Lessons from Haman

I loved Beth Moore’s comment recently in the study of Esther. She remarked that when she took up the study she never imagined she’d learn as much from Haman’s life as she did from Esther’s.

I completely agree! I expected to learn (and be convicted) by Esther’s submission, by her faith, by her courage. I even anticipated lessons from Mordecai. But Haman? He’s the villain in the story! And yet don’t we all battle that sinful nature just as he did?

Haman shows us what pride and arrogance and a sense of entitlement and a thirst for personal glory lead to—humiliation and death. And they don’t look pretty in the process, either. I’ve been as convicted about what I don’t want to be as I have by the way my life falls short of what I do want it to be.

The funny thing is, I see this in fiction all the time. I can name several novels I’ve read where I’ve walked away shuddering to think that I acted in any way like this or that character—maybe even a character that I admired at the beginning of the book or even when reading it at a different stage in my life. I think God uses those people, real or fictional, to hold a mirror up to our hearts so we can see what we’ve been blind to before.

So what about you? Has a personality from Scripture or a book or even real life given you a grim look at your own heart lately? What did you see? How have you responded? 


Richard Mabry said...

Anne, I must confess that I haven't learned a lot from Haman (except the awful penalty for pride and a self-centered outlook), but I continue to be taught by Esther's uncle, Mordecai.
On more than one occasion, I've been about to turn away from a responsibility or opportunity, only to have these words sear my conscience: Who knows but what you have come into the Kingdom for such a time as this.

Anne Mateer said...

Yes, Mordecai has so much to teach us, too. Like not letting accolades puff us up (after being paraded through the streets on the king's horse, he simply went back to work). So much to learn from so many different people!

Anonymous said...

Such a great perspective - the kids and I just talked about Esther's courage and Mordecai's encouragement - I think I need to have a part two and talk about that !!

Anne Mateer said...

Yes, sometimes it is helpful with our kids to point out who they DON'T want to become, as much as who we want them to become!

MimiCuriel said...

I find myself always rooting for the villain or the coward to be offered a chance to redeem him/herself, because I am wanting that for myself.
I spent all of KiteRunner hoping Amir would have a chance to redeem himself for not taking up for his friend and then treating him poorly in his guilt.
My own heart. Oh, my own heart.