Summary: How is your pride? Do you suffer from self-worship?
James 4:1-6 (KJV)
1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. 4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. 5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? 6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
This passage gives us a pretty good picture of why there is so much strife in the world. It tells us that these things come from ourselves. The strife does not come from any other source but from inside ourselves. The spirit of man inside of us does “lusteth to envy”. But where does this come from? The answer is simple. It comes from pride.
Certain types of pride are fine. Pride in ones appearance, pride in ones work, pride in how ones place of residence looks, and there are many more things that we can take pride in. Let’s take a quick look at each of these things.
Pride in ones appearance. Most of us fall in this category. We wash our hair, take showers, brush our teeth and so on. These are fine. We are supposed to be well groomed. We are supposed to worry about our appearance, to a certain degree. I mean especially if we are going to be taking our wives or girlfriends out for a night on the town. You don’t want to be wearing the dirtiest clothes you have. You don’t want your hair to be messy. You certainly don’t want bad breath. You are going to do what it takes to make sure you are as presentable as possible.
The problem come with pride in this area is when you start to worship yourself. You have to look in a mirror for 15 minutes every time you go by one. You continually ask if you look alright. And so on. This shows a worship of ones self.
Having pride in ones work is needed so that we can continue giving the same kind results every time. We shouldn’t be worried about someone elses work or how someone else views our work. We should take pride in what we do. Gal. 6:4 says this, “But let every man prove his own work, and then he shall have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.” In other words, take pride in your work and you know that you have done a good job. This also leads to consistency. You take pride in what you do, you will strive to keep the same standards at all times.
One of the problems here is that you think that you then become indispensable. That you do such a good job that you have job security. That is not promised to any of us. Again this is a part of self worship.
Taking pride in ones home is also alright as well. We don’t want to live in a mess. We will take the time to clean up. Whether it is on the weekend or do a little each day. We want our home to be presentable when company comes over. At least the main part of the house in any case. This all goes to show that we have some pride in ourselves. This also goes to the outside. Mowing, weeding, and so on.
The problem is when we get the ruler to make sure that the grass is the same length or we get out the white gloves to make sure we get every single bit of dirt. Or use a q-tip to clean the molding. Again this tends to self worship.
Now I am not saying that those who may do these things have that overweening pride that I am talking about. This is just part of who they are.
Overweening pride on the other hand, is where the problem comes. We constantly check ourselves in a mirror when we go by them. We go overboard on the most basic of taking care of our selves. This is the type of pride that says I am better than you are. We expect to have the best because we think we are the best. We set ourselves above everyone else. This is the type of pride that says we can do no wrong.
The only problem with this is that God has some warnings about this kind of pride. Though we may want special treatment because we think that we deserve it, God does not. Rom. 2:11 says “For there is no respect of persons with God”. God hates this type of pride that says that we can do what ever and we expect to have special treatment.