Is Your Pride In The Way?

If jealousy is the green-eyed monster, I wonder what color eyes pride has. This sin is so tempting for the human flesh and it is one of the things we hate most in others. How much easier it is to see pride in someone else and not even notice it in ourselves.

In the KJV Bible, three Hebrew words were translated to our word "pride." They meant glory, height and excellence. Combined, these words give us a clear picture of the sinful, destructive nature of pride. Pride puffs us up and we begin to compare ourselves to those around us, putting us on a higher and higher pedestal. This evil thinking drives a wedge into our relationship with others and tears us away from fellowship with God.

Now there is a difference between being proud of someone for their accomplishments and the work they do for the Lord, and the feelings of superiority that Satan wants to use to control our thoughts. The sin is the lifting up of self, not the support and love of someone else.

Have you ever stopped to think about the number of times you talk about yourself during a single day: what you feel, how you feel, what you're thinking, what you've accomplished and what your plans are? Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh (Matthew 12:34) and when your speech is full of "I, me, my and myself" it's pretty clear what the abundance of your heart is.

An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin. Proverbs 21:4

Pride craves the spotlight, seeks recognition and acts in ways that will be noticed. It may surface when given responsibilities others don't have, when God blesses us with success or when others fail. In any of these circumstances, the sin of pride is hateful and destructive. Not only can we lash out at other people, but we allow evil to eat away at us from the inside.

Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be the greatest. And Jesus, preceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him, And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great. Luke 9:46-48

Can you imagine learning from Jesus Christ every day and still feeling the need to lift yourself up above others? With everything they were watching Jesus do and despite the words of truth He spoke of, they were not grasping the concept of humility.

The polar opposite of pride, humility calmly and sweetly lifts up other people for their accomplishments and their walk with the Lord. There is no need to talk about self or even talk about how humble we are trying to be. There is no effort required in humility - it simply means shining the spotlight on God's work in our lives, telling what He has done to change us.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:5-8

We can't say, I will "humble myself" so that I can be lifted up. God looks upon the heart and knows the truth of our thoughts. True humility looks beyond the possible benefits and chooses to be obedient to God first. Pride originates in the flesh, which is a far cry from obedience, and blinds us to the real work God wants us to do for Him.

If pride is in the way in your life, I pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal these areas to you. Sometimes we need to quiet ourselves for a little while so God can deal with our hearts and help us grow in Him. The fleshly sin of pride can make seeing and hearing these convictions difficult. The blessings come when we take ourselves out of the equation so Jesus and His saving truth can shine through.

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