Summary: Pride by far is one of the most deadly sins. Pride acts as the gateway to just about every other sin, and Pride acts as a barrier between you and God, and your will and God’s will.
There were these 2 ducks and a frog that lived together in a pond on a farm. They were the best of friends. You could sit there and watch them all day as they would play together in that pond. However they began to have a drought like we have had and the pond was drying up and they knew that pretty soon they were going to have to move to another pond. Well for the ducks it was not a problem right. They could simply flap their wings and fly to another pond. But what to do about the frog? The frog would be dead before he found another pond. So the 2 ducks who cared for their friend so much decided that they would help the frog get to the pond they were going. They took a stick that could be held on both ends in the bills of the 2 ducks and they would fly side by side and that way the frog could hold on to the middle of the stick with his mouth as they flew to another pond for safety. The plan worked well. It was a strange sight to see the ducks and the frog flying along and so, as they were flying along a farmer looked up in sky and saw them. In admiration for their ingenuity he said. "Well, isn’t that a clever idea! I wonder who thought of it?" The frog forgot what he was doing and with a sense of great pride in his wisdom he opened his mouth and said, "I d i i d ..!" A few moments later he was dead, splattered on the ground. He was too proud of his own accomplishments to keep his mouth shut and save his own life.
Last week we started a series of messages on the monsters in our lives. We looked at the topic of anger and the importance of resolving our anger immediately and the things that will happen if we don’t resolve that anger. Well today I want us to talk about a subject that is probably a very difficult subject to talk about because we don’t want to admit that it’s a problem. It’s the monster that is known as Pride.
What is pride? Well the dictionary defines pride as being “the state or quality of being proud. It is a feeling of self-esteem arising from one’s accomplishments, possessions etc. It’s being arrogant, cocky and basically annoying. The person with pride only wants to talk about themselves. It’s all about them.
You know you go to them and you ask them how they are doing and the next thing you know thirty minutes later they are still talking about themselves.
Well while that is a good definition of pride let me give you an even better definition. This comes from the Word of God and is found in Proverbs 16:18 which says Pride goes before destruction. And although we may condemn more visible sins, Pride by far is the most deadly. Pride acts as the gateway to just about every other sin, and Pride acts as a barrier between you and God, and your will and God’s will.
Proverbs 8:13 says that God hates pride. Today I want us to look at a story in 2 Kings that reminds us that we must be careful about letting pride into our lives. Pride can come in so easy and the next thing you know we can become so arrogant that we think we know better than God what we need and so we start snapping fingers and ordering God bless us in this manner and lead us in this direction. Or we tune God out and say I can take it from here. But God does not fit in a nice pretty little box. Because God works in might and powerful ways that you and I cannot imagine. Today let’s be careful to see what can cause pride and how pride can cause us to lose everything if we are not careful.
I. You Can Be Proud Without Being Full of Pride
In our study of anger last week, I expressed to you that anger was not a sin it’s how you handle your anger that becomes the sin. And today I want to share with you that you can be proud without being full of pride. Verse 1 tells us that Naaman had many things to be proud of. He was commander of an army, He was a great man according to the King, He was highly regarded by his peers, and He was a valiant soldier. He had a good name, good job, and a good life. Things were going well for Naaman. He was every momma’s dream of a good son.
Now do you think that it was okay for Naaman to be proud of his accomplishments? I think so. There is a difference between being proud and being full of sinful pride. Have you ever had a grandparent take out pictures of their grandchildren and show them to you and tell you how proud they are of their children? We see those bumper stickers that say I am proud of my child who is an honor roll student. It should be okay for us to be proud of the accomplishments of those things. It’s good to be proud that you graduated from high school or college. That’s not the problem.