Jeremiah 49:16 “Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD.”
There is not one of us who hasn’t been caught in the sin of pride. It is an equal opportunity destroyer and one of the devil’s favorite and most effective tools.
Thinking back on my own pride, I’d look down my nose at others thinking myself better. Whether situation, or circumstance; social standing or popularity; knowledge or education; financial or family status; all can contribute to pride if not put into the proper perspective.
It sneaks in so subtily. It can only be detected by its fruit.
Proverbs 13:10 “Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.”
So, when I am in contention with others, it is not their pride that should concern me. I am personally responsible for my part of the contention that exists between us.
It sneaks in when our spirit is wounded. We wonder who will take up our part and comfort us or console us. We look for an advocate among those around us and find none. Anger rises and we lash out at those closest to us because hurt people hurt people.
If we aren’t careful, we forsake God’s solution and blame others for our hurt. We project our hurt onto them accuse, use them and abuse them. All the while never being satisfied or coming to grips with the root of the problem.
Speaking of roots…
Hebrews 12:14-16 “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.”
Unless properly dealt with, our pride will turn into bitterness and begin to affect all those around us. All the while, the devil is sitting with his minions laughing at the self-destruction and collateral damage caused by a single seed of pride he planted in our heart.
The seeds of pride are visible all around us. Whether in the arena of politics, education, employment, in our church or in our homes; pride rears its ugly head wherever and whenever we give way.
The devastation that pride has caused is far reaching. It has broken marriages, families and separated the closest of friends. It has split and sometimes killed churches. It has caused wars and spawned such violence that even the innocent were affected.
Throughout the ages, we have seen the wide swath of destruction left by the effects of pride. As long as we give place to the seeds planted by the enemy, it will continue.
Humility. Plain and simple.
Satan will use arguments of fairness, justice and even truth to leverage our hearts into the bonds of pride. He will sidle up next to us and encourage us to take up our cause and fight for what we feel is right.
Realizing the only True and Right Judge is God, I must yield even my own sense of justice to Him.
Unrequited justice can so easily turn into vengeance.
We must deal with it spiritually.
Turn the other cheek? Allow myself to be seemingly abused by another? Unless directed by God, there is not one among us that could stand against the attacks that will come when persecution arises. Pride must be dealt with and mortified.
Paul said it best:
1 Corinthians 15:31 “I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.”
A famous preacher once said, “Dead men cannot be offended.” How true!
Accusations will fly. The devil will cause others to attack at our weakest times and at our weakest points. We are admonished to put on the armor of God daily and stand. Not against man, but against our flesh and the enemy.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”
We see the world coming unglued at the seams and at the root of it is pride.
We can only deal with our own – but if all did the same, peace would reign and not chaos.
Let us all do our part – humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God.