Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
Your flip and callous arrogance in these things bothers me. You pass it off as a small thing, but it’s anything but that. Yeast, too, is a “small thing,” but it works its way through a whole batch of bread dough pretty fast. So get rid of this “yeast.” Our true identity is flat and plain, not puffed up with the wrong kind of ingredient. The Messiah, our Passover Lamb, has already been sacrificed for the Passover meal, and we are the Unraised Bread part of the Feast. So let’s live out our part in the Feast, not as raised bread swollen with the yeast of evil, but as flat bread—simple, genuine, unpretentious. 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 (MSG)
I know that these verses are identified in many translations of Paul’s letter as addressing sexual immorality in the Corinthian church; but today, God is speaking to me about the very personal sin of pride, and how it affects my whole being.
This week, for me, was about working through yet another layer of the sin of pride in my life. My experiences were not that of blatant boasting, arrogance, or puffed up behavior. My experiences showed me areas in my heart that I didn’t even realize were full of pride, hidden places of prejudice.
Since coming back from India, without my husband (yet again), pregnant, and with 2 preschoolers, I have struggled many ways. I’ve had to readjust to the time differences, the cultural differences, being a single parent (albeit temporarily), financial difficulty, etc. For the first two months the financial struggle was not as imminent, as I had a little bit of a cushion to manage our family’s needs and a chance to work on determining all of the potential options. But moving into the third month, our rather tiny missionary ‘income’ hasn’t been enough to cover the cost of our needs, which will only continue to grow as our family expands to include the new baby and my husband coming from overseas.
Our current financial situation has made us eligible for support from the government, which I am very grateful for. And, it also has put us in a position where, in the U.S., our family needs the same kind of help that the people we are serving in India also need.
A week full of not having enough money to buy diapers, having to tell my daughter that I couldn’t give her the juice or milk she was crying for, driving to and from the WIC office to apply for assistance, using my first set of WIC checks, running out of gas less than three miles from home…it has been one of the most humbling weeks of my life.
Yesterday, everything came to a head, and I began asking God what He has been trying to teach me from these experiences. He began showing me hidden pride. He showed me the pride that I’ve had in my heart that keeps telling me that I can do it all by myself, that I don’t need help, and more importantly that I don’t need His help. He showed me the pride that I’ve held onto believing that I am better than others who are in the same position that I am in, or worse off than me. He showed me the pride I’ve embraced when I stand in judgment over others’ circumstances in life and believe the lies of the enemy that those people are worth less than me because of their choices.
The reality is that Jesus came to Earth as a man to die, and raise up from the dead, for the sins of EVERY man, woman, or child. Every single human being on this earth is valuable in God’s eyes, whether they believe in Him or not. He doesn’t judge anyone’s circumstances; He calls EVERYONE through every experience. He yearns for relationship with ‘saint’ and ‘sinner’. He made His sacrifice for ALL.
And, what He asks of me is to lay my pride down at the foot of the cross, so that I can be free of the leaven of sin in my heart and so that I can learn how to truly love through Him.
Yesappa, Thank You for being my Passover Lamb. Please continue to reveal the leaven of sin in my heart. Take the leaven of pride from my heart today, so that I may be free from the ugliness it produces. Help me learn to be humble and true, unleavened bread for the feast. Help me learn to love, with authenticity. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Blessings – Julie (writing from the U.S.A.)
Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.