American Pride, Personal Pride, Pride in our work, Pride in our culture, Pride in our country. We talk about Pride in our every day lives like it’s a staple of who we are and how we should think. Quite simply, Pride in the wrong format is deadly in a countless numbers of ways. So if it’s so deadly, why is Pride so important to our society?
Our American society is bred upon creating this self worth thru our work, our families, what we drive, where we live, who we know, and where we go on vacation. This self worth, we think, defines our character, and it gives us great pride in sharing those successes with others. We find our fulfillment in our possessions that give us Pride. Pride allows us to be self righteous. We believe if we are doing “right” in our situations and relationships we have the “right” to be prideful and stand behind our positions. This all sounds like normal thinking in the United States so far doesn’t it?
If the bible was written for us as a guidebook to life in general, I wonder what Gods word, in the bible has to say about Pride? After all, society has lots to say about Pride, so surely God thinks similarly about Pride as society does, right? Wrong…
First, we have to define Pride for what it is. The bible recognizes Pride as in two format. Thru the bible, God is clear that pride in things like a “job well done” is not sin. We are called to always work in a fashion in which would be pleasing to God, and exalt him in his glory so this is not pride in ourselves, this is Pride and joy in doing what would please God. Pride is not sin until we become boastful or self righteous. When pride reaches that level of boastful and self righteous God views it as a great and deadly sin. Why? Psalm 10:4 says: In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. I can speak from personal experience, that when my own pride got in my way, it didn’t allow God to work thru me, nor did the outcomes of my pride produce fruit that I thought I should receive. I’ve seen this same result provide equally dismal results for friends whom I’ve been counseling with. I’m currently working with a friend going thru some challenging marital issues. He has every reason to be upset and hurt. His wife has done some very hurtful things to him, and I’m sure he too has hurt her. Right now, my friend is seeing zero fruit in reconciling his marriage. Why? Because pride is in the way. Pride is preventing him to put his guard down and being vulnerable (which his wife needs to see) nor is he willing to allow God to go to work in this trying time. Pride, if not put in check will be the final nail in the coffin for this marriage. Pride is preventing him from even making better judgement decisions for himself.
Mathew 5:3 says: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. This is a very interesting statement and so incredibly contrary to what our society tells us to be. What is being “poor in spirit” mean? It means that we are to be so humbled to recognize that we are spiritually bankrupt without God at the helm of our life, and that if we are prideful, we can’t have a connection with God, nor experience the incredible bounties of his kingdom. The prideful are so convinced in their own abilities that they don’t believe they “need” God centered in their lives. I’ve even heard prideful people say “well God should accept me for who I am because I’m deserving of it.” Really? Jesus died on the crosses for your sins, in such a horrible and gruesome way that even Hollywood wont show, and yet you, an arrogant, prideful jerk is “deserving” of gods acceptance just the way you “are?”
If we need a person to look at that lost greatly from pride who best to study? How about Satan himself? The bible says he fell from heaven for his prideful ways. Satan himself had the incredibly boastful, prideful, ignorant, thought that he should be in Gods throne himself, and God should be the right hand to him! Look where Pride got Satan? Eternal darkness, hell, demons, etc… Doesn’t sound lovely does it?
Not only has Pride kept many from having a meaningful relationship with God; Pride has stopped millions from even acknowledging God. Our American society teaches us “its all about you”, ” do whats good for you,” “you deserve the best for you.” This prideful thinking stops many from even believing God is alive and accept Jesus into their lives as their savior. Our worldly ways teach us “we” are in control of our lives. “We” are in charge of our future. “We” are the only reason for our successes. This pride stops way too many people from realizing their spiritual bankruptcy, or understanding there is NOTHING they can do in their own power to gain access to heaven on our own. In the end, what WE say about ourselves in our own pride means nothing to God. What means everything is what God says about us!
1 Corinthians 4:7 says: For what gives you the right to make such a judgment? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift? This is powerful! We’ve all heard our President says “you didn’t build that, someone else did.” While this statement is controversial and gotten many of right wing groups up in arms, I have to say Obama is right! He’s just not right in the context in which he believes it to be. God…. created…..all…… God……creates……all
We are called to be humble and thankful for all the provisions and challenges we are faced with. Humility and humbleness can, and does conquer our sinful, humanly desire for Pride. In the situations in which we think things couldn’t be worse, we are to be humble and thankful for what we do have, and what we are being faced with. As trying and as challenging as this can be in our own flesh, remember the alternatives; you too, could be cast down just like Satan.