Posts Tagged ‘Pride’

As we finish out this year, I had to share this video I saw on Facebook yesterday and probably not for the reason that you think. Watch it before you read on.

You probably found the video touching. Many people do. You may have thought it makes a good point. It does. It’s well made and overall, it’s compelling, and it has, on the surface a good message, so well done. Now here’s what’s wrong with it.

You may think the son is an ingrate. You’re right, he is. He’s a pretty awful human being, but his father is an idiot. (I can say that because he’s not real.) Here’s why. The father gave his son a tremendous gift, actually more than he asked for and had I done this and my son reacted that way, I would have no doubt been infuriated, However, I would have not missed the rest of my life with my son over a botched gift or an unfortunate moment of greedy stupidity. What kept this father and son apart for the rest of their lives? Pride. The sin that made the devil fall.

The father in this story was willing to lose a son over a car and far too many people have fallen to this level of idiocy in the real world. Oh we feel all bad for this father who was hurt by his terrible son, but what would have happened if the father flipped out and said, “The car key’s in the back of the journal you jerk.” Now the son apologizes, learns a valuable lesson and the father gets to forgive and spend the rest of his life with his son (who is now humbled and smarter for the future). Instead the father chose to lick his wounds, nurse his pitiful pride and lose his son over what? A car? It’s absurd.

When telling a story, it’s important to make sure you’re making the point you need to make. Pride and idiocy are best friends. The creators of the video were trying to make the point of gratitude and “don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” and they succeeded but in the process they missed the bigger point of the importance of being the bigger person. God said “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger” for a reason. As we close out this year, are there any broken relationships in your life that need healing. It starts by extending the grace we have received in Christ.

Don’t let pride make you an idiot.

Yesterday I had a great conversation. We talked art and ministry and a whole bunch of really cool stuff. We talked Christian arts organizations, the good the bad (maybe bad is the wrong word, more like differences), the ups and downs, ins and outs. It was a great conversation. I have to admit, somewhere along the way, I started to think, what do I have to do to be considered one of those upper echelon artist speakers? How many churches do I need to speak to before someone considers me to be a keynote at one of those larger events? How many blog posts? How many books do I need to write? Pride is ugly like that.

Fortunately, I was also in tune with the Spirit and I began to rebuke those thoughts. I don’t know if I’ll ever be in the upper echelon, but the matter at hand was the people at this beautiful camp in upstate New York. I did Pictures of Jesus, probably my favorite presentation, and it connected. The affirmations from the people were wonderful, but the sense from God was even better. I once again had the realization that I am doing what I was born to do and I felt His pleasure and His presence, maybe even a little “well done…”

Here’s the thing. I can’t pick my echelon. People will thrust that upon me I suppose. What I do get to pick is how faithful I will be. I get to make the most of the opportunities before me. I get to feel my Father’s pleasure. I get to see people touched and moved and blessed. I get to see a “hard earned” testimony bear fruit and some really painful memories begin to make sense in the context of God’s Kingdom. I get to see God move. I am meeting awesome amazing people and getting to see places I may never have seen had I not gotten into this ministry. Lastly, I am having fun.

I’m in God’s echelon. That’s enough for me.

How about you?

Why do you do what you do?
Is it for God
or is it for you?

As you paint the pic as you written story,
is it for you
or for His glory?

Is it for you a fame to call your own
or is it to know Him
and make Him known?

A weekend of soul searching has brought me to write this poem. I love to write and draw and create, but more than anything I want to know God deeply. Asking these questions has helped me to keep perspective.

I know this is for me, is it for you?

Why are you doing what you’re doing?

Why do you do what you do?

Okay this may sound like a sports story and as such it wouldn’t fit our usual topic. I think it does. It all started after the NFC Championship Game when Seattle Seahawks cornerback, Richard Sherman exploded in an interview. Evidently he felt he had been slighted by an opposing player and so he took the opportunity of this interview to remind said player that he got beat and to remind us all that he is the best cornerback in the game. I didn’t take a lot of offense to this, figuring it was the rant of an overly excited player and besides I’m old enough to remember Muhammed Ali telling us he was the greatest of all time. Not great sportsmanship but all part of the show.

For all intents and purposes, Richard Sherman is an impressive young man. He will, no doubt be regarded as one of the great cornerbacks in the game and he managed to get a degree from a pretty elite college, i.e. Stanford. In addition he has founded a pretty admirable charity. I watched another interview conducted later on, figuring I would give him the benefit of the doubt, and I have to admit this one concerned me. He was talking to a couple of sportscasters and I guess he didn’t like the way it was going because he went at one of the sportscasters, informing him about his degree from the prestigious institution and that he was “better at life” than this sportscaster. Is he better at life? I don’t know, he’s certainly more successful in his 24 years than I have been… but this interview showed me something I’ve long suspected, just because you have a degree from a prestigious institution doesn’t necessarily make you do smart things all the time.

What do I mean? Sherman’s degree is in communications. Now while I haven’t asked him about his future plans, my guess is, with this major, after his career playing football is over, he might be considering a career talking about football and that is where he could run into trouble. You see football is a blue collar game. It always has been. Probably the most blue collar sport that there is (with apologies to NASCAR). I’m more a blue collar guy and here’s what I know. The last thing we want to hear is, “I have a degree from _______ and I am better that you.” If sportscasting is in this young man’s future, he may want to think twice about this kind of statement.

What can we creatives learn from this? First pride will ALWAYS get you into trouble. It makes us act and speak without thinking. Second, let your accomplishments speak for themselves. Shooting your mouth off, rarely makes you look better. Lastly, anger rarely makes us smarter. This is why we’re told “In your anger, do not sin.”

I don’t sit in judgment of this young man. He is very accomplished and very young. I often behaved no better over far lesser accomplishments. I share these thoughts because they help me to remember to “check myself before I wreck myself.” I can still go there too. Pride is a dangerous thing.

How about you?

If you follow this blog, you know that I have been delving more and more into the field of pop art lately… what you may not know is why. Well I’ve been wondering about that myself lately. I think it goes with my mission.

Let me explain. A long time ago, near the beginning of my ministry, I was praying for some very distinct things, and I felt the Lord clearer than I have at most times say something very simple, “I want you to speak in words everyone understands.” I think it’s this simple, the message I have to share, the message of the Gospel is to important to be unclear. People shouldn’t have to guess what I mean. It’s the same way with art. I’ve been a cartoonist for years. I love the combination of words and pictures. The cartoon style sort of lends itself to pop art, but it’s more than that.

Guys like Andy Warhol started to do pop art as a reaction to the pretentiousness of the art world. They were making fine art out of the common. They were making art for everyman. Taking art from the gallery to the streets. Kind of the same thing we’re supposed to do with the Gospel. I love this style. It’s clean, clear and to the point. I want to do stuff that everybody understands because I want everyone to get the message. I believe it’s my calling. I love Jesus, I want other people to love Jesus. I found my calling and I want everyone else to find the reason God gave them their gifts and find a way to use them to give God glory. Yes I want to do the best work I can do, but I don’t want to be all vague and high brow. I want to be clear. I want people to get it…

Case in point:
I call this collection Creature Discomforts. I’ve been doing creatures for years and years, When I heard about being a New Creature in Christ (2 Cor 5:17 KJV) I started using Creatures for the Gospel. But not long ago, I had an issue. The rest of that verse talks about our old nature, the negative stuff we used to do, well that stuff is supposed to go away. Sometimes though it still bubbles up. These are the creatures you don’t want.

Represented here are fear, anger, depression, pride, selfishness and greed. For example fear manifests, fear of never being good enough, that moves into anger then depression moves in. Or sometimes pride steps up and I start to feel entitled and greed and selfishness and usually that goes into other stuff. I think this happens to a lot of us, but it has to go. Jesus didn’t give His life so that we could be stuck in all that. Jesus wants something better for us. SO do I.

Let’s live a life that pops.

I wanted to share this graphic (a series of three slides) I did a couple of days ago for my art ministry workshop. I was trying to express the fact that we need to be humble as we bring our gifts to the church. It is so vital. In much of the world, bad, prideful behavior is accepted, tolerated and, in some circles, even expected from artists as part of the “artistic temperament.” The truth is, that’s just bull. That behavior should never, ever come from those of us who claim the name of Christ. We need to be humble, because remember God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. I’d much rather receive God’s grace than His opposition, how about you?

I was looking for a quick and easy way to show this without words and it brought to mind an old play on words I used to say. I converted it into these three slides. It got groans all around, but it made its point…


Before there was Madonna, there was pre-madonna, don’t be one! (Yes, I know it’s actually spelled prima donna but that’s not as funny.)

If you want to use your gift to serve the Lord, humility and flexibility are your friends. Don’t take yourself so seriously, just make art and, in the process, glorify God!

Doesn't he always make things worse?

Doesn't he always make things worse?

I had a few thoughts today during my devotions and I think they are at least worth considering especially for us as artists but also for anyone trying to follow Jesus. I was reading the book of Exodus where Moses is beginning to confront Pharaoh and call the plagues down upon Egypt. Moses throws down his staff and it becomes a snake. Pharaoh’s magicians do the same through their dark arts and theirs become snakes as well (only to be eaten by Moses’s staff). Then Moses turns the water into blood and Pharaoh’s magicians do the same through their dark arts. Finally Moses calls a plague of frogs against Egypt and Pharaoh’s magicians do the same through their dark arts.

My question is why did they do it? Think about it. Pharaoh and his magicians were in essence pitting the power of God against the powers of Satan, whether they realized it or not. They were trying to show that through their dark powers they could do what God can do. What did they accomplish? Well for starters they all lost their staffs and then in every case they added to their own misery. They made matters worse in each case, damaging their own lot in life and I believe they showed us something important.

In our own power we can accomplish some pretty amazing things. It’s not surprising really, we are the children of the Creator, but when we are defiant of God, when we misuse our power, when we go outside His will, the usual effect is we make matters worse. The reason for that is simple. When we walk outside God’s will we walk into the enemy’s will, whether we know it or not. We cannot outdo God and when we try, all we do is make matters worse. So in the words of Joshua, Choose today whom you will serve…

Bible Reading Guide
An important part of following God is knowing what He wants and a great way to know what He wants is to read His Word. Follow this plan and you will finish reading the Bible in a year.
Exodus 25, 26; Psalm 19
You can also download your own chart here.

Pride Makes You Stupid

I decided to share another of my messages with the viewers because I think pride is something all christ followers will
The Bible says Pride goes before a fall (well actually it says “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18) I was reading the book of Judges, specifically the story of Samson and Delilah and I saw something I never saw before. Before I saw it as a story of great physical strength being overcome by betrayal, but this time I came to an inescapable conclusion… Pride makes you stupid. Listen to the message and see if you don’t agree, then check yourself to see if pride is dropping your IQ. Listen to it here.

Pride Makes You Stupid by Dave Weiss