It was Pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.– St. Augustine
What is pride? Is it a character trait, a personality flaw or something more? Well the Bible says it’s a sin, but why? Because it separates us from God with the same notion that Lucifer got cast out of Heaven for – I can do this without God, in fact I can do it better than God, come worship me.
Come…give me glory…all ye people look upon me and behold my greatness…we yell from our social media accounts, our professional circles, even from our pulpits! Have we forgotten that we are just functioning clumps of dirt and all that makes us special is that we are created in the image of God – to bring him glory – not ourselves. That it is God alone that brings forth the abundance from the dirt, it is by him there is any increase in what we are at all. Without God we are just useless clumps of dirt, a barren field, devoid of any true fruit.
A little dramatic, perhaps, but also very true. Pride is a sin and it leads down the path that lead to Satans banishment. Right now you can buy pride in the form of several new age awareness techniques available online or in bookstores world wide. These strategies teach you to harness your own energy and to plot your life using your intention as the wind within your sails. I have seen several well known celebrities take the stage and endorse this doctrine of self creation using your mind to create the world you want. You can have money, success or the life of your dreams without God – you are god. This is not of a God.
Thomas Aquinas said of Pride “inordinate self-love is the cause of every sin…the root of pride is found to consist in man not being, in some way, subject to God and His rule.”
Christians may say to themselves well I know that’s wrong, I’d never do that. Let me ask you brothers and sisters isn’t it just as deadly to taste a drop of arsenic as it is to drink the whole bottle? “I think, I feel, I want” often supersede in our daily life what God thinks, feels and wants for us. Is this not pride? Is this not us determining that our will is better than that of Gods and that we know best? True humility comes when we submit ourselves wholly as Christ did in the Garden saying “your will not my own be done.” Jesus submitted to death unto Gods Will. Are we willing to do the same?
Is this not our daily cross? Dying every day to our own “I think, I feel, I want” – crucifying our pride daily in subordinate humility to Gods thoughts, feelings and wants – His Perfect Will.
The new school effort in the world is to glorify ourselves. To teach great abundance in the self-esteem area and inflict a drought in the area of humility and submission to God. People are building a multi-billion dollar industry on this sense of “healthy self-esteem” – I affirm that the ONLY healthy sense of self-esteem is found at the foot of the cross where you come to the deep awareness that without Christ you are nothing.
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” – 1 Peter 5:5
Pride in anything that you are is vanity. God gave you the mind you have, who are you to boast, for what did you have to do with its creation? God gave you the very life you use to parade around and profess your superiority of being to others, who are you to boast of anything, for God knew you before he formed you in the womb according to the Bible. You neither formed yourself nor could you predestined your self to go unto the world and be anything of any real importance without Gods grace and intervention.God did all of that – so who are we to boast of anything?
James 4:6 – “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
James 4:10 – “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
Our thoughts, feelings, and wants inborn to our natural man only serve to separate us from God. Satans temptation to Eve, is the same as it is to us today, do this and you shall be like God. This is the essence of pride. Take note that the opposite of pride is humility. A humble spirit is one that submits to Gods will above his own desires in ALL his ways, not just a few. To be truly humble we must bring all the “I thinks, I feels, I wants” and put them at the foot of the cross. It is only in absolute submission to Gods will and true faith in his holiness as the One True God that we can do this. This is to give him the glory that he is due, when we hold back bits and pieces of our pride, we keep glory for ourselves and deny him his full share.
Perhaps the entire idea of pride and humility is best displayed in the story of Lucifer and Jesus.
Satan, a created being, exalted himself to Gods level and was eternally cast down. Jesus is God and he humbled himself to be of creation, and he was eternally exalted.
Proverbs 8:13 “To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.”
Proverbs 16:18 ” Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Proverbs 26:10 “Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them.”
Jeremiah 9:23 “This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches,”
The only way we can do anything of any value is in Christ…so why boast about our own strengths…God made us and only through his strength and grace can we do anything.
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Psalm 139:14 “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
1 Peter 5:6 “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:”
Luke 9:23 “And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
Mathew 16:24-26 ” Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”