THE THREE CATAGORIES OF SIN – PART THREE
THE PRIDE OF LIFE
1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
He was the most beautiful of all angels. He was referred to as the Day Star, and the son of Dawn. His name, itself, spoke of his brightness—Lucifer, angel of light. He dreamt of ascending the heavens and raising his throne above that of God’s. But he was sent crashing down to the dark recesses of the pit for committing what many believe is the greatest sin of all: Vanity — or Pride.
That is what pride, described by many Christians as the father of all sins, does to us. We end up going down even though we try to go up. It is also the most common of all sins, though strangely enough, most of us do not even realize that we are proud. So how do we recognize it in us? Your honest answers to these questions may provide some clues.
Do you think you are smarter than others?
Proverbs 12:15 tells us that “fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to advice.” This advice is best taken when it comes from God, as Proverbs 3:5 says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.” The key word here is “heart”. Faith is a gift of the heart and not of the mind. Many of us know a lot about God, but unless that knowledge—a mind thing—goes down to our heart, we will never really know God.
Do you think you are superior or better than others?
This is a pride which basically makes us think we are better than everybody else and is often expressed by bragging. One of the greatest braggarts of all times was the boxer Mohammed Ali who immortalized the phrase: “I am the greatest.” There’s a story reported about a conversation that took place between a flight attendant and Mohammed Ali, then at the start of his career. Ali was on a plane, and as he didn’t have his seat belt fastened, the stewardess came up to him and told him to buckle up. “Superman don’t need no seat belt,” he told her. She gave him a withering look and said, “Superman don’t need no plane.”
We might laugh at that, but many of us are guilty of this type of pride. Have you ever said—or felt like saying—these words to somebody: “Don’t you know who I am?” Or how about this: “Who do you think you are telling me what to do?” Or “I know what I’m doing!” This kind of pride can make us think we are superior to God too. We read above what happened to Satan. We also know it happened with Adam and Eve. Why did they eat of the fruit? Because they wanted to be like God as Satan promised.
Do you seek the acknowledgment of others?
Jesus spoke about this kind of pride, which seeks positions of honor, recognition, and praise for themselves, rather than others. One day he had gone to the house of a leading pharisee and he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table. They wanted to be noticed. They wanted everyone to see that they had the high position by taking the places of honor. Look at me!
Are you stubborn?
Sometimes we hold on to our beliefs with the mistaken idea that we are taking the right stand, even though we may be in error and in need of correction. This type of pride will not take correction, refuses to admit to wrongdoing, and often results in our blaming others for our own mistakes. Proverbs 29:1 says, “One who is often reproved, yet remains stubborn, will suddenly be broken beyond healing.”
Are you complacent?
This is a big one. Pride of complacency arises when we compare ourselves to others rather than to Christ. Spiritually this is very dangerous, because we get a false sense of worth about ourselves. For example, we can look at somebody else and think, “Hey, she hardly prays, but I pray every day. I’m doing better than her.” Or, “I go to church every Sunday while he doesn’t even go. I am way better than him”.” Or, “I’ve been a starter on the team for a lot longer than him.” These thoughts make us complacent.
Such pride handicaps our growth. When we compare ourselves to others, we are constantly looking behind us at where they are standing, rather than ahead at where Jesus stands calling us to be like Him. Consequently, we stop growing because we believe that we have reached a place better than our friends. In the Christian journey, if we believe we have reached the top, we become spiritually weak because this journey doesn’t end until we are in Heaven.
The list can go on… Are you critical? Do you think your race is the best? Do you talk back? I don’t need counseling etc..
Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling. We all can suffer from some sort of pride. Know this. God opposes proud or prideful people James 4:6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore, it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Do you struggle with pride?
Go to Romans Road to Salvation and/or Prayer of Rededication