Making Sense of Pride - Part A
Making Sense of Pride - A
Pride is a double-edged sword.
Pride is both an aphrodisiac and an emasculator. It is an enhancer of both behaviour and performance. So often it's the motivator to continue when another would stop. However, it also shrinks spiritual growth and hinders spiritual performance.
Neil and Joanne Anderson reflect scripturally '... pride prevents us from seeking the help we need, and the consequences are often predictable and tragic. Pride comes before a fall and God is opposed to the proud.' (p11 - Overcoming Depression)
Pride is the poisoner of perfect persons. In Ezekiel 28, God examines a perfect 'person'.
A brief study in Pride - Ezekiel 28
The king of Tyre had gained great wealth and his heart had grown proud.(v5). All this is so unmistakeably visible to Him who sits on the Throne of Grace, with the only completely panoramic and uninterrupted view of the cosmos.
The challenge of The Almighty (through Ezekiel) to he who thinks he is almighty:
Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says:
In the pride of your heart
you say, "I am a god;
I sit on the throne of a god
in the heart of the seas."
But you are a man and not a god,
though you think you are as wise as a god. Ez 28:2
To a proud heart God will always respond. Suffering, God delivers without reserve to this arrogant king (vs 1-10). Suffering is pride demolition.
Continuing in this most discussed passage, God lifts the focus from an earthly regent to a would be heavenly one (satan). This usurper of heaven had perfection, wisdom and beauty (v12). He was gloriously adorned even present with God in eden (vs 13-14). He had been created blameless (v15). But suffering, indeed punishment would quickly meet this grasper of heaven. Pride had penetrated his person. Rejection and removal became his lot because:
Your heart became proud
on account of your beauty,
and you corrupted your wisdom
because of your splendor.
So I threw you to the earth;
I made a spectacle of you before kings. Ez 28:17
God will not leave pride unattended. He removes the pride from the person or the person from Him.
(for a fuller discussion on this personal aspect of suffering see Soul Sense - 6 Personal Reasons for Suffering)
Pride as poison
- God observes pride, it is never unnoticed - Jer 48:29-30. Pride leads to insolence, and insolence to rebellion.
- The end result of pride must be emptiness - Jer 49:30b. Pride is actually filling myself with me and thereby missing out on true infilling - Is 55:1-3, John 7:37-38. It is exceptionally and eternally unhealthy to fill myself with me.
- Understand that pride's poison is actually idolatry. It is self-worship, assaulting both the 1st and 2nd commandments - Ex 20:2-6.
- Pride is a stumbling block to both the holder and those around him - Ez 14:1-4. Pride's poison causes wide illness. (Sin is never conducted in a vacuum.)
- The hardest aspect of pride is actually seeing it in me - Mt 7:1-5. Suffering or humiliation can be good indicators that I may need to assess pride in my life. Refusal to join in the menial or relate to the poor/different are bright pointers to pride as a poisonous problem.
- God's revelation of pride to an individual is arguably the most difficult thing of all to receive. But, it also must be one of His greatest graces.
- Pride is a sin obscurer. It prevents sin detection. No wonder God regales against it - Ps 36:2
The poverty of pride is that I make me the hero and God becomes my zero. Pride is self power, humility is God's power. Pride so foolishly claims that I am the best author/director of my life.
God will always attend to and caress the poor in spirit but crush the proud.
When I see my days as His days and my abilities as only God crowning His gifts, there will be little space for pride.
Part - B examines Pursuing Pride's Poison.