Proud of our Pride, for Pride’s Sake

Pride goes before destruction,
    a haughty spirit before a fall.
Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed
    than to share plunder with the proud.

  • Proverbs 16:18-19

“Do not pray for this people or offer any plea or petition for them, because I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their distress.
“What is my beloved doing in my temple
    as she, with many others, works out her evil schemes?
    Can consecrated meat avert your punishment?
When you engage in your wickedness,
    then you rejoice.”
The Lord called you a thriving olive tree
    with fruit beautiful in form.
But with the roar of a mighty storm
    he will set it on fire,
    and its branches will be broken.

  • Jeremiah 11:14-16

Who is it you have ridiculed and blasphemed?
    Against whom have you raised your voice
and lifted your eyes in pride?
    Against the Holy One of Israel!

  • 2 Kings 19:22

But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God, and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.

  • 2 Chronicles 26:16

In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to the Lord, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign. But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the Lord’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem. Then Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the Lord’s wrath did not come on them during the days of Hezekiah.

  • 2 Chronicles 42:24-26

“If anyone would like to acquire humility…the first step is to realise that one is proud…nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed.”

  • C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

“Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man…It is the comparison that makes you proud; the pleasure of being above the rest.”

  • C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

“A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”

  • C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

“On Pride: …all other sins are mere fleabites in comparison.”

  • C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

“It may be possible for each to think too much of his own potential glory hearafter; it is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about that of his neighbor. The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbour’s glory should be laid on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken.”

  • C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

The two Scriptures from 2 Chronicles were added because Uzziah and Hezekiah were considered good kings, but their downfall came from their pride.

And the C. S. Lewis quotes are far from all he said about pride.

And is pride a sin?  It puts us before God.  Just think of a silly thing like a birthday party.  We are celebrating someone who came into this world on the will of others.  When we are born, we are not consulted ahead of time.  Yes, our younger son burst forth into the world early, as if he had the conscious thought of “Get me out of here!!!”  But did he really have a conscious thought of that kind?

No, we glorify someone who had nothing to do with the event that we are celebrating.

And since God created all things, all that we have done with that creation in the years since then has been to make a mess of His creation.  How can we elevate ourselves to His level and beyond.  Do we really think we are special?

Yes, I know.  A lot of people talk of how God made each of us special and we all have a gift that we can share.  But that does not elevate us, those gifts from God make us better servants to glorify God and do His will on this earth.  Not to say “Hey, look at me!  I’m special.”  There is a drastic difference.

In an advertisement for a physical training system (equipment plus “encouragers”), an encourager is telling a group of people dressed in medieval garb that they are a plate of fajitas, sizzling as it goes through the restaurant.  Everyone in the restaurant turns to look.  “Sizzle, baby!!!!”

They have hit the nail on the head.  The compulsive exercise craze has nothing to do with being in good physical shape to have a healthier long life.  It has nothing to do with anything other than “LOOK AT MEEEEEEE!!!!”

There are reasons to be proud.  When you worked really hard and got a good grade from the teacher.  When you finally got that toilet training right.  When you finally completed the Year in the Bible, without skipping those long genealogies.  These “proud moments” build up your self-confidence and some help you to trust God even more.

But, with this being “Pride” month, there are times to not be proud.  When you are living a life of sin and want others to celebrate that sin.  When your car is the newest, the most powerful, the fastest, or the most expensive in your neighborhood. When you look down upon others who have not accomplished what you did, even when it is a good thing.  When you exercise so that others will look at your trim body.  And the list could go on.

Our purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  Be proud in only being able to serve Him better, and then deflect any praise to God, the author of all things.  My usual closing is an appropriate end for this post.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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