Jude 1:16 (NLT)
‘These people are grumblers and complainers, living only to satisfy their desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want.’
There are four vices I see all around me and I am sometimes caught in the grip of some of these vices, but these vices are ugly signs of those who not follow the Lord correctly. The first vice is grumbling and complaining. It is so easy to live your life always complaining about things and people. Such an attitude of grumbling robs you of joy and rest. The second vice is self-centeredness: always and only thinking about yourself. It is easy in this rat race world to live for yourself and think it is normal to so be, but it is a vice. Such an attitude robs you of the willingness to serve or to bless or to help others. It robs you of the eyes and heart of love. The third vice is boastings. People brag about what they’ve done, who they are, where they’ve been. Such bragging is an offense and an eye sore. It’s prideful and a sure sign that we have left the narrow path of humility and simplicity. The final vice is deception through flattery. It is evil to use nice and sweet words to deceive and lead people into your own purposes. It is unfair and it is evil.
We must not be caught practicing these vices. In Christ Jesus, we are not to be of them who live in such a way. Many around us may choose these paths as the easy ways of the last days, but we must reject the invitation and the seduction to so behave. No matter the justification, I must not accept any of these four common vices.
‘Lord, I don’t care if everyone else is doing it. I don’t have to brag to feel secure. I don’t have to flatter people to get my way. I don’t need to be self-centered to survive. I don’t need to always have things my way and if not, end up complaining all the time. I don’t. Lord, help me find my identity in you and in you alone, and to be content with that identity. Amen.’