It’s often asked whether pride is a virtue or a sin.
Never have I read in the Bible pride is to be valued. In fact, the Bible seems to condemn pride. Proverbs is full of words against those with a haughty spirit. Jesus condemns the Jewish leaders for their hypocrisy and arrogance.
Now, I’m not saying it’s wrong to take delight in your accomplishments. Or to have good self-esteem. Pride, is this sense of the word, is good.
What I am saying is this, an attitude of conceited self-importance is not only evil but dangerous.
I’ll be the first to say pride is the sin I struggle with above all the others. Over the past year, I’ve allowed my pride to grow unchecked. And like a weed, it’s taken over the garden of my heart.
Slowly, the last month or so, I’ve been praying “God please, please melt my heart of stone.” And ever so steadily, He’s been chipping away at the ice hardening my heart.
Last week, however, something happened that truly opened my eyes to the magnitude of my sin. I experienced a crushing blow to my pride.
I have a hard time letting go of situations and people that hold some sort of significance in my mind. Especially when I’ve held them with an iron grip for months and years. But God brought the truth of a situation to my attention. He had done this before, but I, oceans deep in pride, had refused to listen.
God showed me the futility of holding onto the wind. And it stung. It stung because I knew in my heart my own pride had made me blind. My own stubbornness had me lamenting over a loss God wanted me to surrender completely to Him.
It stung because I saw I held something in a much higher significance then it was meant to be held in. The Holy Spirit prompted me to let it go all last year because He knew I was living in a castle made of clouds.
It blew my pride to bits because I saw I had wasted such a long period of my thought life on a situation God took away for my good. By ignoring His wisdom I had hurt myself. As Proverbs 3:11-12 says “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of His reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom He loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.”
My focus had been turned inward my “problems” for so long that I had forgotten the importance of those around me. The importance of loving and finding joy in other’s joy.
I sought to fill a void with my own superiority. Superiority I do not have. Superiority nobody has.
This is what pride does to us! It robs us of our joy in God and in others. Pride lies to us, telling us how much greater, how much prettier, how much smarter, how much holier, how much more important we are than those around us. Yes, we are important in God’s eyes. He loved us enough to send His perfect Son to die for sinners like you and me.
But His death on the cross humbles me. It speaks to me of my need for a Savior, the same need everybody on this earth has. His death does not encourage my pride but instead crushes it like a bug under someone’s shoe.
When I acknowledge this need and I repent of my arrogance, I find joy in Jesus. I find joy in living for others and not myself. I find joy in focusing on Him.
So, my friends, I urge you not to let pride eat away at you. Let Jesus define your worth because in Him there is more excellence and joy to be found than in anything else.
“I will not boast in anything, no gifts, no power, no wisdom, but I will boast in Jesus Christ, His death, and resurrection.” ~How Deep the Father’s Love For Us
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