2003-10-29 - Pride
Fatal Distractions Series, Part 1
God opposes everyone who is proud, but he is kind to everyone who is humble. James 4: 6 (Contemporary English)
The ever practical James says it all in this verse. Oppose in this verse comes from a military term meaning to battle against. God resists us, or battles against us, when we are puffed up with pride. That is a battle we cant win.
In the mist of our struggles, our pride often makes us lash out at God, when in fact, we should be looking inside ourselves for the source of the conflict, our pride. Can you think of times in your life that you have battled or struggled with God? What was the cause? What was the outcome?
Pride Inflates our Self-Importance
If you think you are too important to help someone in need, you are only fooling yourself. You are really a nobody. Galatians 6: 3 (NLT)
We often gain self-worth from how busy we can appear to others. Somehow we have translated busyness to mean importance. This source of pride is a barrier that not only inflates our self-importance, but also blocks our tolerance toward other people and their problems.
Can you think of a time that you were too busy to help a friend, co-worker, spouse or family member? How did you feel afterwards?
What are other sources of pride that inflate our self-worth?
Pride binds us and distorts our identity:
Be sure to do what you should, for then you will enjoy the personal satisfaction of having done your work well, and you wont need to compare yourself to anyone else. Galatians 6:4-5 (NLT)
Pride is a prison, a wall, a mask that we hide behind. Doing what we should, and not letting ourselves being defined by others, frees us and gives not only us satisfaction - but more importantly satisfies God. How has pride prevented you from being yourself at work, home, with friends, or at church?
Pride Damages & Destroys Relationships
Too much pride causes trouble. Be sensible and take advice. Proverbs 13: 10 (Contemporary English)
Our pride prevents us from having meaningful relationships. We are so wrapped up in ourselves and thinking only of me, me, me that we dont take the time to build relationships with others. Pride also prevents us from repairing damaged relationships. Can you think of examples of where pride has damaged relationships in your life? What will it take to repair this damage?
Pride Blocks our Relationship with God
What God really desires is a broken and contrite heart. Psalm 51: 17
This verse is counterintuitive to our natural desires. We want to appear to others and ourselves to be unbroken and have hearts with no sorrow. The world shouts out for strong hearts, while God wants broken and repentant hearts. When we are full of pride, our thoughts are on our own accomplishments and success. When all is going right, we are great. But when our world appears to be caving in on us, we blame God.
Rebellious pride, which refuses to depend on God and be subject to him, but attributes to self the honour due to him, figures as the very root and essence of sin.
Wood & Marshall New Bible Dictionary
Next week we will look at the antidote to pride, humility.