Well, I took a break from our weekly blog to celebrate Christmas with my precious family. It was truly an awesome time as we experienced together the true Spirit of Christmas!!
Just to recap what we have covered so far in our current series. We looked at God’s heart concerning pride in Part 1, scriptural insights about the nature of pride in Part 2, and the consequences of pride in Part 3. Today, we begin looking at the many ways in which pride can be manifested in our lives.
Pride is particularly challenging to target, and therefore to dislodge, because it masquerades as other things so we do not easily identify it for what it is ……. pride. It is very subtle and very deceptive in nature. In this way, Satan keeps us in bondage to pride, his cardinal sin, because he knows more than anyone the damage pride does to our relationship with God. Many times I believed that I had conquered pride but time and time again God allowed me to face a situation that revealed another face of pride from which I needed to be delivered. Pride was still present, camouflaged as something else. Let’s look at the many faces of pride, some are obvious and some are not.
1. Arrogance and haughtiness. This is one of the more obvious manifestations of pride. The proud look, the high look, the haughty spirit, are all mentioned in the scriptures. This face of pride is displayed when we feel we know it all and we are better than everyone around us. Many times this is fueled by being materially wealthy, having special giftings, having expertise or experience, having qualifications, having some attribute (complexion, long hair, straight hair, height, weight, shape, nationality, career, to name a few) that somehow makes us feel better and more blessed than those around us. Many times we feel that God gave us these things because we are more special than others. We forget that everything we have and everything we are is because of the grace of God. We have all been given a different journey, a different mission, or purpose for being here on earth. Our gifts and abilities, even our wealth, are given so that we can be a blessing to others not so that we can compare ourselves with others. There will always be someone who can do something better or less than we can or who has more or less than we have. God did this on purpose so we would have to depend on each other.
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, (2 Pet. 1:2-3)
for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ (Acts 17:28)
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. (Rom. 12:3)
2. Boastfulness. The deception of boastfulness is that many times we may not be boasting to others (although that could be happening too) but boasting inside ourselves as we compare ourselves with others and perceive ourselves to be superior to them. For example, you may have been successful in taking off weight and you want others to know (especially those who are overweight) just how much discipline and perseverance it took to achieve this milestone (implying, of course, that they lack these things or else they too would be able to take off weight). Pride in our achievements or in the achievements of those who are dear to us is not a problem in and of itself, after all God desires that we prosper and have good success (Joshua 1:8, 3 John 1:2). The problem arises when we need to let everyone know about the achievement (subtly and otherwise) at every opportunity or we get upset when the achievement is not acknowledged (God forbid that we have a doctorate but someone fails to call us “Dr.”). That’s when we know pride has taken over. The boastful face of pride is also evidenced among fellow Christians who always want you to know just how much God has used them to help others. An immediate warning sign that pride is in the house!
Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Christ? – I speak as a fool – I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often………………………………..If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity. (2 Cor. 11:1-30)
For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me. (2 Cor. 12:6)
Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth, For in these I delight,” says the Lord. (Jer. 9:23-24)
3. Inability to rejoice in the success of others. When you are upset, disappointed or just feel grudgeful when someone else achieves what you have achieved or surpasses your achievement then pride is at work. You are smiling on the outside but inwardly you are seething because you are no longer alone on your pedestal of achievement. Your mantra is ‘the less the merrier’ rather than ‘the more the merrier’. In this case, your achievement has become your identity and the thing that gives you value and pride of place. You see another’s achievement as devaluing you and robbing you of that which is rightfully yours. If you are not careful, this may even give place to bitterness and hate towards the individual who you have determined is guilty of such a personal indictment against your image.
Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;………………………… Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. (Rom. 12:10, 15-16)
Next week (wow that’s 2019), the list continues.
Happy and Prosperous New Year to all from Transformation Today.