In which mountans treated like molehills take me down…

by Craig on January 6, 2011

“Evil can have no beginning but from pride, and no end but from humility. The truth is this: Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you…for the one is death and the other is life”  Spirit of Prayer, Edition of Morton, Canterbury (1893)

Off the beaten path from my study of James – and I find myself a staircase that spirals downward toward a very dark place. The 12 steps of pride, written by a French Monk 900 years ago still ring true.

How do I know this?

There was a time in my life that I stepped down each and every one – and it was pitch black near the bottom. I was fortunate to find my way back.

If this “French Monk” is a stranger, then you may want a little background before reading further. Step number one is here.

Now step number two…

“Frivolity” – Just like the first step this one sounds not so bad at all. Whats wrong with frivolity? Frivolity means levity and laughter, and doesn’t the Bible say there is a time to laugh? (EC 3:4)

But it’s not that kind of frivolity. It’s the kind where I know what’s important and I am “frivolous” with it. That makes it way different – and not so good.

Remember that anger thing I left behind a few days ago, in which, anger is bad, but not always, because Our Lord sometimes got angry? (here)

Well, here comes some anger I would not have wanted to be the target of, and if I’m “frivolous” in the way Bernard of Clairveaux means, then Our Lord is staring right at me when he belts out these words (MT 23:23-28):

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity. (But) these you should have done, without neglecting the others. Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel.”

I don’t want to be in this spotlight – and it gets worse:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.”

I really don’t want to be in this group, but how often am I? And it goes on…

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth. Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.”

There are the weightier matters of God’s law of righteousness which get neglected too often. When mountains become molehills I take a step down the staircase of pride.

Our Lord, as he walked this earth, was not the totally warm and fuzzy guy we like to picture. He was that (warm and fuzzy) but when God’s rep was being trampled, or a person vicitimized – you didn’t want to get in his line of sight.

When I take important things of God and make them small, or when I take matters of little import and treat them as if the were vital – I’m a Pharisee on a slippy slope.

These steps, are insidiously subtle,

and thus their danger,

and thus their importance.

I’m so glad I get to study these steps anew,

because all of you are reading.

Thank you.

I want to know these steps well

so I don’t ever stumble down them again.

God Bless

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymuss January 6, 2011 at 1:07 am

Thank you, Craig, for taking the time to painstakingly put together these lessons for us. Even the photos, the arrangement of words,…everything contributes to the impact and message these lessons impart. These things you are sharing are very important. I am slowing down now as I read them. Taking time to apply more….to digest…to ask God to show me where He wants to work these things out in me. Usually they come rather readily to mind.


Craig January 6, 2011 at 1:13 am

Thank you A. I love learning this stuff – and then getting to share it with good people like you who like to read it? Big smiles. God Bless.


Debbie January 6, 2011 at 2:34 am

I’m so thankful that you found this little book, this monk, these steps. It’s like God ordained it and I love to see that, know that, praise Him for that. Then pay attention, because it would be frivolous of me not to, with all the care He has taken to make sure you found this and put in the work required to bring it to us. And I loved the first statement about pride and humility. This is really , really good stuff. God bless you and all the steps you take with Him.


bill (cycleguy) January 6, 2011 at 6:12 am

What is that old saying? “Those who refuse to learn from their mistakes are destined to repeat them” or something like that. :) Glad you are learning and look forward to being challenged myself.


Craig January 6, 2011 at 10:43 am

Thank you Bill – why don’t we remember what God has so painstakingly taught us? People – how does he put up with us? :)


Melissa January 6, 2011 at 6:25 am

This quote is a precious nugget…so needed today. I’m going to add it to my list of favorites, and chew on it for a while.

And this step two touches the issue of how we are stewarding the gifts and blessings God has given. Are we selfishly holding on or sharing with the poor?

I’m thanking you for sharing!


Craig January 6, 2011 at 10:50 am

Amen Melissa, and James is a noble and bold defender of the poor. Bernard was a wise monk – a valued member of our family line. No?

God Bless you.


Alida January 6, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Thank you so much for these lessons. Oh. My. How often am I guilty of treating the important with frivolity. I just put your link on my facebook page. I hope that others are blessed and even convicted by your words as I have been.


Craig January 6, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Alida, that was kind. I’m really glad we “blog”met – thank you, really. thank you.

continued JOY to you and yours and Godspeed with HAVEN.


Debra January 6, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Craig, I have found a site here that feeds my soul. From what I’ve read so far I can see that your words are “seasoned with salt,” and like those of Christ, “full of grace and truth.” We who follow after Him and seek His face daily, understand that we all are guilty of making mountains out of molehills. Our duel natures war against each other.
Pride (the false self) battles humility (the true self)).

Your post today shed new light on frivolity. I’d never considered the word in this way, meaning to major in the minors. But that’s what I glean from it. To redeem the time I must be conscious of my inner pharisee at all times, and nip that frivolous nature in the bud ASAP through God’s grace. Then, and only then, will I walk in victory over the prideful nature.
Thank you, my new friend, for offering this fresh manna to the hungry. I will be sharing your site with my non-blogger friends as well. What a treasure I have discovered here!


Melissa Brotherton January 6, 2011 at 11:56 pm

Great post, Craig! I don’t think any of us can be reminded too often of these truths. I appreciate you sharing what you’re learning here with us! :)


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