If there’s one universal sin that we’re all guilty of it would be pride. Pride is what caused Satan to fall and he used the same ploy to instigate the fall of mankind. He tempted Adam and Eve with the false promise, “You will be like God….” (Genesis 3:5) And ever since the fall, all of mankind has struggled with pride.
Pride is what prevents many from coming to Christ. Pride destroys relationships. Pride causes us to do stupid things. Proverbs 6 lists seven things that the Lord hates. In fact, these are “detestable to Him.” And guess what’s at the top of the list—pride, or a haughty, arrogant attitude. (Proverbs 6:16-17)
But there’s pride, and then there’s pride. Here’s what I mean. Taking pride in one’s work, for instance, is a good and noble thing. What it means to have pride in our work is that we hold ourselves to a high standard, we have God-given abilities in performing our work, and we work in such a way that we glorify God, and please those for whom we’re working. We put our name (and Christ’s name) on our work. Peter urges us to, “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us.” (1 Peter 2:12) And Paul said he took pride in his ministry (Romans 11:13). Taking pride in our work and life is commendable from this standpoint. This kind of pride focuses on pleasing God and others.
But then there’s the self-centered pride. In 2 Timothy 3:1-5, Paul warned Timothy about the end times and what people will be like, “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power.” That passage is rife with pride. Pride oozes from every evil characteristic mentioned. How do we avoid this ugly, self-centered, ungodly pride? James explains, “’God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’ Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” (James 4:6-8, James 4:10)
So, take pride in your work. Glorify God in all you do and be thankful to Him. Serve others humbly and wholeheartedly. But avoid a prideful, arrogant spirit like the plague!
Personal Application: To what extent do you take pride in your work and the way you lead your family? (Pride in the good sense) Where does pride and arrogance rear its ugly head in your life? Do business with God about it.
Wendell Morton and Jim Grassi, D. Min.
We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5