One of the most dangerous characteristics of pride is its ability to penetrate the places of our heart where other sins once dwelt. With God’s help, we begin to overcome a sinful attitude, habit, or addiction, but soon we begin to admire our own strength, determination, or purity, as if we achieved it on our own. CS Lewis writes: “The devil loves to ‘cure’ a minor flaw by handing a large one instead” (“Simply Christianity”). The confidence we feel in ourselves when we overcome sin can distance us from God much or even more than the sin we have overcome.
If we struggle with various sins but allow pride, we are losing the war. But by stifling pride, we will destroy all other sins, depriving them of oxygen.
War of pride against you
Because of our lack of understanding of how poisonous and destructive pride is, it remains in us longer than other sins. Pride distorts our perception of the world around us and ourselves, shrouds reality in a thick fog of lies. It paralyzes the soul, forcing attention to ourselves to such an extent that we are almost physically unable to love. And if we allow it, it will push us to destruction, but we will be deceived into believing that we have everything under control.
1. Pride will deceive you
Pride assures us that we are more important than God and our point of view is better. “The heart of man is deceitful above all things” (Jer. 17: 9). Your heart. Rather, the pride of your heart (Obd. 1: 3), claiming that you know more than the omniscient God. We can be blindly led by our pride, which Solomon calls “the lamp of the wicked” (Prov. 21: 4) [literally “the lamp of the wicked” is used in Prov. 13: 9; 24:20.].
Lewis, who calls pride a “great sin,” writes: “A proud man always looks down on others; but is not able to see anything that is higher, while the gaze is turned from top to bottom. ” Pride rivets our attention to us: our needs, gifts, our efforts, problems, and leads us away from the sovereignty, sufficiency and beauty of the Lord. We look less and less at God, and we look at ourselves more closely. Pride not only prevents us from seeing God, but it also removes any motivation to seek Him ((In his arrogance the wicked do not seek Him, there is no place for God in his mind. Psalm 10: 4 – Russian translation).
Worst of all, pride often looks like godliness, but is completely devoid of its power (2 Tim. 3: 2-5), giving rise to false confidence and inevitable death.
2. Pride will cripple you
In addition to being blinding and deceiving, pride makes us crippled and ineffective. We are so focused on our own life that we waste it. Lewis writes: “Pride is a spiritual cancer: it eats away the very ability to love, to be content, even the ability to reason sensibly.” If we do nothing with it, pride grows and spreads, distorting even our best views and efforts. It must be systematically destroyed with regular testing of the heart and with the help of the spiritual sword — God’s Word (Eph. 6:17).
If we feel that we have become not compassionate enough for the needs of the people around us, that we lack generosity and that we have cooled down in our concern for the unsaved, that we have indifference and even a reluctance to serve and sacrifice for the sake of others, then there is a good chance that we have malignant cells of pride multiplied in us.
3. Pride will destroy you
The pride that has been allowed to dwell freely in a person can only destroy him. Its main goal is not to make him treat himself better, but to send him to eternal torment and punishment. Solomon warns: “Pride comes before destruction, and arrogance before fall” (Prov. 16:18). Isaiah speaks of this even more seriously: “The LORD Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled),”” (Isa. 2:12).
All that is proud must perish. This terrible punishment must be borne by every proud person. But in Christ, God has allowed us to die to our pride without dying for it. Jason Meyer writes: “Only in one of two places will the glory of God and human pride collide: hell or the cross. Either we pay for our sins in hell, or Christ will pay for them on the cross. “
Either pride will destroy you, or you will believe and surrender and allow God to destroy your pride.
Your fight against pride
How can we defeat the pride that threatens us with death? Mayer continues: “Ultimately, pride is a matter of worship. You can’t think less about yourself without starting to think more about something else. ” We will overcome pride not when we think more about ourselves, but when we seek God more. Similarly, Lewis defines meekness: “Meekness is not thinking worse of yourself, but thinking less of yourself.”
As we humble ourselves, we pay less attention to ourselves, do less self-affirmation, and in return we gain victory.
1. Humility will open our eyes
In Ps. 25: 9 promises that God “ “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.”
Pride clouds our understanding of truth and falsehood and blinds us so that we cannot see God, while meekness heals our blindness and helps us to truly see. I remember wearing my first glasses in fourth grade. Until I looked through them, I did not realize how poorly I saw. The same can be said for pride and meekness.
The devil prevents us from seeing God by filling the light with darkness (2 Cor. 4: 4), but the Lord enlightens the darkness by demonstrating the truth and beauty of the gospel (2 Cor. 4: 6). We will see the eternal reward we have in Christ and our urgent need for Him. Meyer says: “We are not getting better and better by needing less God. No, as we mature, we learn to grow more and more in our dependence on Heavenly Father. ”
By directing our lives towards seeing God more and helping others in this, we will think much less of ourselves and be less proud.
2. Humility will delight the heart
Humility not only saves us and lets us see reality. True humility before God and His mercy will satisfy any thirst that we ourselves try to satisfy out of pride. If we knew how happy we would be without pride, we would have left it much earlier.
God Himself is kind to the humble. “The Lord delights in His people, He glorifies the humble with salvation” (Psalm 149: 4). In Christ, God has a sincere delight in you. God loves to give more grace to the humble – grace on top of the grace that He has already shown us. “Yet, submitting to one another, clothe yourself with humility, for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5: 5). The humble people have learned a kind of grace that the proud do not know. In every weakness, God delights to empower the humble (2 Cor. 12: 9,10).
The one who was humbled by God and found the Lord in this process sings: “My soul will boast in the Lord; the meek will hear and be glad ”(Psalms 34: 3).
3. Humility will set you free from pride
The Lord Himself, speaking to Solomon, promises the humble: “And my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, and will pray and seek my face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land ”(2 Chron. 7:14). The freedom that we so desperately yearn for in our pride comes fully and freely from God through faith. The healing that we are trying to fabricate or earn for ourselves comes completely and free from the hands of the Surgeon himself.
James (like Peter) quotes the book of Proverbs, saying: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. So, submit to God; Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw close to God, and He will draw close to you ”(James 4: 6–8). This is a tremendous promise for people struggling with pride. By resisting the devil (and by celebrating the temptations ), you will not only be saved, but ultimately he will also run away from you. If you humbly seek the Lord, who has been insulted by your pride over and over again, He will not only accept you, but will also run to meet you with love and compassion.
Believe in God
We must fight pride with the same fearlessness with which we fight all other sins. Perhaps even more, because pride is a “great” sin that fuels others. She will blind you and deceive you. It will cripple and even kill you. Unless, in humility and faith, you are freed from the tyranny of pride and the yoke of its opposition to God.
Don’t believe in yourself; believe in God. You are completely unable to achieve or earn what you most need. The beauty of the gospel is that you no longer have to do it. All the burden and responsibility rests on the shoulders of Christ, and His freedom, humility and joy are now on yours.