Summary: The Subtle Deceiver
We all have at various times have been dominated by pride. No matter how much we try we get into that someway. What is pride?
The Webster English Dictionary defines “pride” as: Inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable conceit of one’s own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, rank or elevation in office, which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often in contempt of others.
Hence pride is something about ‘self’. It’s something about ‘selfishness’ and ‘self-centeredness. Let’s see what the scripture says about pride. “These six things doth the LORD hate: yes, seven are an abomination to him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood. A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that are swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and him that soweth discord among brethren.” (Prov 6.16-19) What is the 1st thing in question here? “A proud look.” It is a proud look that the LORD hates primarily. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loveth the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.” Pride is not from the Father, it’s not His nature to be proud. Hence He hates pride. James 4.6 says “God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.” The Greek word ‘antitassomai’ carries an idea of enmity with it. God loves us but there is something in us that He doesn’t likes. What is that? Pride! God doesn’t likes to see pride in us. If anyone is proud he sets himself against God. He naturally becomes an enemy of God. His life and actions become resistant and displeasing to Him. Most importantly when you are proud you lose out God’s grace on your life which He would love to give all the humble because ‘He gives grace to the humble.’
Again it is worth noting that ‘pride’ is different than ‘self-esteem’. We have self-esteem – meaning a good opinion of one. One of the commandments is that “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matt 22.39) Implicit in this verse is that we have to love one. Paul says in Ephesians 5.29 “no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it.” Jesus said “ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Matt 10.31
All these verses points to this – we have to love and esteem our selves. That is nothing wrong in this. Pride comes when we start to over evaluate ourselves. For example: someone praises you for a good job done. You have to feel good about yourself and thank the person. (If you don’t do that it is ingratitude. In that you are denying the persons favor towards you) In that you do not do anything wrong since you are happy with the praise you have. But if you start think about something in you that makes you special then and you should have the same praise each and every time then you enter into pride zone. You think that you are the only one who could do that. If at other time someone else is praised for the same job you would get angry because you have not received the same. That is over evaluation of you. You always want yourself to be 1st. That is pride! Pride says that you should always be ‘no 1’ each and every time. We will see that in many ways.
No. 1 in Wisdom!
“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made: and he said to the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said to the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know, that in the day ye eat of it, then your eyes shall be opened: and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise; she took of its fruit, and ate, and gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.”
Two points emerges from this story. First - what was Eve’s temptation consists of? It was pride through lust for wisdom. To become like God! It was pride that brought in sin and rebellion against God. Pride is one of the constituent of ‘the original sin’. It made her think that she can make her own decisions and doesn’t need the counsel that Lord has given her. She leaned onto her own understanding because she thought that she knew better. That was because pride had entered her. And what was the result? The great ‘Fall of Man’! Proverbs 16:18 says “Pride goeth before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.” Mankind has fallen apart from God because of pride. It is both a physical and spiritual destruction. Nothing in history has been worse than that! Even now pride can ruin your life if it is kept unchecked. Second – the enemy can allow growing in knowledge of the Lord while keeping you unaware that you are being elevated because of your pride. Eve tried to become wise at the cost of lowering God. That cannot happen! A man who always looks upward is ought to fall being unaware that there may be ditch on the way!