There is something more deadly than your worst enemy, more lethal than poison. And it is on front-page display in our nation (and often in our own lives).
Pride is the mother of all sins. The thought that I am the sum of everything … that I made things, achieved things on my own, have a right to honor and recognition, should be thought well of by others … the list goes on and on.
Trace every sin in your life, and you will quickly see that it stems from pride. Proverbs gives a warning about this lethal sin: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling” (Proverbs 16:18 NASB).
Watch a proud man; he may know a measure of success for a season, but his pride is always his downfall. Better is a man who recognizes that God is the source of every good and perfect gift and that apart from Him we can do nothing.
Look through human history. Every proud man has fallen. God makes sure this happens, because He will share His glory with no mere man.
God literally resists the proud man (James 4:6), but He promises to pour out grace on those who humble themselves under His mighty hand. Humility is the only way we enter the kingdom (see Matthew 5:3) and the only way we can approach God.
We would all do well to stop RIGHT NOW and ask God to reveal the groundwork of pride in our lives. What are we doing, thinking, expecting, longing for because of pride? Where is pride subtly creeping in?
Do you …
- Think often about what you have done?
- Feel like you deserve things?
- Expect recognition, and get upset when unrecognized?
- Become irritated when others are exalted or honored above you?
- Subtly weave your achievements into the conversation?
- Overuse the word “I”?
- Love to tell any story in which you are the central figure?
- Point the conversation back to yourself?
- Enjoy human praise?
- Fail to deflect praise back to the One who alone deserves it all?
- Find yourself quick to anger and unforgiveness? (“Who are they to do this to me?”)
- Get upset with God when you face trials and difficulties?
- Think you deserve better?
- Have a strong sense of entitlement?
- Struggle with a man-fearing, man-pleasing spirit?
- Find yourself overcome with excessive shyness?
- Get upset when others are served before you?
- Have a hard time serving others?
- Give over-much attention to your personal appearance?
- Feel little need to pray? think you can handle things by yourself?
- See the study of God’s Word as a ritual or duty, but not the constant longing of your life because you know you cannot make it without God?
Quickly admit your sin and confess your pride. Go all the way to the bottom. Nothing else will do. Meet with a trusted friend and ask them to help you honestly point out where pride is evident.
And remember: Humility is the beginning and fountain of both personal and corporate revival. A humble man knows that he is the creature and God is the Creator, and he understands the difference. Confusion over this foundational truth will wreak havoc in your life, your family, your church, and your world!