One Step At A Time Christian Growth Series - Step 30 - Pride
“A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.”
Proverbs 29:23

There is a sin that is hard to detect, and its results are deadly. God hates it more than any other sin. It has been around since before man. It is no respecter of persons. It can creep in at any stage in your life. It is the sin over which most Christians stumble. Believe it or not, this is the only sin that even your face can commit! The sin—PRIDE.

“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,” (Proverbs 6:16-17).

PRIDE’S DESCRIPTION

Pride is thinking more highly of ourselves than we should. It is humbling to think that God made man out of the dust of the earth. Scientists say that the value of the chemicals in a man’s body amounts to only $2.52! Proverbs 27:1-2, “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.”

Pride is taking credit for success. A proud person will seek compliments and brag on his accomplishments. Paul said, “I am what I am by the grace of God.” All you are and possess is by God’s grace and mercy alone. There are no self-made men! You are an illumination of everyone who has ever invested in you. It would be a great day if every Christian learned to deflect praise. Do not just say “thank you” when praised, but point to others that have helped make you.

Pride is thinking you deserve to be treated better than you are. The fact is, we all deserve hell! Anything better than hell is God’s grace. Those who think they deserve better are easily offended. They have a chip on their shoulder. A proud person is not usually one who walks with God. Notice what Psalms 119:165 says: “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”

Someone said, “I have no problem with pride.” Another replied, “Why should you? You have nothing to be proud of.” The first man said, “Oh yea? I have just as much to be proud of as you!”

Pride stops the words I am sorry, I have sinned, and I was wrong.

Pride encourages us to keep up with the Jones.’ We feel like we need to have what everyone else has.

Pride kills thankfulness. You will not hear “thank you” very often from proud people. The story is told of a mother and young boy in a supermarket. The manager gave the boy a nice shiny apple. The mother said, “What do you say to the nice man, Junior?” The boy looked disgustedly at the manager and yelled, “PEEL IT!” This is the prevailing attitude in our nation today. Proud people think they deserve a home in which to live, food for their stomachs, and lucrative employment.

Pride is wanting to run your own life.

Pride is having a hard time taking orders or seeking counsel.

Pride produces fake living. Many people resemble a peacock. They are all show and beauty but not much spiritual meat to them.

Pride entices you to try to be something you’re not.

A great preacher said, “Be what you is—not what you ain’t. Because if you is what you ain’t, then you ain’t what you is.” A computer expert said, “Be a WYSIWYG!” That stands for What You See is What You Get. Let us be genuine. Psalms 10:4, “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.”

Psalms 73:6, “Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment.”

Pride is the root of every argument. Pride stops an argument from being settled.

Proverbs 16:5, “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.”

Ezekiel 16:49, “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”

One of the sins of the homosexual city of Sodom was pride!

James 4:6, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”

James 2 speaks much of the sin of respect of persons. It is the sin whereby you treat the rich, upper crust, and sharp better than you treat the poor, rejected, and misfits. A person who is prejudiced or snubs the poor has a problem with pride.

H.T. Webster sent a congratulatory note to 20 acquaintances who had done nothing of notable recognition. In less than two weeks all of them sent him a thank you note—even though they had not done a thing! That is pride!

A woodpecker was said to have been pecking on a tree as lightning exploded the tree. The woodpecker said, “Look what I did!”

I CAN DO ALL THINGS
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PRIDE
I CAN DO NO THINGS
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PITY
I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST
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PEACE

Isaiah 14:12-15, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”

Notice all the times the devil used the word “I.” It was the first sin! I is the middle letter in sin and pride.

I
SIN
PRIDE

PRIDE’S VICTIMS

Saul: 1 Samuel 15:17, “And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?” The entire chapter of I Samuel 15 is Saul arguing with Samuel that he did obey. He was too stubborn and proud to admit he was wrong. God ceased to use him.

Naaman: 2 Kings 5:11-12, “But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.” Naaman was upset because he was told to wash in a muddy river to be healed of his leprosy. He thought he deserved better treatment than that.

Pharisee: Luke 18:11-12, “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.”

Herod: Acts 12:21-23, “And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.” Herod took the glory that belonged to God and died a horrible death.

Nebuchadnezzar: Daniel 4:30-33, 37, “The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.” God humbled the king for seven years by letting him go insane. He grazed in the pasture as an ox. He was later saved and wrote a gospel tract (Daniel 4).

Charles Spurgeon once had a proud seminary student walk up the steps to the platform to preach. He got lost in his sermon and began to cry. He closed his Bible and sat on the front seat. Spurgeon said, “If you would have come up the way you went down, you could have gone down the way you came up.”

PRIDE QUIZ

  1. Are you easily offended?
  2. Does it irritate you when your faults are corrected?
  3. When you make mistakes do you make alibi?
  4. Do you find it hard to receive instructions?
  5. Do you mind being told what to do?
  6. Do you get upset when someone crosses your rights?
  7. Do you ever seek counsel?
  8. Do you have a grateful spirit?

PRIDE’S END-SHAME AND DESTRUCTION

Proverbs 11:2, “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.”

Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

PRIDE’S CURE

1. Confess it. John 1:9, “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”

2. Serve God’s people. Philippians 2:7-8, “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Get busy serving God’s people. It will remove pride. Do some free work for someone. Wash someone’s car, shine someone’s shoes, run an errand for someone. Forget yourself for a while.

3. Obey God’s man. Exodus 10:3, “And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me.” Obey your pastor.

4. Remember God’s blessings. Deuteronomy 8:2, “And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.”

5. Fast God’s way. Psalms 35:13, “But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.” (See Isaiah 58:6-12 also.)

CONCLUSION

The alter call or invitation concluding church services is so necessary. Pride is what stops someone from walking an aisle and being saved. There must be that breaking down in pride at the time of salvation. God gives grace to be humble.

The story is told of a plantation owner who had a slave. The slave was a Christian and was always happy and cheerful. The boss asked what he had to do to get saved. The slave replied, “You must cross the fence, walk across the field and wollow in the mud with the pigs.” The boss thought that was ridiculous and so put it off as nonsense. The Holy Spirit began working on the boss. One day the boss asked the slave urgently, “Where’s the fence heading toward the hog pen to get saved?” The slave replied, “You don’t really have to wallow in the mud, you just gotta be willing to.”

Sources: Lectures to My Students by Spurgeon (Baker Book House)

Scripture verses are from the King James Holy Bible.
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