Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Pride and disgrace

As you know, I live in Illinois, the apparent center of the galaxy, when it comes to corrupt politicians. The fiasco involving our governor, Rod Blagojevich, the former Illinois Attorney General, Roland Burris, and President-Elect Obama’s Senate seat is international news—high political drama, as only Illinois could produce.

Faced with criminal allegations, recorded phone conversations, impending indictments and impeachment, the honorable and humble thing for Gov. Blagojevich to have done weeks ago would have been to resign. That would have saved a lot of people a whole lot of trouble but, because the governor is too proud, he continues to scheme, lie (some time ago, he said he would not to appoint anyone to the Senate seat under the present circumstances), and play legal and political games, fighting to the bitter end.

With such a huge cloud of scandal surrounding Gov. Blagojevich, the wise and commonsensical thing for Mr. Burris to have done was refuse any appointment from Blagojevich (as Congressman Danny Davis did). However, because of ego (fueled, perhaps, by his hurt pride at being rejected by voters three times in a row in unsuccessful bids for the Chicago mayoral office, Illinois governorship and US Senate) Burris continues to fight on against the odds. What Mr. Burris needs are some true friends who will pull him aside and tell him, in a kind yet firm way, to go somewhere and sit down.

As if this weren’t bad enough, some Burris supporters are bringing race into the mix, suggesting race as a reason Burris is being refused entry to the Senate. On the face of it, the suggestion is ridiculous. In my opinion, Blagojevich is simply using Burris (with some success, I might add) in order to help divide people along racial lines. The whole affair is disgusting.

According to King Solomon, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2). How right he was. Thanks to Blagojevich-Burris, the people of Illinois have a disgraceful spectacle being played out before the eyes of the world. We could use some humble, wise leadership in Illinois right now.

So, what is the lesson for us?

It’s this: BEWARE OF PRIDE. Pride is such a dangerous and destructive sin, so prevalent—everyone suffers from it—yet so elusive when we try to discover it in ourselves. What we need is a clearer view of the holiness of God.

“In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord…” “And I said: ‘Woe is me! For I am lost…for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!’” (Isaiah 6:1, 5).

When we see God as He is, we see ourselves as we truly are. And we are humbled.

Where can we see God? God has revealed Himself in His Word—the Scriptures. The next time you read the Bible, ask God to help you see Him more clearly. What you see of God in the Word will transform your life, and save you from becoming a disgraceful spectacle before the world.

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