Post by George on May 26, 2007 14:42:35 GMT -5
Let us take a look at pride and why it ought be stricken from our lives. What do we as creations of the Creator have to be prideful of? Recall these words:
1Co 4:7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?
What have we that we have not received? Nothing that we have is made of us or in fact nothing we have is deserved us including life itself. We are not guaranteed another day or another minute. Everything we have and everything we are is of God. The word “glory” in the verse above has the sense of boasting. Boasting is of empty and worthless pride. How can we boast of anything if it is not of us?
Pride and arrogance are synonymous. Even in the Hebrew language the words are very similar. In order to really look at pride in accordance with the Bible I believe it necessary to understand the meanings of the words pride and arrogance as they appear in the English language.
1. Inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable conceit of one's own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, rank or elevation in office, which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often in contempt of others.
Martial pride looks down on industry.
Pride goeth before destruction. Prov 16.
Pride that dines on vanity, sups on contempt.
All pride is abject and mean.
Those that walk in pride he is able to abase. Dan 4.
2. Insolence; rude treatment of others; insolent exultation.
That hardly we escap'd the pride of France.
3. Generous elation of heart; a noble self-esteem springing from a consciousness of worth.
The honest pride of conscious virtue.
4. Elevation; loftiness.
A falcon tow'ring in her pride of place.
5. Decoration; ornament; beauty displayed.
Whose lofty trees, clad with summer's pride.
Be his this sword
Whose ivory sheath, inwrought with curious pride,
Adds graceful terror to the wearer's side.
6. Splendid show; ostentation.
Is this array, the war of either side
Through Athens pass'd with military pride.
7. That of which men are proud; that which excites boasting.
I will cut off the pride of the Philistines. Zec 9. Zep 3.
8. Excitement of the sexual appetite in a female beast.
9. Proud persons. Psa 36.
PRIDE, v.t. With the reciprocal pronoun, to pride one's self, to indulge pride; to take pride; to value one's self; to gratify self-esteem. They pride themselves in their wealth, dress or equipage. He prides himself in his achievements.
AR'ROGANCE, n. [L. arrogantia, from arrogo, to claim; of ad and rogo, to beg, or desire. See Arrogate.]
The act or quality of taking much upon one's self; that species of pride which consists in exorbitant claims of rank, dignity, estimation or power, or which exalts the worth or importance of the person to an undue degree; proud contempt of others; conceitedness; presumption.
I will cause the arrogance of the proud to cease. Isa 13. 1 Sam 2. Pov. 8.
There are some pretty harsh words in those definitions. There is little good in them. Although there is the sense that such a thing as good pride exists I have not been able to identify a time when such a thing would come into play. Can we pride ourselves on the fact we are Christians? How can we possibly when it is not us but Jesus Christ that provides we can call ourselves by the wonderful name? Can we take pride in our work? How can that be when God has provided us the abilities we have to accomplish that work?
(Pro 8:13) The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
The word “fear” in the above verse means to morally reverence. Thus the moral reverence of The LORD is to hate pride and arrogancy. The word “hate” in this verse means to hate and nothing else. Those are very strong words. We are to literally hate pride and arrogancy.
(Pro 11:2) When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.
Take a long look at the above verse. Our pride will bring us shame. It does not say that we may experience shame when pride is exercised; it says that we will experience that shame. The exercise of pride will bring us low. That does not mean it will humble us, as we ought to be humbled, it means that we will experience that shame and have to make amends where amends are needed. The very first thing we must do after our pride causes us difficulties is to get right with God.
Recall in the Bible where Peter wrote that our enemy walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour. Pride is similar in nature but takes on more the character of a serpent. The exercise of pride will come up on us and bite us in the heel just as a serpent bites. The exercise of pride is also as painful as the bite of a serpent.
(Pro 13:10) Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
In the above verse we see how to determine if pride is causing us difficulties in our lives. If there exists contention in our lives with anyone else or anything else it is the result of pride. Think about that for a moment. Are we experiencing any difficulties with another person? Is there contention in our lives? If so the Bible clearly tells us it is the result of pride.
The purpose of our lives here on earth is to serve God. Serving God is not a right it is a privilege. We must take on the form of a servant and a servant to all. Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ took on the form of a servant. He took on the form of the lowliest servant as evidenced by His washing of the feet of the disciples. That task was reserved for the lowliest of the servants of the household and He took it on in lowliness of mind and all humility. In Romans 8:29 we see that God’s will for us is that we be conformed to the image of His Son. Conforming to that image means that not only are we to be servants to those who are over us and have authority over us but also to serve those lower than we are. We must serve all others.
The question may arise here of “What about me? If I am to serve all others who is going to serve me?” Within the body of the Church, since we all serve the same God and since we all read the same Bible, when the things of the Bible are applied and exercised others will take on the same form of a servant as we do and the things that are necessary for us will be provided to us as others serve God in the way He intends. Not only that, but the asking of that question is selfishness. Jesus Christ emptied himself. He could have taken many opportunities to do things for Himself yet he did not. If you recall, the Son of God did not even have a place to live. He gave His all for others. Since we are required to work toward being conformed to His image we must follow suit and do the same.
(Pro 14:3) In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.
Let us take a look at what Gill has to say in his commentary about the above portion of the verse concerning the rod of pride:
Pro 14:3 - In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride,.... A proud tongue, or a tongue speaking proud and haughty things; with which foolish or wicked men smite others and wound and hurt their reputation and credit, and in the issue hurt themselves also; their tongue is not only a rod to others, but a scourge to themselves, or is the cause of evil coming upon them; such was the tongue of Pharaoh, as Jarchi on the place observes, Exo_5:2; and of those the psalmist speaks of, Psa_73:9; and particularly of antichrist, whose mouth is opened in blasphemies against God, and his tabernacle, and his saints, Rev_13:5;
Notice it tells us that the rod of pride not only hurts others, it hurts our reputation and credit and thus brings hurt to ourselves as well as others. Gill is rather strong in saying that the rod of pride is actually a scourge to us. The word scourge means to punish with severity; to chastise; to afflict for sins or faults, and with the purpose of correction. Scourging is not by any means enjoyable. Scourging is rather painful, especially when The Lord scourges us. The question arises as to why we would willfully want to do anything that would cause us to be scourged? It is counter productive and self-defeating.
(Pro 16:18) Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Pride goeth before destruction. Destruction of what? We must take a look at the angels who were cast out of Heaven because of their pride. We must take a look at our original parents and the destruction the experienced in the Garden of Eden. Pride will not only destroy our relationship with God, it can also destroy our relationship with our brethren and cause a loss of our credibility and mostly our spirit of humility. What is “an haughty spirit”? It is high mindedness. It is making our selves out to be better than we really are. I believe the modern day equivalent of the word “haughty” to be conceit. If we exhibit this spirit we shall fall. Fall not only in the eyes of our brothers and sisters but also fall from grace with The Lord.
(Pro 29:23) A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.
The first phrase of this verse is almost an echo of Proverbs 16:18. Our pride shall bring us low. The largest facet of this attitude is the bringing low that God will evoke on us. If we exhibit pride in our lives God shall bring us low. If we do not exhibit humility in our lives God will humiliate us. It is better to stay on our knees than to have The Lord put us there. It is rather painful when The Lord has to bring us low.
(1Ti 3:6) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
Wow! Look at that. If we are lifted up by pride, if we pump up ourselves, we shall fall into the condemnation of the devil. That is a pretty scary place to be in. Notice this is not the condemnation that the devil supplies us but the same condemnation he fell into. It is the condemnation of the devil meaning the same thing he has experienced and still experiences. Pride will cause us problems in our lives we may not ever have imagined. Has any of us, as believers and Christians, ever really considered the condemnation of the devil and thought that it could be applied to our lives? The Bible tells us not only can it, but by exhibiting pride and an haughty spirit it will. The condemnation of pride is a rather frightening position to be in.
(Jas 4:10) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Let us take a moment to look at the opposite of exhibiting pride. We have already seen that if there is contention in our lives either with another person or with the Church in general, the Church being the body of believers, we have pride in our lives. However the Bible clearly says that if we humble our selves before Almighty God He shall lift us up. It is not our job to lift ourselves up. It is God’s job!
(Mat 23:12) And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
Again we see that if we exalt our selves, if we exhibit pride or partake in egocentric things we shall be abased. Abased means to bring low. If we try to stand on our own two legs instead of letting God prop us up we shall fall. But then look at the rest of the verse which is the exact opposite of the first part. If we humble ourselves we shall be exalted. God will provide the exaltation. We shall find not only exaltation by God, the Father but we will achieve stature in the eyes of others by assuming the role of a humble servant.
Recall that our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ was God the Son and the Son of God. He has all the power of God. Yet he assumed the position of the lowliest of servants in washing the feet of the disciples. Jesus was exalted above all others. God tells us that if we exhibit the spirit of being a humble servant He shall provide for us that which we seek. To paraphrase that, if we want to be in a position of stature we must be in a position and attitude of lowliness. In other words, in order to win we must lose.
(Rom 6:16) Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
The question is, do we yield ourselves servants to pride which brings destruction or do we yield ourselves servants to Christ in all humility? Humility must be exhibited both in our hearts (mind, will and emotions and in our goings about or as the New Testament labels it, our conversation.
(Eph 4:22) That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
The word “conversation” here means our conduct. We are to put off or lay aside the old man, the man of pride and ego. The Bible tells us that man is corrupt according to deceitful lusts. Among those deceitful lusts is the sometimes-consuming desire to be held in high esteem by our brethren. The desire for importance is a deceitful lust. It is counter-productive and self-defeating. Desiring to be placed in a position of importance in our own minds will bring us low. It is only by God that we can be exalted by others. What better way to be exalted among men than having someone refer to us as a godly person? That is a compliment beyond compare.
We have but one purpose here on this earth and that is to serve God. Serving God is not a right we have by our claim to be a Christian, it is a privilege. We must not only submit with the attitude of servitude to those above us, we must also submit to those below us. Again I cite the example of Christ taking on the position of the being the most lowly of servants.
(Rom 8:28) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Rom 8:29) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Here we see wording from God that His purpose or will for all of us is exactly the same. We, as Christians, are called according to His purpose or will. What is the will of God for us? In verse 29 above we see that will or purpose. We are to be conformed to the image of His Son. While that is a very high calling and often difficult to emulate that is God’s will or purpose for us. We are to imitate Christ in all our affairs.
Ecc 10:4 If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.
Here we see the key to yielding ourselves not only to God but to others. Yielding pacifieth great offences. Our spirit of humility and servitude to God’s Will for us smoothes over even the worst of offences. By yielding ourselves to others and leaving the pride and haughty spirit behind we can be an instrument of peace and calm.
(1Jn 2:15) Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1Jn 2:16) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (1Jn 2:17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
The phrase, “the lust of the flesh,” here denotes that which pampers the appetites, or all that is connected with the indulgence of the mere animal propensities. And the lust of the eyes - That which is designed merely to gratify the sight. This would include, of course, costly clothes, jewels, gorgeous furniture, splendid palaces, pleasure-grounds, etc. And the pride of life - The word here used means, properly, ostentation or boasting, and then arrogance or pride.
So we can see this passage deals with everything that makes us feel good, everything we can see, and the pride we take in ourselves. If we could have all of this and be prideful of that status we would not be satisfied. If we had all the pride in the world as to our stature we would not be satisfied. Look at Adam and Eve in the Garden. They had everything! They had the distinct privilege of walking and talking with God on a daily basis. They had everything that made them feel good and everything they saw with one exception. They had the entire world with one exception. And yet the pride of life destroyed it all for them. When they decided to yield to the temptation of the devil and attempt to bring them the pride of knowing things that only God knows they fell. They fell greatly and it affected all of humanity for the rest of history.
That is a perfect example of what pride can do for us. Wanting to be like God has great disadvantages to us. It will bring us low; low not only in the eyes of other but low in the sight of God Almighty. Remember:
(Pro 16:18) Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
May God richly bless you as you work toward eliminating the pride of life from your life and you work toward being a servant to all.