Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you felt the need to “blow your own horn”? You know, around the water cooler, when everyone else in the office was bragging about their accomplishments and you couldn’t resist the temptation to up the ante. Truth be told, most of us have experienced a moment of insecurity that our pride gave a voice to! Everyone wants to feel validated in life. The question is, who is actually in a position to render such an evaluation? The One who created you—God, who always most accurately assesses self-worth.
There is a scripture that has been greatly misunderstood for centuries. Today’s weekly musing will center around that scripture:
Matthew 16:6 "Watch out, and beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
To begin, what is the purpose of yeast when you are baking? Yeast is a component that when added to dough, makes it rise. Another word for yeast is leaven. So when Jesus warns his disciples to be alert and stay clear of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees, He was referring to pride. Pride is a component that when added to the flesh, makes one become “puffed up” or full of themselves. Allowing the luxury of an inflated ego is similar to “self rising” flour; it elevates itself without assistance. In the Bible, leaven is always connected with sin, and most particularly, pride. Conversely, the Israelites often consumed unleavened bread. During the seven days of Passover, they were commanded to eat only unleavened bread. Since unleavened bread was referred to as “humble” bread, the significance is staggering. It was not the Israelites’ accomplishments that delivered them—it was God’s love for them that empowered their Exodus from Egypt. Do you see the point? Pride is like a big, fat, Pillsbury doughboy and humility is like flatbread; it is not puffed up.
Pride, like yeast, is opportunistic. It spreads and proliferates quickly!
Galatians 5:9 ""A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.”
Thus, a prideful father raises prideful sons. If we allow pride to dominate our life, it affects everyone in our circle of influence. If we remain humble, humility will transform everyone in our circle of influence.
1 Peter 5:6 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.”
There is nothing more attractive in a person’s character than genuine humility. And there is nothing more obnoxious than a character flawed by pride. Always remember, anything we possess of notable quality, skill, or beauty is merely a gift of God’s grace, giving us no cause to boast in ourselves. I will leave you with some compelling words that underscore the impetus behind this week’s challenge. I pray it helps you make yeast the least of your worries!
Philippians 2:3-11 "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Michael S. Tyrrell