This week I am reading a little booklet that was recommended by a godly, older woman on Facebook. She and her husband are both people that Peter and I admire. She mentioned that she was prayerfully reading through it and learning. My first thought was “Why would you be reading a book with that title?”
The book is From Pride to Humility: A Biblical Perspective. It is full to the brim with biblical guidance and wisdom.
Why should we fight against pride and cultivate humility in our lives?
Because God fights against the proud. “The proud of heart are an abomination to God and will not go unpunished.” Prov. 16:5 But, God gives grace to the humble. “And you cannot be humble where pride exists.”(S.Scott)
In Andrew Murray’s classic book Humility, he states that pride “is the root of every sin and evil.”
And so pride, or the loss of this humility, is the root of every sin and evil. It was when the now fallen angels began to look upon themselves with self-complacency that they were led to disobedience, and were cast down from the light of heaven into outer darkness. Even so it was, when the serpent breathed the poison of his pride, the desire to be as God, into the hearts of our first parents, that they too fell from their high estate into all the wretchedness in which man is now sunk. In heaven and earth, pride, self-exaltation, is the gate and the birth, and the curse, of hell.
Look not at pride only as an unbecoming temper, nor at humility only as a decent virtue: for the one is death, and the other is life; the one is all hell, the other is all heaven. So much as you have of pride within you, you have of the fallen angels alive in you; so much as you have of true humility, so much you have of the Lamb of God within you.
Have you found yourself in conflict with others? Are you accustomed to feuds, broken relationships and hostility? Are there people you’re afraid you’ll bump into when you are out and about because you have a long history of harsh words and run ins with them? Are you known for having a harsh, critical demeanor? Where there is conflict and contention, there is pride.
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires(cravings) that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.
“When someone is proud he or she is focused on self. This is a form of self worship”(S. Scott)
Thomas Watson said “Pride seeks to ungod God.”
Stuart Scott defines pride as “The mindset of self- a MASTER’s mindset rather than that of a SERVANT: a focus on self and the service of self, a pursuit of self-recognition and self-exaltation, and a desire to control and use all things for self.”
I want you to go buy the book, so I will just give a you examples from the book of how pride manifests itself in our lives:
- Are competitive toward others.
- Want to be on top, calling the shots.
- are consumed with self pity.
- want personal recognition and approval.
- are often angry, moody or give the silent treatment or cold shoulder (he calls this “silent murder.”)
- Talk too much
- Seek independence or control
- Are consumed by what others think (Gal. 1:10)
- Are devastated by criticism — cannot bear to think they are wrong. (Prov. 13:1)
- Do not ask for forgiveness when they are wrong. (Matt. 5:23-24)
- Are jealous or envious of others. (1 Cor. 13:4)
- See themselves as self sufficient
- Do not have close relationships. Prov. 18:1,2
I would highly recommend this little book for personal or family devotions. We are currently reading through it with our kids. There is also a section on cultivating humility which I will cover tomorrow.
The question is not “Are you proud?” but “Where am I proud?”