Divine Enemy Number One

–Winter of 2005

Divine Enemy Number One

The Proverb writer gives us a list of seven things that God hates.  First on the list is, “a proud look.”  A further search of scripture will yield another list of about a hundred verses describing God’s utter contempt of man’s pride.  One of the more descriptive verses is found in James 3:6 where one translation reads, “God stiff-arms the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

 Why is God so angry with pride?

The reasons are ample, but the one that tops the list is the fact that pride is the complete anti-God state of mind.  Pride arrogantly sets up man as his own master.  It breeds enmity between God and man, as well as between man and man.  Pride destroys meaningful relationships and leaves misery in its wake.    As C.S. Lewis poignantly observes, “It was through pride that the devil became the devil.”

Though the Bible has so much to say about pride, few of us readily admit to having any problem with it.  In all my years of ministry, I can recall only a handful of people that ever acknowledged struggling with pride.  In my own spiritual journey, I too found it difficult to face up to any problem with pride.  I believe we don’t talk much about it because its manifestations are so subtle we don’t always recognize it.  Consider a few ways that pride manifests itself and ask God if these are a problem in your life.

  • Proud people have a need to always be right.
  • Proud people focus on others failures and tend to be highly critical.
  • Proud people tend to be argumentative especially with those in authority over them.
  • Proud people are more interested in being heard than in hearing.
  • Proud people are angry people, irritable, impatient, and usually have a demanding spirit.
  • Proud people lack a submissive attitude.  They tend to be controllers.
  • Proud people are defensive of their actions and not easily corrected.
  • Proud people tend to be self-righteous and highly exclusive of other Christians that are not of their own stripe.
  • Proud people find it difficult to discuss their own spiritual needs.  They would rather cover up their sin than confess it.  Most proud people feel they have no need to ever repent of anything.

If you are struggling with pride acknowledge it and repent of it.  James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up.”

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