God views pride differently than the world sees it


Mike Ruffin


Mike Ruffin
Religion Columnist

Friday, February 23, 2018

“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:8)

Here’s a question for your Sunday School class. Ask your classmates how many of the seven deadly sins they can name. Just in case you don’t know, they are pride (vanity), envy, gluttony, lust, anger, covetousness, and sloth.

One of these sins is described as an abomination to God. Do you know which one? I remember it from years ago in an exchange I had with my son.

Mark was a teenager at the time. And just like any other teenager, he didn’t always agree with everything his parents told him. Sometimes, however, he’d let his tongue get the best of him. Once when he fired off an impolite remark, I called him into the room and playfully asked him to get down on his knees and apologize. “I don’t get down on my knees for anybody,” he smiled. When he realized what he had said, he quickly added, “Except God”!

What we see at work here is pride. The world sees as a virtue, but God calls it as He sees it. It’s sin. In Proverbs, he said is this way: “Everyone that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord.” (Proverbs 16:5)

Pride is mentioned forty-six times in the King James Bible, but it’s never referred to in a positive way. The reason is simple. God doesn’t see pride as a virtue.

I once heard a pastor compare pride to sin by saying, “They both have an ‘i’ in the middle.” He’s right. Until we understand how pride really works in the life of a believer, we’re not likely to see it the same way God sees it.

The truth is pride doesn’t preserve, it destroys. That’s why the Bible says, “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 13:10)

Here are some other things the Bible says about pride:

1. Pride is a despised sin: “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the forward mouth, do I hate.” (Proverbs 8:13)

2. Pride is a defiling sin: “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts. Adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” (Mark 7:21-23)

3. Pride is a debilitating sin: “But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him.” (Daniel 5:20)

4. Pride is a disrespected sin: “Blessed is the man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.” (Psalm 40:4)

5. Pride is a deceptive sin: “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” (Galatians 6:3)

6. Pride is a distancing sin: “Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud knoweth afar off.” (Psalm 138:6)

7. Pride is a debasing sin: “A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit.” (Proverbs 29:23)

None of us is immune to the sin of pride. It’s the way of the world, but it’s not a godly quality that the Lord wants to see in us. Mark Twain said it this way, “Human pride is not worthwhile; there is always something lying in wait to take the wind out of it.”

Write to Mike Ruffin at mike.ruffin@devotions.com. His website is devotions.com.