Watch Your Step
“I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” (Proverbs 8:13)
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace…” (Proverbs 11:2a)
“Pride only breeds quarrels…” (Proverbs 13:10a)
“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)
“A man’s pride brings him low…” (Proverbs 29:23a)
No other sin is warned against so seriously and often in the Bible as PRIDE. Just a quick look at the few verses above and you can begin to understand why. Notice the following phrases and words: “then comes” “breeds” “goes before” “brings”. The Bible makes it clear that pride is always THE BEGINNING of more and greater evil.
In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis states that “it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.”
Pride always sets itself up against others; always compares and separates. Pride causes men to look at others and want what they possess or want more which leads to greed and jealousy which then leads to stinginess, cruelty, and violence. Pride motivates women to compare themselves with others, which leads to anxiety, vanity and heartless contempt. Pride is self-absorbing. All the compassion, mercy,, and kindness one could and would share with others is totally used up on oneself.
Now consider the two greatest commandments in the Bible: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…Love your neighbor as yourself.” Do you see how pride and God’s greatest commands are at complete odds with each other? This is why pride is so contemptible in God’s eyes and so pathetic in our hearts.
Conquering the sin of pride DOES NOT involve us going around thinking poorly of ourselves, doubting our abilities, mistrusting our desires, and belittling our motives and existence. Pride in our minds and hearts is defeated when we commit to looking at ourselves in light of God’s truth. God’s truth provides the balance we need: yes, we are precious and valuable and important, but not because of anything in and of ourselves – our value and worth come from God’s stamp of creator-ship and ownership on our lives. Each human being is equal in God’s sight and therefore comparing, judging, competing with one another is not only ridiculous but also offensive to our Maker. One lump of clay has no right to claim advantages over another lump of clay. God loves us, but He doesn’t worship us so we dare not worship ourselves.
As with all sins, the goal is not just to remove them from your life, but also to replace them with something good and pleasing to God. In the case of pride, this is especially important because overcoming it can actually lead to more of it! Tomorrow we will look at Jesus’ victorious example of choosing humility over pride…even to his death.
GOD OF ALL GREATNESS AND TRUTH. I HAVE ONLY ONE THING TO BE PROUD OF - THAT YOU ARE MY MAKER AND THE LOVER OF MY SOUL. APART FROM YOU, I AM NOTHING. I TAKE NO CREDIT FOR MYSELF, BUT GIVE YOU ALL THE GLORY!