Summary: Understanding the Buzz Words of Christianity
Series: Buzz Words
Title: What is Pride?
Focus: Christian Living
INTRODUCTION: “When destruction walks through the land, it casts its shadow; it is in the shape of pride. When honor visits a man's house, it casts its shadow before it; it is in the fashion of humility.” C. H. Spurgeon
EXPLANATION: The main Hebrew root word for “pride” occurs a total of 23 times in the OT referring to arrogance, pessimism, and being insensitive to the needs of others. Pride was seen as in attitude and conduct that lead to downfalls (Uzziah - 2 Chronicles 26:16), hardening of the heart (Nebuchadnezzar - Dan 5:20), destruction (Proverbs 16:18), seeking self/things (Psalm 10:4), bring disgrace and quarrels (Proverbs 11:2; 13:10), deception (Jeremiah 49:16; Obadiah 1:3), bring one low (Proverbs 29:23; Isa 2:11; 23:9) to humility (Isa 2:17; Dan 4:37). The NT makes parallel clams referring to pride as a self-conceited or rude person. Pride came from within (Mark 7:22). It was from those who boasted about themselves instead of God (Rom. 1:30; 11:20 and 1 Cor. 1:31) and was for the arrogant (Rom. 1:30; 2 Tim. 3:2), not from Christ (1 Jn. 2:16). Paul claimed that the proud were people who acted arrogantly toward those were too weak to retaliate. (Romans 1:30)
DEFINITION: In short, pride is the state when one points to themselves instead of the confidence, life and power found in Christ.
Pride is a dangerous sin because we put ourselves in a position where God should be. We focus on ourselves instead of our Savior. The only time pride is a positive trait is when we have a high opinion of God and His work (Rom. 15:17; 2 Cor. 1:12 and 10:17). We must eliminate and run from pride to get the focus back on Christ our King. What else is pride?
#1: Pride is Praising Yourself over Glorifying God (Gal. 6:3 and Prov. 21:4)
• Explanation: The sin of self-conceit is having an inflated opinion of one’s God given abilities. Promoting self as more powerful/important than Christ is improper ownership of a God given as a gift.
o Like a little kid taking full credit for building a Christmas present that was given and built by their father.
• “For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” Galatians 6:3
• “Lofty eyes, and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, is sin.” Proverbs 21:4
• Illustration: “Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” John Wooden // This world is full of desperate people elevating self over God given gifts. Be careful!
• Application: My spiritual gifts from God and to be used for (1) the manifestation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (2) the building up of the believer. God must get the praise for my abilities and kingdom work!
o It is not look at what I did, but look at what God has done!
#2: Pride is Lecturing Instead of Listening (Matthew 23:4-7)
• Explanation: The sin of self-attention is when a person is more apt to communicate personal agendas, insights or viewpoints instead of focusing on the needs of others. It’s when we would rather talk than listen.
o Pastoral experiences – many want to talk, few want to listen.
• Illustration: Jesus and the Pharisees (Matthew 23:4-7)
o Pharisees condemned because they focused on self over others/Savior.
• Application: Biblical and theological knowledge is for the building up of others (1 Thess. 5:11). While there is time for correction what should come out of our mouths is “helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)
o “We are to be less concerned with what we say and more concerned with why we say it.” Larry Crabb
• Learn to listen well!
#3: Pride is Always Having to be Right (Nehemiah 9:16)
• Explanation: When we get into the habit of wanting to be right instead of doing what God wants we are at the heart of pride because it focuses on self. The sin of self-justification is when one justifies or excuses oneself for sinful actions.
o The Devil was walking along with one of his cohorts. They saw a man ahead of them pick up something shiny. "What did he find?" asked the cohort. "A piece of the truth," the Devil replied. "Doesn't it bother you that he found a piece of the truth?" asked the cohort. "No," said the Devil, "I will see to it that he makes a religion out of it."
• “They became stubborn and would not listen to Your commandments.” Nehemiah 9:16
• Illustration: “There were a lot of gods. Gods always come in handy, they justify almost anything.” Margret Atwood