Archive for April 2014

Pride, the root of every sin and evil [Part 2]   Leave a comment

Pride

Pride

Some synonyms for pride are : boasting, conceit, arrogance, presumption, haughtiness, non-submission, selfishness, being puffed up or vainglory.

A prideful person wants to be the center of attention. He wants to be served and wants things/people to work for him, through him and for his glory.

We read in the scripture that this is reserved for God ” For from him and through him and for him are all things.To him be the glory forever! Amen.” Romans 11:36

There’s also a kind of false humility which is quite subtle (Col 2:18). It is when someone has self-pity or refuses to do certain tasks. This could be in the form of “I am sick, I have no time, I am busy, I am not qualified, I have many problems“.

I have met some people who refuse to serve in church or preach because they somehow don’t want to take a position. This seems like humility but it is pride. In fact, they do not want to assume responsibilities for fear that people see their weaknesses. In the Christian community this is quite common since humility is a virtue. Some Christians want to be seen humble and do things to appear being humble. Is not it spiritual pride instead?

1. Lack of thankfulness: That person finds it hard to say thank you to God and people. Saying “thank you” demonstrates that they were in need and appreciated help from others. Demonstration of appreciation could mean that other people do things better than themselves. There’s no reason for them to be grateful because they deserved it somehow.

2. Lack of forgiveness: They won’t make the first step to ask for forgiveness (which Jesus taught by the way). They are too prideful to admit their wrong and lower themselves. They are defensive and blame-shifting. If they do admit their wrong/sins, they will minimize it and maximize the sin/wrong of others and still appear better off. They are unyielding and have no room for mercy or grace.

3. Complainers and masters of criticism: Everyone does things wrong except them. If they did it themselves it would have been perfect. They are difficult to satisfy because they have a high-opinion of themselves. They talk a lot and brag. They are argumentative and always want to have the last word.

4. Lack of contentment and perfectionism :  They think they deserve the best. What they have is not enough. This often leads them in debts, marital problems or job dissatisfaction. They are perfectionist and desires self-satisfaction. Mediocrity is unacceptable. They want to deserve the best or need to be recognized to possess the best. They are jealous and envious of the possession of others.

5. They want to be independent or not be accountable: They do not need others or God. They are master of their own destiny. They are self-sufficient and can sustain their own existence. They do things their way and no one has the right to give their opinion.

6. Unteachable : What do they need to learn from others? They know it all or know more than anyone else. Whether at school, at church or at work they always have something to add to knowledge being shared. They are often those who won’t read the instruction leaflet of a newly bought appliance or ask for direction when they are lost. They react wildly to criticism.

7. Boasting:This is obvious. They talk about their abilities, gifts, position, physical appearance, money, possessions, brag about their achievements or superiority. They are often lovers of money, luxury and new brands.

8. Lack of patience, love or tolerance: They deserve immediate attention or things quickly. They cannot bear weaknesses of others and can even dissociate themselves from them.

9. Looking down on others, hurtful, sarcastic: By doing so, they are inferring they are better than others to pass on remarks. They lack compassion and sweet words are difficult to come our of their mouth. They cannot value others for fear of admitting that others have qualities they do not possess. They therefore emphasize failures and weaknesses of others instead of their strengths.

10. Lack of service and compassion : They are too busy or elevated to help the needy. If they do help they will need recognition like the Pharisees. They prefer not to give so that people cannot set a limit to their ability to help. Demonstrating compassion is being understandable. They cannot understand people in need because they are not themselves in need of anyone or anything. They want to be seen busy to justify the importance of their existence.

11. They resist authority and rebel against rules: They cannot support of being dictated by some regulations. Submission is admitting that they are under control and limited. They violate laws to show that they are not under control of anything. They will not hesitate to cover sins, faults or mistakes to avoid criticism.

12. They want to control and use others:  Since they have a high opinion of themselves, they consider that they are indispensable. They have to control and use others for self-ambition. Without people under their control they cannot have a position of leadership and be served.

13. They want to attract attention to themselves:  By the way they dress, their weird behavior, rebellion, talking about their problems they want to be given importance.

14. Spiritual pride:  It is false humility as we have seen earlier. It is the desire to take a low position to be seen humble, generous to be seen compassionate or heavy use of theological jargons to be recognized as being more knowledgeable. It could also be about boasting about one’s closeness with God, long praying hours or spiritual gifts.  If they pray to God, they will not pray like the tax collector (Luke 18:13) who recognized his sinfulness but like the Pharisees who said : “God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ For them, God is like a genie who works at satisfying their selfish ambitions.

15. Self-recognition, being self-sufficient, self-appraisal, self-focused, self-accomplishment or any self-XXX: Pride is __your name__ elevating self.

 

 

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Pride, the root of every sin and evil [Part 1]   Leave a comment

Pride

Pride

God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” James 4:6

Pride is a sin that God abhors so much, that He has put Himself in direct opposition against prideful hearts. Who will be able to resist when God stands against him/her?

We read in the book of proverbs (16:18): “Pride goes before destruction,a haughty spirit before a fall“. Those who opposes the Lord will be broken as we read in the book of Samuel (1 Sam. 2:10).

Every sin originates from pride. Pride is the desire to exalt self and rebel against God’s authority. It is the refusal to obey what is right to satisfy one’s own desires. The book of Isaiah talks about Nebuchadnezzar whose heart was aspiring a glory equal to God.

You said in your heart,I will ascend to the heavens;I will raise my throne above the stars of God;I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;I will make myself like the Most High.”But you are brought down to the realm of the dead,to the depths of the pit.” Is. 14:12-15

5 times the “I will” spoke. It was the self which was arising that it caused spiritual blindness to the point of desiring to become like God Almighty.

We see something similar concerning the King of Tyre:

In your great pride you claim, ‘I am a god!I sit on a divine throne in the heart of the sea.’ But you are only a man and not a god,though you boast that you are a god...Your heart was filled with pride because of all your beauty. Your wisdom was corrupted by your love of splendor. So I threw you to the ground” Eze. 28:2,17

In 2 Thessalonians 2:4, we also read that the antichrist will be manifested with pride and rebellion in his heart:

For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed—the one who brings destruction.He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God.

Pride in essence despises authority, laws, code of conducts, ethics, established rules and regulations.This is how Satan inspired dictators like Hitler to rise above. When God sees pride in the heart of man, He sees the work of the devil.

What was the devil’s intention in Eden? Was it not to entice man to become like God?

God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” Gen. 3:5

I will do things my way. I am not accountable. I am the master of my destiny. I am smart, strong, beautiful, rich, powerful and can sustain my own existence. I do not need anyone, not even God.

Someone steals because of selfish desires. Self-worship or selfish ambitions all derive from the exaltation of “I”.

I have pride in my heart. This is a sin I’ll most probably not be able to get rid of entirely out of my flesh till my last breath.

Pride can be manifested in a plethora of ways. It could be in Position (society, church, family),Abilities (physical, intellectual, knowledge) ,wealth (Money, possessions) and even spiritual attainment (1 Cor. 4:6-7, 2 Cor 12:5).

For example we see that Uzziah became King, he got blessings from God, became rich and powerful. He eventually did like King Nebuchadnezzar, King of Tyre and the antichrist.

But when he had become powerful, he also became proud, which led to his downfall. He sinned against the Lord his God by entering the sanctuary of the Lord’s Temple and personally burning incense on the incense altar.” 2 Chr. 26:16

Pride ultimately culminates to make oneself appropriate God’s glory. This is what happened to another King, Herod.

When the day arrived, Herod put on his royal robes, sat on his throne, and made a speech to them. The people gave him a great ovation, shouting, “It’s the voice of a god, not of a man!”Instantly, an angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness, because he accepted the people’s worship instead of giving the glory to God. So he was consumed with worms and died. Ac. 12:22-23

Psychology has unfortunately concealed pride as personality types. So if you’re choleric, it justifies that you naturally despise others, dominate, confronts, has a high self-esteem, has bossy leadership or egocentric attitude.

Paul warned in the scripture to be careful of these kind of philosophies. We are indeed wired differently but it does not at all justify our prideful heart.

Our prayers to God Almighty everyday should be to show us where pride is (not if there is).

Posted April 15, 2014 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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