Pride #1

“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5)

Pride is not of the Father but is of the world.  1 John 2:15 “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.”  The NIV translates the “pride of life” as “boasting of what he has and does”.  Pride is a carnal, worldly characteristic and not a spiritual, Godly characteristic.

Are you open to criticism and advice?  A proud person does not accept criticism or advice because they are wise in their own eyes.  The book of Proverbs calls an individual a fool who does not listen to advice.  Proverbs 26:12 “Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”  Proverbs 12:15 “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.”  Proverbs 15:5 “A fool despises his father’s instruction, but he who receives correction is prudent.” Pride can make us a fool.

Some people are proud and will not accept help from others.  They don’t want to accept “charity”, even though they are in great need.  Pride keeps them from accepting help.  Can you imagine the Apostle Paul refusing help from the churches he worked with?  Instead he encouraged the Philippians to give and told them that he sought “fruit that abounds to your account” (Philippians 4:17).  It was a good work for the Philippians to give to help the Apostle Paul.  If someone wants to help you with a need you have, you need to humble yourself to receive the help; you need to realize that it may be good for the giver to give.  God may be using the giver to send you His blessings.

Sometimes we use the word pride to mean that we are happy we have something and we value it.  That’s OK as long as we don’t take the glory or credit to ourselves.  For instance, we may say that we are proud to be a Christian.  Are we saying that we value being a Christian and boast of what Christ has done for us or do we take the credit upon ourselves for being a Christian and therefore are better than everyone else?  The following passages speak of glorying or boasting.  James 1:9-10a “Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, but the rich in his humiliation”.  Rom 15:17 “Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God.”  If we do boast, I believe we should be careful to give God the glory for what he has done for us.

We may be proud of our physical attributes:  tall or short, pretty or handsome, light color or dark color, strong or shapely, old or young.  We may be proud of where we live: our country, our city, our state, our climate, whether we have pretty trees or beautiful beaches or desert.  We may be proud of our family: our children and their accomplishments and abilities, our parents, our ancestors, our spouse.  If we have good health, we may take pride in that.  But should we really take credit for any of these things?  In every case, what we have comes from God (1 Corinthians 4:7); let us be thankful and glorify God.

When we are proud, our focus is upon ourselves rather than on God or other people. We need to see others as better (more important) than ourselves.  Philippians 2:3-11 “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  We need to be like Christ who humbled himself and became a servant of mankind.  He was not proud even though he was the son of God.  He voluntarily humbled himself and so should we.

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