Summary: Pride the source of our stress (Acknowledgments - Rick Warrens series on this topic). This sermon looks at the devastation of pride, both personally and as a faith community - and gives practical solutions to recognize and overcome this sin.

We’re in week two of our Breaking Free Series. Last week we looked at Breaking Free from Persistent Temptations. This week were looking at breaking free from pride. I did a Bible word search – the word pride comes up 388 times, so God has a lot to say about it.

Pride affects all of us. It is a sin that is not always evident, but it is there. It blocks us from growing in our faith and becoming all God wants us to be.

It ultimately says ‘I do not need God to solve this.’ It says ‘God is not big enough to solve this.’ So instead of facing issues we withdraw, becoming stressed and unhappy in our lives

Pride prevents us from fulfilling the number one purpose of this church and our lives ‘to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.’

Pride is the source of our stress. Pride is a ruthless enemy and the enemy is in us.”

Now that I am a little older I realize something. I am the biggest problem. I cause myself far more problems than anybody else does. And you do too. The more you grow and mature you realize that you have an “I” problem. The middle letter of “sin” is “I”. The middle letter of “pride” is “I.” When I go my way instead of God’s way that is sin and pride in my life.

The first question I have is ‘Is all pride bad.’

The Bible talks about two kinds of pride. There’s good pride and there’s bad pride. There’s godly pride, which is a good thing. And there is ungodly pride.

What is the difference?

The good kind of pride is self-respect, dignity – the Bible says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you don’t love yourself how can you love your neighbor as yourself? Good pride is satisfaction in a job well done. I am proud of everyone who serves in the church. I am proud of those who pray, serve in Children and Youth ministries, help with administration, women’s studies, deacons – I have joy in seeing you succeed.’ I am proud of the young men who take the time to meet with me every week for an hour as we study ‘The Man God Uses’ by Henry Blackaby.

The Apostle Paul repeatedly says, “I’m proud how you’re growing. When I look at Calvary church, when I look at what God is doing in your life, I’m proud of what God is doing in your life. You are making a difference in this community and around the world. That is a good kind of pride.

But then there’s selfish and stubborn pride that won’t admit it when we’re wrong. That holds on to a grudge. That gossips. That says I have a hurt and God is not big enough to solve it. That causes all kinds of conflict. The kind of pride that judges other people and puts them down. It’s conceit. It’s egotism. It’s arrogance. God says that is damaging and destructive.

Pride is the root of every other sin in our lives. Do you want to know what the worst sin is? It’s pride. Because pride says “I want to be God… I want to choose my own way…” pride is at the root of everything else.

Here is the problem. God does not show Himself great in any life or church with a root of pride. Prideful lives bring no glory to God. As Beth Moore says in her excellent book “Breaking Free’ we all need to adopt a God glorifying attitude. Ask yourself this ‘are my attitudes helping or hurting the advancement of God’s kingdom?’

Today we will look at two things. First I want to look at how pride damages our lives. Then how do we root it out? How do we break free from that bad kind of pride so that we can fulfill God’s purpose for our lives and have a joyful life.

First let’s look at the damage pride does.

1. The first thing pride does is pride causes conflict.

It is at the root of every single human conflict. Do you have conflicts at home? Pride is rearing its ugly head. Do you have conflicts at work or church? Pride is rearing its ugly head. Are you too proud to even come and pray with your other brothers and sisters in Christ? Are your problems bigger than your God today? Then that is pride.

The Bible says in Proverbs 13:10 “Pride only breeds quarrels. Only by pride comes contention.”

When Evy and I were younger we had conflict in our marriage. It was pride. Once I realized what it was and how vastly different we are we got victory.

Were exactly the opposites in personality. I say go to the left, she says go to the right. I say yes and she says no. We love each other but were so different. We got a good Christian counselor to help us in the earlier years. We were not that prideful to admit we needed help. Secondly we made a commitment – we are going to make this marriage work if it kills us! It nearly did.

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