Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Wisdom From Bono

I am reading a book call Bono which is where the U2 frontman sits down for an interview and the result is this book. It is raw (still in Q&A form), but a great insite into his life and journey. In case you didn't know, Bono is incredibly deep and insightful. I thought I would share some of that wisdom here a comment on it. I may do it more in the future too, 'cause there is some great stuff in here.

Bono, at one point, is talking about how U2 got together and the rise to stardom. In the process, he reflects a little on the temptations. Here are his words:

"[I]t turns out that that's a much more subtle threat than sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. Self-righteousness, self-flagellation, these things are as dangerous as what you might call the worship of self."

This struck me as a very interesting and accurate statement. Naturally, when they started on the Rock 'n' roll journey they had in their minds to avoid the vices and lifestyle that generally goes with that...Particularly in the 70's, things like sex and drugs. However, as you notice, he mentions that they became aware of other temptations, which I would suspect would be harder to overcome. Things like pride and self-worship. It makes sense, doesn't it? When you go from being a nobody to a somebody in a short amount of time...from a garage band to having thousands of people chanting your name...from a regular person to a rock icon...it would certainly be a temptation to "think more highly of yourself than you ought," as Paul warns against.

The other thing that struck me about this is how true it is in everyday life...in my life. As I look to avoid the obvious pitfalls in life, anger, list, materialism etc., I find that I find it pretty easy to become proud of myself. I look at my accomplishments, my job, my marriage, LiveWire Student Ministries, my academic record, and assume I am due the credit. I am fond of being fond of myself. I find that struggling against those other obvious pitfalls was merely a distraction against the gravest pitfall of them all, which is pride. As David Crowder sings, "I carry pride like a disease." Like C.S. Lewis says, "Pride is spiritual cancer; the complete anti-God state of mind."

I am not alone in my problem. No. To think that Bono and I are the only ones struggling with this would be absurd. We live in a world, even in a church, where obvious sin is filthy, but habitual pride is so prevalent it is often overlooked. How can we help but struggle with this? Our world is built to cater to self.

Lord, help me to put you first, others second, and myself third. Allow me to never again "forsake the riches of God's righteousness for the dung of my own ego."

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