, they will, no wait, they MUST, acknowledge him. This usually leads to the crowd booing him. I guess that’s acknowledgment enough??? Hmm, anyway…
There’s this funny thing that my wife, in her infamous wisdom, pointed out to me one day, while we were discussing my future in ministry. It’s something that I hadn’t thought about much in recent terms but it sure was something that I suffered from in my backwater days. It’s “the need to be recognized” (Can anyone say “Acknowledge Me”? Makes me sound like a wrassler don’t it). Now I have done a Google search of myself and if you tie in my name with Freedom Fighter, I come up right away, but without the tie-in, the search for me takes a whole lotta clickin’ that I found out (after 20 pages of searching) wasn’t really worth it. I guess that’s recognition enough??? Hmm, anyway…
There was another dude who was like the two examples that I’ve just shared. In the Old Testament days, this guy was so puffed up about himself that he thought he could use a nations army to wipe out an entire ethnicity of people with the simple stroke of a king’s decree. His name was Haman (hisssssss) and we find his story in the Book of Esther.
“So Haman came in, and the king asked him, “What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor?” Now Haman thought in his heart, “Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?” (Esther 6:6)
Now, I’ve seen Esther at Sight and Sound in Lancaster PA, and it was a pleasure to hear the tone of Haman while he answered the king. I gotta tell ya it was so me that I literally wanted the royal robes draped over the royal horse while I was wearing the royal crown as the royal nobles lead me through the town square “proclaiming before him: Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor.” (Esther 6:9d)
In other words…ACKNOWLEDGE ME!! But that’ll never happen and didn’t happen for Haman, but for a Jew named Mordecai it did. Funny thing about Haman, his pride so fueled his hatred for the Jews of his time so much, that the way he wanted Mordecai to die would be the way he would meet his own fate. So, I guess Solomon’s proverb rings true, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)
In Luke 18:9-14, we read about the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. Jesus being the master storyteller gives a simple view of what it looks like when we stand in the middle of the ring, with two different views of ourselves. We could be like the wacky Pharisee and confess to the world that “I do all the right things, all the time, every time and praise God that I’m not like this pathetic loser next to me.” Or we could simply hang our heads in humility, beat upon our hearts and acknowledge our need for God’s mercy… “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 18:14)
I had the privilege to hang with a few good men from Fellowship Bible Church in Sewell NJ this past Saturday morning (Pray for that area because an EF-3 tornado really did its damage to the community). Pride and Self-Pity (or pride in reverse, as author Mark Shaw puts it) were the topics over coffee that morning. As the conversation was getting intense, Brother Ed, who was seated right next to me made this observation. “It’ll be the humble that gets the recognition.” (mic drop) I gotta say that I’m really appreciating this Ed guy, even if there was that moment of “OUCH”
Before Jesus, I was like Haman, an obnoxious boaster of self, when Jesus came into my heart things changed, however there lingered a testimony that said, “Look at what Jesus did for ME. See how much better I AM” and I would leave it there. As time has past the road has gotten narrower and I am finding out more and more how much I don’t deserve what Jesus gave me. Instead, I need to beat my chest, ask for mercy and in all my ways “Acknowledge Him.” How about you?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a husband, a father, has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can e-mail at email@example.com.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: 7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 1 John 4:7-8