The Stumbling Block of Pride
By: Loren Larson
Proverbs 29:23 – “A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit. (Self always breeds ‘pride,’ while the ‘humble’ always breed ‘honor.’)”
Every Man’s Problem
The problem of pride is an issue that every person will have to face, bar none. No one is excluded from this struggle. From the richest of the rich to the poorest of the poor, from the master to the servant, and in both the wise and unwise, pride raises its ugly head and attempts to dominate and control the heart of man. Pride is as ancient as the fall of Adam in the Garden. When man fell, he lost God consciousness and developed self-consciousness. Since that time he has been a creature that is prone to pride. As people focus on their own person, pride rises. We quickly become proud of who we are and proud of what we do. We are proud of what we own and we are proud of our varying abilities. Some take great pride in seeing themselves as better than others. The greatest height of pride’s impact comes when the individual believes themselves free from the affects and intentions of pride. According to I John 2:16, the pride of life is of the world, so all that are born into this world must deal with its existence, not ignore it.
“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” Jesus Himself said in Mark 7:21-23, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, (22) Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: (23) All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”
Therefore, pride is in the world and resides at home in the heart of every man. If we conclude at any time that pride is no longer a problem for us, we are greatly self-deceived, and will be sure to be overcome by it. We must ask the Lord to help us identify and eliminate pride, before it has the capability to bring us “low.”
Taking Pride To The Cross
The answer for every sin problem (which pride qualifies as) can be realized through Faith in the Cross. At the Cross, Jesus paid the penalty for every sin of every man that ever lived. So the needed forgiveness for pride and the negative affects of pride are readily available because of Jesus’ atoning Work, which took place at Calvary. As we place our Faith exclusively in Christ and what He has done for us, the Holy Spirit finds the freedom to convict us of any tendency or incident regarding pride. Little by little, the Holy Spirit will reveal where this “clinging vine of the fall” has attached itself to our lives and where it is flourishing. Then, we must deny our own ability to overcome Pride. By Faith we place the strength of pride as being vanquished by Christ’s Cross. Then and only then can we have said to have “humbled ourselves.”
While we cannot remove pride from the heart, we can submit pride to the process of Faith and Grace, thus freeing us from its grip. Each time we are made aware of pride’s attempt to run free course through our hearts, we must apply these truths of the Cross to the then manifesting issue of pride, and depend upon the Saviour to makes us every bit free from its impact. When we exhibit Faith in the proper Object (the Cross) then we will receive Grace to rise and stand above pride’s denigrating influence. If not handled Biblically as described, a man’s pride will bring him “low.”
Expectation Of Exaltation
In the Scriptures, great promises are made to the person who submits to God’s Process and rests in Christ’s Finished Work to overcome the enemy of personal and improper pride. James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.” Again in I Peter 5:6 the Bible says, “Humble yourselves therefore under the Mighty Hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” When the heart is truly humble it will not boast in itself. It will not depend or rely upon the work of self or other men. Instead, Faith in the provision made by God for the enemy of Pride will cause the Believer to rise above it. If this is consistently true, then through benefit of a proper personal relationship, God promises to exalt you to the highest position available.
None of us know what that position may be, but the Lord. However, each of us who humble themselves can count on the Lord’s Promise of exaltation. I don’t seek exaltation, I seek freedom from pride. I seek after the Grace necessary to live a life “clothed in humility.” But, as a student of God’s Word I also realize that obedience to the Faith brings great blessing. In I Peter the Lord says that there is a due time for that Believer’s exaltation. There is an appointed time in which each Believer, who has humbled themselves and grown in the Grace and the knowledge of God’s Word, will be exalted or lifted up. You see my friend, the way up is down. The way out is by staying under. I don’t submit pride to the Cross to gain exaltation. But, I know that if I’ll depend holistically upon God and lean not to my own understanding, there will come an hour where God, who is pleased by Faith alone, will elevate me! I believe it. I expect it. Dying to self has its benefits. So, Die well!
Don’t fail to be with us at the upcoming Easter Campmeeting. We will be teaching special pre-campmeeting sessions. Be sure to call ahead and register, the dates and times are below.
special teaching sessions:
Monday, April 2: 1-4 p.m. • 6-8 p.m.
Tuesday, April 3: 1-4 p.m. • 6-8 p.m.
Wednesday, April 4: 9 a.m.-12 noon
7 p.m. Campmeeting Begins