In his popular article on pride, Evangelist Harold Vaughn states the following:
Pride was the first sin to destroy the calm of eternity. It was pride that cast Lucifer from heaven and it was pride that cost our first parents their place in Paradise. Pride is the first sin to enter a man’s heart and the last to leave. No sin is more offensive to God than the sin of pride. Pride has been referred to as the “complete anti-God state of mind.” It militates against God’s authority, God’s law, and God’s rule. This is why the Bible equates rebellion with witchcraft (1 Sam. 15:23). Pride assaults God’s throne and asserts its independence in an attempt to dislodge God as the Sovereign of the universe.
Humility is the foundation of all virtue, but pride is the essence of all sin. The world system operates on the basis of pride, for all that is in the world is lust and pride (1 John 2:16). Pride and lust are root sins from which all other sins spring. Pride is the mother of evil.
God detests pride. He even hates a proud look (Prov. 6:16-17). God’s loathing of pride is unalterable, for “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD” (Prov. 16:5). But why does God hate pride so fiercely? (See link at the end to read the full article on his website)
Pride, at its root, is selfishness. From selfishness grow two ugly trees, sinful anger and sinful fear, that produce ugly sinful fruit. We usually think of pride in terms of the fruits of sinful anger alone: a life of bitterness, malice, cruelty, spite, yelling, demands, envy, resentment, intolerance, criticism, and more. However, pride can take on the characteristics of the fruit from the tree of sinful fear, too. These fruits, such as suspicion, indecision, worry, inferiority, some types of depression, social withdrawal, and over-analyzing, though not often seen as pride, are just as much the fruit of pride.
With these thoughts in mind, what are some of pride’s best disguises?
-- Depressed Donald – What’s the matter, Don? Why so glum? Don: “Ah, things didn’t go MY way. I don’t like the way the day turned out. I don’t like what God is doing in MY life. People don’t seem too care too much about ME and MY world and MY problems.”
-- Silent Susie – Why so quiet, Susie? Susie: “I don’t know.” [while inwardly thinking: “Please ask more; I want to have your attention. I want people to notice I’m silent because I want to be heard. I want people to know about ME and MY problems and that I didn’t get MY way.”]
Note: Sometimes people do have real issues of concern and need help. This example is in reference to common, every-day life issues and people feeling sorry for themselves for no good reason.
-- Grouchy Grant – Why so touchy, Grant? Grant: “I’m frustrated that things got in the way of MY goals and plans. Now everything and everyone seems to set my teeth on edge.”
-- Martyr's complex
-- Mad-action Martha – Hey Martha, take a break. Slow down and catch your breath. Martha: “Are you kidding!? I’m the only one that can get all this done. No one else seems to care about how much there is to do and how much I’M doing. No one seems to say ‘thank you’ or notice all the work I do. I can’t stop, though, or it won’t get done. I’m the only one that can humbly serve around here.”
-- Aggressive Action
-- Get-‘er-done Gary – See Mad-action Martha.
-- Procrastination – subtle defiance
-- Drag-your-feet Drew – Drew, can you please get the project finished? Drew: “I’ll get to it soon. MY plans come first. I’ll do it when I want to. I’m not lazy; I just have MY own priorities.”
-- Suspicious Sam – Sam, why weren’t you at the meeting today? Sam: “I’m not sure they want my input. I saw a couple of guys talking after lunch. I think they were conspiring against my ideas. I think they don’t like me and want to see me defeated.” Note: Actual conversation he saw was about lawn mower engines and not about him at all.
-- Worried Wilma – Why so bewildered, Wilma? Wilma: “I have everything figured out and planned out for my family and our future. I know it’s best the way. I’ve planned it so that I’M in control. I’m worried I’LL lose control or something unplanned will happen.”
-- Overt Shyness
-- Timid Tom – Why are you sitting by yourself here, Tom? Tom: “I don’t think people will like ME and I’M afraid I’LL get MY feelings hurt again if I reach out to others and build relationships. I’M afraid they won’t like ME.”
Do any of these sound familiar? We all struggle with forms of pride and always need to be assessing the fruit of pride in our lives. Thankfully, God can save us from our pride and make us truly humble by His grace allowing us to be righteously pursuing our relationships and efforts in a way that is not prideful.
What comments do you have? Can you think of other disguises that pride may take in our lives?
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