Friday, 11 January 2013 12:00

The Blind Side

Written by Tim Patrick

Blind-SideA recent movie that enjoyed great popularity was “The Blind Side.” This movie tells the true story of a young African American who went from homelessness to become an All American football player at Ole Miss. The story includes the football player plus a white family who took him in and provided nurture and a home.

The movie’s name could provide the plot for many who are involved in God’s work. I open my heart to allow you a brief glimpse. Last week I was asked to speak in a small church on Wednesday night. In preparing for that experience I had a humbling encounter with pride. Most all of us know Prov. 16:18 by heart or at least the truth. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” As I prepared for my speaking engagement I had a much needed encounter with the Holy Spirit.

As I prepared for the engagement I made several mistakes. First, I consulted my memory before consulting the Holy Spirit. I mentally ran through a list of sermons I had preached in the past. I was looking for the easy, fun sermon that did not require a great deal of preparation. Also, I chose the sermon that seemed appropriate for the occasion. Remember, this was done in my mind without consulting the Holy Spirit. I spent some time preparing the message when the Holy Spirit finally got my attention. The Holy Spirit changed my plans. (Don’t you regret, when that happens. Ha! Ha!)

The second mistake involved a lack of prayer. As I was preparing to leave for the church it dawned on me that I had not prayed for the congregation or myself. The Holy Spirit gave me another nudge that caused a case of spiritual anxiety. I feared, in my spirit, what would happen if God did not show up. What if God gave me what I prayed? (nothing) That scared me!

After making these two critical mistakes I spent a few minutes repenting and seeking the face of God. In this whole process the Holy Spirit had encouraged me to change my sermon topic and to change my heart before fulfilling my appointed assignment. My message was well received and the experience was positive. However, I had to see my blind side.

This experience reminded me that ministers are often blind to their pride. What does it look like?

  • There is the pride of making decisions without consulting the Holy Spirit.
  • There is the pride of planning activities without seeking God’s direction
  • There is the pride of feeling self- sufficient without seeking God’s help.
  • There is the pride of feeling ministerial superiority. It is possible for a minister to feel as if he is the only servant who hears God’s voice.
  • There is the pride of the condescending attitude. We can see ourselves, because of our calling, as having an edge on other members of the Body of Christ.
  • There is the pride of arrogant leadership. We can portray the attitude that we are always right.

The frightening thing about ministerial pride is that we can be blind to this side of our nature. In the testimony I shared above, there was a short period of time when I did not see the error of my ways. In churches, conflict often runs rampant because ministers and/or churches are blinded by pride. Pride can be defeated but it is a mouthful to swallow!

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