A Christians approach to life situations part 4

Pride

 

Pride is something that many people have to struggle with and so I want to show what the Bible says about pride and what happens when people allow pride to enter into their lives and what we can do to prevent pride from entering into our lives. First letís define Pride.

 

Pride - pride, haughtiness, arrogance, the characteristic of one who, with a swollen estimate of his own powers or merits, looks down on others and even treats them with insolence and contempt: (Thayer)

 

I am sure most of us know people who fit this definition and I donít know of anyone who likes to be around such people who think so highly of themselves and as we will see in this lesson Christians are to stay far away from pride and from those who are prideful.

 

What is the source of pride?

 

1 John 2:16 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 world and manmade ideas is the source of pride.

 

1 Corinthians 4:6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.

 

Paul is telling us that when we use the Bible as our guide and we do not go beyond it principles we will not have pride, which shows that God nor His word is not the source of pride. This means that pride comes from those things found outside of Godís righteousness.

 

The Bible has nothing good to say about pride and will cause you to suffer the same fate as the devil (1 Tim. 3:6). Letís take a look at some of the things that God word says about pride.

 

1 Samuel 2:3 Talk no more so very proudly; Let no arrogance come from your mouth, For the LORD is the God of knowledge; And by Him actions are weighed.

 

Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.

 

Proverbs 13:10 By pride comes nothing but strife,

 

Proverbs 15:25 The LORD will destroy the house of the proud,

 

Proverbs 16:5 Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; Though they join forces, none will go unpunished.

 

Proverbs 21:4 A haughty look, a proud heart, And the plowing of the wicked are sin.

 

Psalm 17:10 They have closed up their fat hearts; With their mouths they speak proudly.

 

Psalm 101:5 The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart, Him I will not endure.

 

Psalm 119:69 The proud have forged a lie against me, But I will keep Your precepts with my whole heart.

 

Psalm 138:6 Though the LORD is on high, Yet He regards the lowly; But the proud He knows from afar.

 

Jesus says that pride defiles a person Mark. 7:21-23.

 

James 4:6 "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

 

All these verses we have looked at so far clearly show that God does approve of pride and that we will never make to heaven if we are prideful people. Now lets take a look at several examples of pride and what the results were.

 

Our first example comes from Ahithophel who was a counselor for David at first, but Absalom, Davidís son, rebelled against his father, Ahithophel joined Absalomís side. First he told him to go into his fatherís harem and he did. Next, he advised him to pursue his father while he was weak, so he could destroy him. However, Absalom did not follow that advice. Now watch what happens to Ahithophel because of his pride.

 

2 Samuel 17:23 Now when Ahithophel saw that his advice was not followed, he saddled a donkey, and arose and went home to his house, to his city. Then he put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died; and he was buried in his father's tomb.

 

Naaman almost allowed pride to keep him from being cleansed of his leprosy 2 Kings 5.

 

Haman allowed his pride to make him plot and try to destroy Mordecai and the Jews and it ended up causing him to be hung by the gallows he made to hang Mordecai on. ††

 

Daniel 4:30 The king spoke, saying, "Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?"31 While the word was still in the king's mouth, a voice fell from heaven: "King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you!32 And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses."33 That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles' feathers and his nails like birds' claws.34 And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation.

 

Daniel 4:37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.

 

Now lets take a look at some N.T examples

 

Herod was prideful.

 

Acts 12:20 Now Herod had been very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; but they came to him with one accord, and having made Blastus the king's personal aide their friend, they asked for peace, because their country was supplied with food by the king's country.21 So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them.22 And the people kept shouting, "The voice of a god and not of a man!"23 Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died.

 

Paul was prideful with his Jewish decent. This is what kept him from hearing the truth. It took Jesus himself to break his pride.

 

Another great example comes from Jesus.

 

Luke 18:9 Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:10 "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.11 "The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank You that I am not like other men -- extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.12 'I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.'13 "And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!'14 "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

 

We could look at more examples, but now I want to take a look at how we can stay away from pride. First lets look at Jesus advice.

 

Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them.26 "Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.27 "And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave --28 "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."

 

This is the attitude we must have as Christians that will help us overcome pride because if we are focusing our efforts on serving instead of being served we wonít have a problem with pride.

 

Luke 14:8 "When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him;9 "and he who invited you and him come and say to you, 'Give place to this man,' and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place.10 "But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, 'Friend, go up higher.' Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you.11 "For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

 

Jesus is teaching us that the best way to overcome pride is to always seek to be humble. In another place Jesus says we must be like little children and if we are not like them, then we will not make into heaven. So, the best way to overcome pride is by being humble and remember God only gives his grace to the humble.

 

As we talked about earlier Paul was a prideful man when came to being Hebrew, but once he was converted to Christ, he learned to put pride behind him and he teaches us many things about not being prideful. Lets take a look at few of them.

 

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.

 

We cannot think that we are something great or consider ourselves better than another person. Every person in the church has function and a place. Just because one person might lead singing or be a great teacher it doesnít make them any more important than the person who encourages others or who helps make meals for the sick and bereaved. Even Elder have not room for pride.

 

1 Timothy 3:6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.

 

Paul also gives advice to the rich in 1 Tim 6 not to allow their riches to cause them to fall away from God, but instead to use their riches for the service of God. We have to be careful that we donít put our treasures here on earth because we will end up like the rich young ruler who would not follow Jesus because he had to much pride in his riches. We need to remind ourselves daily that our riches are in heaven and not on this earth.

 

As you can see the Bible has a lot to say about pride and how we as Christians must stay far away from it because it is a sin and it can keep us from going to heaven. I want close this lesson with one last bit of advice from the Paul on how we as Christians can keep pride out our life.

 

Philippians 2:1 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,