Pride, the root of every sin and evil [Part 4]   Leave a comment

Pride

Pride

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” Phil. 2:3-5

Since I got married (2 months ago), my wife brought to my attention the sin of pride in particular areas of my life which for years I did not realize. If I had to give an advantage of getting married, I would say that it reveals quickly bad habits and sins in our life that we would not have realized so clearly. If we have a teachable heart and humble spirit, it would be first to our own advantage to correct some bad habits and get rid of some sins (instead of fighting with the spouse). This will naturally draw us closer to God and our spouse.

However, if we have a haughty spirit (Pro. 16:18), we will continue to sink in our sins. It is very easy to look down on others because in terms of social status or education they are actually considered “lower”. This is an attitude Paul has been asking the Philippians to avoid. The solution for it is not to consider others less than ourselves but better. How would you treat someone who is better than yourself? We have been conditioned by the society to judge people by their appearance, intelligence and wealth. Then in our heart we say “Aha, this one is better than me. He has the requirements to earn my respect“. When in our mind we know someone is better than ourselves, we act politely and say “Thank you”. This person receives compliments and good treatment from us. We might even render free service to someone whom we consider better than ourselves but how are we going to treat someone who we don’t consider better than ourselves? Are we going to treat that person with the same kind of respect? Or are we going to avoid having fellowship?

The more we know someone the more we’ll know his strengths and weaknesses. As mentioned earlier, the more my wife and I started to know each other, our weaknesses and strengths were brought to evidence. What do we do with it? If our strength is the weakness of our partner, are we going to flood our partner with criticism?  Are we going to belittle our partner and look him/her with disdain because he/she is not up to our expectations? Peter says, treat your wife with understanding. Even if the husband has been invested with authority by God to lead his family, the wife is still an equal partner in Christ.

In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7

Destructive criticism is a form of thinking of others less than ourselves. I have observed than destructive criticism never brought anything good. People don’t willingly change with it but ignore them if they have character. If they do change with it, it has destroyed their inner self.

Pride is self-exaltation. It is putting ourselves on a footstool because we consider ourselves better than others. On this footstool many cruel things have been done and said. How then can we treat someone whom we don’t consider better than ourselves? It’s love. Love will bring our prideful heart to a state of humbleness. It does not occur in hours or days, it’s a life long fight against pride. The Spirit works in our heart to renew our thoughts from deliver us from prideful acts.

But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” Eph. 4:21

We can show our qualifications, years of experience and argue fervently to prove we are right and others wrong. Even if it has been conceded that we were right, there is much probability that the prideful heart is rejoicing and saying “See, I am always right. I am better than you“. This kind of attitude breaks relationships instead of creating bonds. It is difficult to befriend someone whose high standards are rooted in pride.

Pride tries to impress and takes what it needs to show it is better than others. It is pretension and arrogance. Many marketing strategies are based on advertising they are better than others. This should not be so with people. There’s is nothing to lose when living in humility except our ego. Humility favors the growth of relationships and pleases God.

Paul told the Philippians not to be selfish by looking only for their own interest. He has been asking them to take interest in others too. Many times we do not want to help others because of our pride. We look only at our own stuff and don’t care about others. Christ’s was much better than ourselves, He was God. But He did not want to exalt Himself.

When Jesus met the man with leprosy, He was interested with his sufferings. He did not despise this man as many people did. When Jesus healed that man, He did not do it with the condition that this man exalts Him in return or make publicity for Him. Out of compassion, Jesus did what He had to do. He healed that man and warned him not to tell anyone.

Moved with compassion,Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed. Then Jesus sent him on his way with a stern warning: Don’t tell anyone about this” Mark 1:40-44

Christ came as a servant and served in humility. He washed the feet of His disciples because He valued them. We should adopt the same attitude as Him. When others do things better that us, there’s nothing wrong to acknowledge it and show appreciation. It is pride which makes someone prefer criticizing instead of demonstrating appreciation.

 

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Posted October 4, 2014 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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