Summary: Pride is an inaccurate and malformed understanding of one’s self-image and self-worth. It places our perspective above God, believes we know better than God, and propels us toward tragic consequences.

June 18 Our Great Struggle with Pride

The lower we bend, the higher we fly.

Pride is an inaccurate and malformed understanding of one’s self-image and self-worth.

1. Pride places our perspective above God’s.

2. Pride believes we know better for ourselves than God

Critical connections:

Lots of physical touch beginning in preschool

Lots of direct talk when in grade school

Lots of encouragement and affirmation in junior high school

Lots of question asking and listening in high school

3. Pride propels us toward tragic consequences.

Funny sports story of over estimating self

Turn to Genesis 3

We’re half way through this series entitled, “The Higher Path.” The Higher Path is leads us to attain to the highest of human purpose and satisfaction and contentment and fulfillment and love and peace and joy.

Our culture is telling us that the way to scale the heights is to gain all the worldly pleasures we can, gain all the power and influence we can, gain all the thrills and experiences we can, gain all the money and possessions we can.

But that’s not what Jesus said. That’s not what Jesus modeled. Jesus modeled and taught that the Higher Path is not about self-absorption, but self-denial. The lower we bend, the higher we fly.

But there is a primary attitude that all human beings have that gets in the way; a huge boulder that keeps us from walking on the higher path, and that is pride.

I’m going to give you what I think is a fairly accurate definition of pride. Pride is an inaccurate and malformed understanding of one’s self-image and self-worth.

If you don’t understand accurately why God created you and what He intends for you, you’ll either overestimate your self-importance or underestimate it. Now if you gain a biblical perspective of who you are, it can make all the difference in the world and eternity.

If you are outside of Christ( draw big circle w/person outside of it), a biblical perspective is that you understand that you are lost and condemned because of your sin and you need a savior (draw red cross in middle with small circle around it.) That doesn’t mean that your worthless—it means that you are worth enough for Jesus to have died to rescue and redeem you from your sin. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes on Him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

But if you fail to accept the fact that you are helplessly unable to gain right standing with God by yourself, that you’re ok the way you are and God should be ok with that, then that pride will condemn you to hell for all of eternity because you lack the perspective needed to humble yourself and stop trusting yourself and put your trust in Jesus alone.

Now if you recognize that you are a sinner in need of a savior, and you humble yourself and depend on Jesus to save you from the consequences of your sin, (draw person inside of circle) then you are in Christ. As you grow and mature, you get a more clear, accurate, well-formed understanding of who you are in Christ. Ephesians 1 gives us a pretty clear picture: we were chosen by God, we were rescued by God, we were redeemed by God, we were saved by God, we were adopted by God, we were indwelled by God, we were sealed by God, and we have an incredible inheritance in God. What was the one phrase I used over and over again? By God. I wasn’t rescued by self, redeemed by self, saved by self, but all by God.

And the more you understand that description and live out that description of who you are in Christ, the healthier your self-image, self-worth is. Anything outside of that is pride because pride focuses on self rather than God. (circle person) That’s why both the person who OVER estimates their self-importance AND the person who UNDER estimates their self-importance (draw arrow above and below) has pride at the root of their self-image.

So where do we get this human tendency to misunderstand who we are and who God expects us to be?

It all started in the garden. No, not the Botanical Garden. The Garden of Eden. Turn with me to Genesis 3 because this is where all human problems, all pain, suffering, shame, and death began.

There is so much to be gleaned from this passage, I’m only going to have time to touch on a few key teachings. So let’s read vv.1-6

“Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?”

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