May 22, 2020 Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church

Word of Encouragement, Friday, May 22

Word of Encouragement, Friday, May 22

Good Shepherd -

We live in a very divided country, and this division didnt start

yesterday. It has been around for quite some time. And I don’t know if

you’ve noticed, but this division has not been absent in the midst of

this whole coronavirus situation. In fact, if anything, it seems that

this coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated the division that was

already present. Among other debates, there have been and continue to

be many sharp divisions regarding what the best course of action is

moving forward.

It's certainly not wrong to have differences of opinion, especially

when there are still a lot of unanswered questions and everything

isn't obvious. The problem is when we begin to use our differences of

opinion against one another and they lead to hostility and division.

If we’re not careful, the division that characterizes the world and

our country can begin to creep into the church. There is nothing that

Satan desires more than to divide the Church, the precious bride of

Christ. Satan will do whatever he can to use this virus to create

dissension and impatience and quarrels within the Church.

It is during times like these that it is good for us in the Church to

reflect on the importance of humility and seek to cultivate it. The

truth is that we could all use more humility. Pride is one of those

sins that is always close by. JC Ryle has described pride as “the

oldest and most common of sins.” He also described humility as "the

rarest and most beautiful of graces." You see, pride and humility have

big impacts upon how we as Christians think, live, and interact with

others. Pride leads us to think highly of ourselves. Humility leads us

to count others more significant than ourselves (Philippians 2:3).

Pride leads us to be exceptionally confident in our own opinions and

dismissive of the opinions of others. Humility leads us to recognize

the value of opinions and perspectives different from our own. Pride

leads us to be slow to hear and quick to speak. Humility leads us to

be "quick to hear, slow to speak" (James 1:19). Pride leads us to

frustration and anger and discontentment when things don't go our way.

Humility leads us to patience and graciousness and love, even when

decisions are made that we don't fully agree with.

Brothers and sisters, in a time of great division, the Church ought to

be front and center in modeling humility. Let's all strive to clothe

ourselves with humility and love and graciousness. Let us remember

what true love is and seek to demonstrate this love in our very own

lives: "Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is

not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not

irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but

rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things,

hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends" (1 Corinthians


In Christ,

-Pastor Brennan