DEAL WITH YOUR SIN OR GOD WILL DEAL WITH YOU
Pride Often Leads to Conflict
Jerry A Collins
v What is the root of pride and jealousy?
v What is the usual result of pride and jealousy?
v How are relationships impacted by pride and jealousy?
you get tired of people who think more highly of themselves than they should
and they let you know about it? They have a bad case of superiority complex.
They can look at you with disdain because you do not measure up to them. They
want to throw their weight around—make a name for themselves and expect people
to comply with their wishes. Arrogant and self-serving, they want to look good
at your expense. They might pick on you or demean you or demand from you but it
is all a big show to improve their image and to make them prominent. This is
often the kindling for conflict. Wars have resulted from this. Murder, violence
and harm, is the inevitable outcome of pride. Someone wins and someone loses.
Ephraim’s superiority complex is the basis of conflict in the story of the champion,
Jephthah. It is not the oppression of the Ammonites
PRIDE MOTIVATES YOU TO USE THREATS AND INSULTS
If you believe you are superior, which proud people endeavor to maintain, then you are very susceptible to using threats or insults to show your superiority.
Ephraim crossed the
They dispute Jephthah’s unilateral action in the
3. They threaten Jephthah for his decision to go it alone and not ask the Ephraimites to fight with them. This threat is a personal one—We’ll burn your house down with you in it. They resort to threats to get him to comply with their wishes. They are going to shove their weight around to let everyone know who is superior and who is in charge. So, pride and jealousy and ego and arrogance never leads to anything good. This spirit resorts to bullying in order to maintain superiority. Fortunately, we, as believers, do not have to maintain our superiority. Threats and insults are not our weapons. Humility is our platform. Denying ourselves is our method. Taking up our cross is our duty. Pride is the root of all evil because it assumes value independent of God. Humility is the root of all virtue because it assumes value in dependence upon God. Pride will motivate you to threaten and insult to get your way and make your move. Don’t go there.
THESE THREATS AND INSULTS WILL ONLY INVITE CONFLICT
Now Jephthah makes his case and he is anything but diplomatic like Gideon was in 8:1-3. There these same Ephraimites had approached Gideon with jealousy and pride—they contended with him vigorously for not calling them to fight against Midian then. Gideon stroked them with kind words elevating their victory over Oreb and Zeed beyond his own victory over the Midianites. This diplomacy worked and their anger toward him subsided 8:3.
Jephthah claims that Ephraim was a type of big-mouth-but-do-nothing 12:2. Epraim had sat back, enjoying the
security afforded by the hill country west of the
2. Ephraim had no excuse and Jephthah had no other choice than to carry out the rescue operation vs 3. This assertion meant that he had to take matters into his own hands without their help and, at great risk with God’s help they had victory. So there was no reason for Ephraim to posture and threaten and bully—why then have you come up to me this day to fight against us?
Name calling was the next step in this family feud—not an uncommon order of
events in the East where damaging one’s honor is as effective as physical
THE CONFLICT CAN HAVE DEVASTATING CONSEQUENCES
The Ephraimites were the losers in this
war vs 4. In their retreat back across the
Following the encounter in
1. Watch out for a spirit of superiority in your life. Remember who you are.
2. Threats and insults are not the methods used by a devoted disciple of Jesus Christ. Humility fosters dependence on God.
3. If you are not careful, pride can undermine your perspective and create outcomes you will regret.