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8/20/14 - Pride: The Sin of All Sins

Published: Wednesday, 20 August 2014 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.  Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.  Proverbs 11:2; 16:18

For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.  1 John 2:16

“My Father God!  I have sinned against you and other people.  I have allowed pride to come into my life and damage my relationship with you and others.  I acknowledge the sin of pride to you, and I know that you have forgiven me.  You have cleansed me through the blood of Christ and have forgotten my sin.  I praise you and thank you with a grateful heart.  Amen.” 

This is a common prayer for my life.  God has done so many things with my life through the power of the Holy Spirit that it is a temptation to take pride in what I do.  Regretfully, I allow my flesh to begin to think, “Look what I did!”  When I do this sin is conceived in my heart and my words, thoughts, and actions negatively impact others.  This is not what I want to happen.  I constantly remind myself that only the Holy Spirit can work in my life to do good things.  Pride borders on blasphemy when you take personal credit for good works rather than giving praise to God.  This is why I titled this write-up, “Pride: The Sin of All Sins.

The sin of pride in a Believer’s life is difficult to identify.  Of all sins, pride is the hardest to identify in yourself and the easiest for others to see in you.  The flesh will not allow a person to say, “I have the sin of pride.”  Only the Holy Spirit can show a Believer pride in their life.  You must reach a point where you live by this spiritual Truth in your life on a daily basis. 

The Holy Spirit will reveal the sin of pride in the life of a Believer through the impact that pride has on others.  Think about some people who you can see pride in their lives.  Look at how they impact you and others.  They are people that you don’t want to be around, because you feel inadequate.  In other words, pride in a Believer can be demeaning to another Believer.  It has a more damaging impact on non-Believers (that’s why you hear the church is full of hypocrites – “the pride of life.”)  Prideful people will negatively impact another person’s self-esteem.  Prideful people usually do most of the talking in a conversation.  Pride can take the form of thinking that you are better than others. Any and every discussion will be about something that the prideful person has done.  This is where I am most guilty.  Pride can destroy relationships if not removed from the Believer. 

In the verses above, pride produces disgrace, destruction, and a fall.  Pride can take control of a person to the point that it is extremely difficult for that person to recognize pride in their attitude.  Pride manifests itself in you wanting your own way of doing things.   A serious pride problem will cause you to become angry when you do not get your way.  This is when relationships are damaged.  I would say that pride is the most common cause of relationship problems. 

All Believers must guard their hearts and minds about thinking too much of themselves.  You can see from the verses above that pride comes from the world.  We become so enamored with something that we excel in that we allow our flesh to feel good.  This is the first step toward giving into pride.  If not nipped in the bud, pride will slowly take over a Believer’s life and become a stronghold of sin. 

As a Believer, you must ask God to identify pride in your life.  When you ask God, you must be in a position of self-denial.  I suggest you picture in your mind standing at the foot of the cross and hearing Jesus say, “Forgive him/her for they do not know what they do.”  You must reach a point of humility about yourself before the Holy Spirit can show you the pride in your life.  You will not feel good when this happens.  Remember that it is the flesh in you that will not feel good.  The new spiritual creation that you are with God will reach a point of peace that cannot be defined in worldly terms.  You will see God working in your life.   You will also begin to see the needs of others.  Your focus will move off of yourself and onto God and others.  This is a Christ-like attitude that all Believers should have.

Pride is always thinking about itself.  It does not allow the person to think about God or others.  This violates the two commands that Jesus gave that summarize all of the commands of God: “love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and love others as yourself.”  If a Believer does not repent and confess the sin of pride, then it is impossible to have a strong spiritual relationship with God. 

There are times that pride is an acceptable attitude to have.  In Proverbs, pride is used to describe the emotion that grandparents have for their grandchildren.  The context is that how to live a spiritual life was passed along from their children to their grandchildren.  Many times in the letters that Paul wrote, he says that he takes pride in the spiritual growth of others.  I hope you can see that this kind of pride concerns spiritual matters.  It is impossible to see spiritual things when you are thinking only of yourself.   

Take the time to ask God to identify any and all pride in your life.  Jesus said that if anyone desires to follow Him, he must deny himself on a daily basis.  Do you tell God that you deny yourself each day of your life?  Have you prayed something similar to my prayer at the beginning of this write-up?  Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal where pride occurs in your life.  Now is the time to identify and repent of the sin of pride in your life. By doing this, your life will never be the same.

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