Summary: Defines, describes and gives our defenses against the sin of pride
The Sin of Pride 2016 Bob Marcaurelle
Copyright 2016 by Bob Marcaurelle
THE SIN OF PRIDE
“There are six things God hates, seven that are
detestable to Him: haughty eyes..” (Proverbs 6:16)
“Pride and arrogance I do hate.” (Prov. 8:3)
“The Lord detests (KJV- an abomination) all the proud of. Be sure
of this: They will not go unpunished.” (Prov. 16:5)
We get the message- Pride, to God, is an abomination. The church agrees. Augustine, who laid the foundation for Protestant Christianity, called it the “Unpardonable Sin”. Acquinas, who laid the foundation for Roman Catholic Christianity said it is the deadliest of of the deadly sins.
WHAT IS PRIDE?
Not all pride is bad. There is nothing wrong with being proud of someone who has overcome obstacles to achieve a worthwhile goal. If your child works hard to improve their grades and suceeds it is not only right to be proud but we need to let them know. Everybody needs an “attaboy” sometimes to be encouraged.
Pride becomes bad when achievements are not worthwhile. For example a bully can be proud of being able to beat up everybody in school. It is when his achievements make him feel superior to others; when he boasts about achievements and when he does not thank God for motivating him, helping him and giving him the ability.
Discussing the bad Proverbs singles out the “proud look” (haughty eyes). We have all seen it – from the straight “A” student looking at the all “C” student; the superior athlete looking at the kid in the band; the rich person in his new car looking at someone driving a car with black smoke coming out of the exhaust; the pretty cheerleader looking at the girl who is overweight. etc. All around us we see pride of race and pride of place whether is be financial, social, intellectual, physical or national.
It has helped me when I see someone with the “pride look” all over his or her face, to think of a Camel. A camel is ugly, nasty and smelly and he looks down one you. You can look into his nostrils and is mouth because he is always chewing something and slobbering. That is how a proud person looks to God.
Worst of all is pride of grace. This is when a strong Christian (or someone who thinks he is a Christian) looks down on and feels superior to the weaker Christian. This, along with the absence of love was the crowning sin of the Pharisees, the ones most responsible for having Jesus killed.
One day Jesus saw a crowd of Pharisees who “were confident of their own goodness (righteousness) and “looked down on everybody else.” (Lk. 18:9). And He told a parable about a Pharisee and a tax collector- the group hated the most by the Jewish people who considered them traitors. The two were in church and the tax collector far away from the Pharisee bared his soul about his sinfulness and cried for mercy. The Pharisee prayed about himself and told God how good he was and how thankful that he was not like that Publican there.
We should be thankful for things like this but this man made two mistakes. He felt that his virtues made him better than others who didn't live this way and he did not pray for God to help the Publican. He criticized him. Jesus said, he “exalted himself” (18:14).
We find this in our churches. First Timothy 3:6 says we not to ordain a new convert as a Pastor because, “He may become conceited and end up receiving the same judgment that came on the devil” (1 Tim. 3:6). The devil lost his place before God because he was proud.
WHAT IS SO BAD ABOUT PRIDE?
1. It Dethrones God
Pride, on the surface seems to be harmless and “victom-less”. Why is it called an abomination? Reason number one is that it dethrones God in a person's heart. Psalm 10: 4 says, “In his pride the wicked man does not seek Him (God). In all his thoughts there is no room for God.”
The most important person in a proud person's life is himself. He is the center of his existence. He is his own little god. In Acts 12 King Herod began persecuting the Twelve Apostles in Jerusalem and killed James. God did not strike him down for this. But later when he wore his kingly robes and delivered a speech the people shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not a man.” Because he relished in this and did not give praise to God, God sent an angel to give him a disease that created worms that ate him on the inside until he died.
We do not have many who will be this brazen. But the majority of people in our world dethrone God in their lives, trust in their own strength and wisdom an in essence tell God, “I don't need you.” Wallace Henly wrote in “Invictus”, a declaration of independence from God,