Tuesday, September 30, 2014
“Pride is Destructive”
You’re listening to The New You, the daily broadcast for people who have been made new by the blood of Christ. I’m Robert Hatfield, and here is today’s Scripture:
Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall (Prov. 16:18).
There is a good kind of pride and a bad kind of pride. The good kind is that which is derived from a feeling of deep satisfaction from one’s achievements, represented through taking pride in your work, for example. However, there is also the sin of pride, which involves an excessively high opinion of self. Someone has said, “An egg and an ego are both useless until they have been broken.” I think that’s true.
I’m telling you today that pride is destructive. But you didn’t need me to tell you that. The Bible has said it all along in passages like Proverbs 16:18. Today, let’s look at six types of pride that are destructive.
1. Pride is personally destructive. Hear these two inspired proverbs. First, Proverbs 18:12: “Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, And before honor is humility.” Second, listen to Proverbs 15:25: “The LORD will destroy the house of the proud, But He will establish the boundary of the widow.”
2. Spiritual pride is destructive. God’s Word defines true purity, yet the Proverbs writer tell us of a generation of people that defined purity for themselves: “There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, Yet is not washed from its filthiness. There is a generation— oh, how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up” (Prov. 30:12-13).
3. Intellectual pride is destructive. Some people become highly advanced academically and begin to think that they are better than other people. Others advance so highly that they begin to think that they know more than God Himself, or at least they think they know more than God’s Word does. This is pride with a whole lot of self-deception. Here’s what Proverbs says about it: “Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (Prov. 26:12).
4. Positional pride is destructive. Some people begin to think that they are better than others because of their position in society. We refer to upper class, middle class, lower class socially, economically, and every other way, and the temptation becomes great to resent those “above” us (so to speak) and disdain those who are “below” us. It’s interesting that the New Testament refers to Christians as God’s children (1 John 3:1). We are identified as such only by God’s grace (Eph. 2). Consequently, Paul and James referred to themselves as slaves (Rom. 1:1; James 1:1). It occurs to me that a slave is not concerned with having a position of prominence. May we learn the lesson.
5. Material pride is destructive. Sometimes we can be filled with pride because of the things we possess. Proverbs warns us of this mindset, too: “Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil with the proud” (Prov. 16:19). Add these thoughts to those written by Paul in 1 Timothy 6:7-10, where the Holy Spirit says that we ought to be content with food and clothing because we brought nothing into this world and we certainly will carry nothing out of it.
6. Pride is destructive to relationships. Proverbs 13:10 says, “By pride comes nothing but strife, But with the well-advised is wisdom.” Do you want to help your relationships with others? Then get rid of the pride and humbly become like Jesus.
Let’s wrap it up: Pride is destructive. It destroys the life of the one it plagues, but it also destroys that person’s relationships and blessings. It turns everything on its head and distorts even the good parts of life. It’s so easy to fall into pride’s trap. Remember James’s words: “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” (James 4:10).
Memory Verse: This week’s verse mentions that humility with which we should serve God. Here’s Micah 6:8:
He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)
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