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Pride, Greed, and Sexual Sins

When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.

Proverbs 23:1-2

Pride and greed are sins that can easily lead us to destruction. Their most significant danger is that most of us do not recognize we have fallen into their clutches until we are up to our necks in trouble because of them. They also travel together and bring others with them. If you open the door of your heart to pride, greed will follow, and sexual sins will eventually join them.

Pride, greed, and sexual sins are rulers. They are the reasons why most people end up in jail and the reasons for most divorces, ministry failures, and wars. If you think I’m exaggerating, think about the latest ministry scandal. Nine of ten ministerial scandals are due to either pride, greed, or sexual sins.

That is why Solomon in Proverbs 23 urges us to put a knife to our throats if we are sitting at a ruler’s table and given to gluttony or lack of self-control. Even though watching how much we eat is always a good idea, I don’t think Salomon was as concerned with food as he was about how a spiritual ruler can tempt us.

Whether we like it or not, we are all ruled by someone or something. We either serve God or serve our flesh. If we serve God, the Holy Spirit helps us navigate through temptations, and we can say no when a spiritual ruler tempts us. We combat pride with praise, greed with generosity, and sexual sins with submission to the Bible. Who needs a knife when we have the sword of the Spirit?

If, on the other hand, our flesh rules us, we are on our own, and I guarantee you that you will find yourself sitting at a ruler’s table sooner or later. An opportunity will come to lower your standards for money, power, or notoriety. Pornography may knock at your door, or the wrong person may offer you the acceptance you so badly want. I doubt you will be able to grab a knife at the moment and forget about putting it to your throat.

We all know which of the rulers mentioned above might entice us first. No one, my friends, is exempt from temptation, no matter how much we love God. Do not let pride make you think you will never fall into temptation. This week, let us take a moment to go before the Holy Spirit and ask Him to search our hearts. Let us make sure our only ruler is God Almighty.

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