Summary: It's difficult to see pride in yourself. This message identifies seven areas where our pride often rears its ugly head.
- Few people will admit to being proud. It’s difficult thing to see in yourself.
- In our passage for this morning (James 4:6), it tells us that God opposes the proud. That’s worth stopping to ponder: God sets Himself against such people. God will actively work against the proud. I think it goes without saying that you’re not going to accomplish much in your life if you have God opposing you.
- We all know from dealing with prideful people that pride is something that repels people. We don’t want to be around those who are prideful. That’s another good reason to not want to have pride in our lives: we don’t want to be the person that people want to avoid.
- Because pride is so hard to detect in ourselves, I want to spend this sermon talking about some of the signs of pride in your life.
Seven Signs Of Pride In Your Life:
1. Do I pity the less educated and less successful?
- We sometimes look down on those who haven’t done as well as us in life, pitying them.
- We look at our place in life with a little bit of smugness.
- The pride antidote: Do I recognize how much of my success was out of my hands?
- No doubt that each of us who have been blessed with education and success have played a part in achieving that, but we need to ponder how much was out of our hands.
- Did you choose to be born in a developed country? Did you choose your parents who loved you? Did you choose to be smart? Did you choose to live in a place with educational opportunities? If you’ve been healthy, did you choose to have no congenital medical problems?
- Yes, we worked for it, but there was also a lot that was out of our hands. And because of that, we should be humble.
2. Is my first thought at someone’s mistake judgment or mercy?
- Many of us are very short with those around us who make mistakes. It might be a co-worker. It might be a waitress. It might be a child. It might be someone at a store.
- Either verbally or non-verbally, we fume over their error and how it’s inconvenienced us. Why can’t they get their act together?
- We’re quick with judgment over their mistake.
- The pride antidote: You make inexcusable mistakes too.
- On the other hand, when we think of mistakes we’ve made, we have overflowing excuses for that. Yes, I yelled at my child, but you don’t know the day I’d had at work. Yes, I forgot about the meeting, but the boss has been dumping tons of work on me. Yes, I had an affair, but you don’t know the way my spouse has been treating me for the last three years. And on and on it goes.
- We have a justification for all our mistakes. They’re all excusable in our minds.
- In truth, though, we’ve all made inexcusable mistakes. We’ve messed up and it was our fault. Even if part of the blame belongs to someone else, there is still a solid portion that is fully our responsibility. We have to be willing to admit that we’ve make mistakes. And because of that, we should be humble.
3. Do I gripe a lot or am I verbally thankful?
- Pretty much all of us in this room have plenty of food to eat. Pretty much all of us in this room have a place to sleep tonight. Pretty much all of us in this room have clothes to wear this week.
- Yet, for people blessed enough to have the basics of life covered, we sure do complain a lot. We find ways to be dissatisfied about so many things.
- On the flip side of that, we rarely are verbally thankful for the things that we enjoy.
- Just to cite one example, so many people around the world lack access to clean water, yet how seldom to consider what a great gift it is to be able to turn on the faucet any time we want and have clean water (hot or cold!)?
- The pride antidote: Complaining often comes because I think I deserve better.
- The key word here is “deserve.” We’ve enjoyed the material blessings of America so long that we feel entitled to them.
- In fact, I don’t just deserve enough – I deserve better.
- And when I don’t get everything I want, I whine and gripe.
- Why are we like that when we’ve been given so much. And because of that, we should be humble.
4. Do I see myself as spiritually advanced?
- Especially after we’ve been a Christian for a while, that thought can begin to creep in. Maybe it happens after we assume leadership role in the church. Perhaps we just begin to answer more questions than we ask.