In the introduction, we answered the questions: What is humility? Do you have it?
Today, we take a look at pride.
The real issue here is not if pride exists in your heart; it’s where pride exists and how pride is being expressed in your life. Scripture shows us that pride is strongly and dangerously rooted in all our lives, far more than most of us care to admit or even think about (29).
When I first read this book last year, I was also reading another pamphlet on the topic, From Pride to Humility: A Biblical Perspective by Stuart Scott. At the beginning of the pamphlet, Scott lists 30 manifestations of pride. And you know what? There are many more! I made a note of some of the areas where I see pride show up in my life: Perfectionism. Seeking independence or control. A lack of admitting when [I’m] are wrong. Being impatient or irritable with others (pg 7-10). In my daily interactions and personal reflections, I try to keep an eye out for these monsters.
There are a few other manifestations of pride that run rapid in the church: Complaining against or passing judgment on God. A lack of gratitude in general. Seeing yourself better than others. Minimizing your own sin and shortcomings. Maximizing other’s sin and shortcomings. Being focused on the lack of your gifts and abilities. Being consumed with what others think. Being devastated or angered by criticism. Being unteachable. Being sarcastic, hurtful, or degrading. A lack of compassion. A lack of asking for forgiveness. A lack of biblical prayer (pg 6-10).
Have you found your sin of choice on the list yet? Again, there are so many other ways that pride rears its ugly head in our lives.
So what is pride?
Mahaney quotes John Scott who writes, “Pride is more than the first of the seven deadly sins; it is itself the essence of all sin (30).”
Scott defines pride as a form of self-focus, self-worship. Prideful people believe that they are or should be the source of what is good, right and worthy of praise. They also believe that they, by themselves, are (or should be) the accomplisher of anything that is worthwhile to accomplish, and that they should certainly be the benefactor of all things. In essence, they are believing that all things should be from them, through them, to them or for them. Pride is competitive toward others, and especially toward God (5).
The Big Picture: God hates pride.
Why? Because “pride is when sinful human beings aspire to the status and position of God and refuse to acknowledge their dependence upon Him (31).”
The Bottom Line: We must guard ourselves from being unaffected by the pride in our lives (Mahaney, 31). The danger is, “God will deal with your pride if you will not…Pride does not die once, but it must die daily (Scott, 25).”
So how do we deal with the pride in our lives? (I welcome responses in the comment section.) We’ll spend the next month or so answering that very question.
Points to ponder: Are you totally dependent on God? How often do you pray?
© Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 2013