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Topic: Pride (04/12/04)
TITLE: A Self-Important Fool
By Lisa Beaman
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In the book of Esther, Haman is quite a contrast to the good, humble, and faithful servant of God, Mordecai. Haman is the exact opposite. He is prideful, arrogant, self-important, self-serving and power hungry.
Haman certainly had great accomplishments. He was honored by the king, given a seat of honor higher than any other noble and all the royal officials were to bow down and pay honor to him. But the praise of the king, the other nobles and the royal officials were not enough. When Mordecai, just one guy, would not bow down to him, his pride suffered. He got angry and he became determined to retaliate.
"When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged. Yet having learned who Mordecai's people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai's people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes." (Esther 3:5-6)
While Hamanís actions may seem extreme, we too can let our pride get out of control. Sometimes we get discouraged when we work so hard and no one seems to notice or appreciate us. When we allow that discouragement to make us angry with others for not noticing our accomplishments, we are being prideful like Haman.
I know we donít exactly expect our friends and family to bow down and worship us. I know that we donít plot their annihilation when we donít get the respect we feel we deserve. Yet I still think we can learn a couple of lessons from Hamanís prideful actions.
Can you relate? Can your pride get ugly if you arenít being appreciated or getting the respect and honor you feel you deserve?
Haman wasnít serving his king; he was serving himself. We need to remember that all the work we do is for God, our families, and our neighbors. It absolutely cannot be for self-glory. Haman's life also shows us the negative results that self-seeking glory can bring. Esther 7:10 tells us the fate of this prideful man, "So they hanged Haman on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the king's fury subsided."
Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 19:30 ďBut many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.Ē We must never be like Haman and place ourselves first.
Prayerfully consider the condition of your pride. Pride can take on many different forms. If there is a particular type of pride that you struggle with, write it down & pray about it often. If you find that it is getting in the way of serving others cheerfully, ask God to work with you and help you to be humble in that area. Be honest with God about your struggle. ďHumble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you upĒ. (James 4:10)
(This is an excerpt from the women's Bible Study I have written entitled, "A Working Woman's Quest to Keeping it All Together".)
Copyright 2004 Lisa D. Beaman