“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” (Mark 7:21-23)
The interest in finding out ancestral information is growing by leaps and bounds. People want to know where their forefathers lived, what they did for a living, what their interests were, etc.
When our little babies begin to crawl, then pull up to the furniture and find enough courage to let go, even with only one hand, to take that first all-important step, we encourage them to learn how to stand on their own two feet. And the process begins to help them become independent self-confident and self-assured. The problem ensues when they start feeling to independent for their own good! And then the loving parent/grandparent must admonish, even correct this behavior before it develops into a full-fledged issue that can and will become detrimental to the child and ultimately to others if left unchecked.
Pride is one of those words that we pull back from when we hear it spoken whether on the printed page or audibly. It is one of the traits that few of us are willing to own up to! Pride is easy to see in others, especially those who are wealthy, who have reached celebrity status, and those who are considered to be powerful and influential in some way. But pride is very much alive, active and present in the lives of the ordinary man or woman! You see, pride is like a disease, a cancer that eats at the lining of our most vital organ, the heart and mind of each of us who have been “made in the image of God!” Pride affects each of us in so many ways that there are simply times when we’re not even aware of its tentacles.
C.S. Lewis wrote that “pride is the complete anti-God state-of-mind.” John R.W. Stott wrote “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.” These men recognized that one of the greatest challenges we can face and must learn to harness and deal with is that of pride!
The desire to lift up and exalt ourselves beyond our place as God’s creature lies at the heart of pride. From the events that transpired in the Garden of Eden with Eve and then Adam, we read in the Bible and can see the progression of pride and unbelief not only in the lives of individuals, but that of families, even nations, and certainly cultures! When people choose to abandon, suppress or live by the knowledge of God and faith In Him as our Creator, then the fruit produced is that of spiritual darkness that will continue to grow and then God becomes smaller and they become larger. Consider the following questions for a moment and then answer them in your own heart of hearts:
- Is God the center of gravity in my own heart and life or am I?
- Have I allowed Satan, the great deceiver to bring me to that point in life where self is the most important consideration instead of God and others?
- Has God been reassigned to a place of lesser importance and relevance in my life and been replaced with me, my and mine?
- Do I life my life so that His glory can be seen in the way I live, the things I am able to accomplish, the words I speak, in other words, the entirety of my life (Galatians 2:20)?
How does our Lord view this problem of pride in our lives? He leaves nothing to misunderstanding. There is just no gray area to be found! Read the following passages of Scripture that will only take a few minutes, but can leave you humbled forever: Proverbs 8:13; Proverbs 16:5 and then finally Proverbs 6:16-19.
Pride can be summarized as an attitude of self-sufficiency, self-importance, and self-exaltation in relation to God. Toward others, it is an attitude of contempt and even the bad tasting fruit of indifference is seen hanging from the selfish and prideful heart. The depth of pride in your heart or mine can vary from one person to the next and can be obvious or even concealed. But pride can never be hidden from the eyes of the Lord! God will not suffer the creature to exalt itself against the Creator. Pride provokes God’s displeasure, and he has committed Himself to oppose it. Can you imagine the truth that God resists those who are full of pride! Not me! No sir! I don’t want any part of this kind of resistance! Do you? The pedestal of pride can be a very dangerous place to stand both in this life and in the life to come.
“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”(James 4:6)
Bill Fairchild, Jr.