One of the greatest stumbling blocks for the child of God is pride.
The Merriam Webster defines pride as follows:
PRIDE noun Definition of pride 1: the quality or state of being proud: such as a: inordinate self-esteem : CONCEIT b: a reasonable or justifiable self-respect c: delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship parental pride
2: proud or disdainful behavior or treatment : DISDAIN 3a: ostentatious display b: highest pitch : PRIME 4: a source of pride : the best in a group or class 5: a company of lions 6: a showy or impressive group a pride of dancers
With the words, “inordinate self esteem”, “conceit,” and “ostentatious display” in mind, we can see a perfect example of all of this in Lucifer’s fall.
Isaiah 14:12-15 “How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.
We currently live in a culture that encourages us to be prideful. To stand up and be heard, to toot our own horn, to make sure people are paying attention to us! The danger comes when we insist on doing any of these things solely to have our egos stroked. This attitude has deeply penetrated the church. You don’t have to look too hard to see online, televised ministries promising more for you if you give and support them! Some share a gospel that is more about being blessed than about blessing others or taking up your cross and following Jesus wherever He may lead. Pride in “their” ministries and accomplishments overrides the tender, humble heart of a true follower of Christ. I doubt many of them started out with that attitude but over time old slew foot began to creep into their hearts.
All of us are susceptible to becoming prideful. No one is immune. We must diligently guard our hearts from becoming that way. One of the best ways to do this is to daily remember that you did not nor can you ever earn your salvation. It was blood bought by a Savior that willingly suffered immeasurable pain on a wooden cross for YOU. That’s what should center us every day. He paid the price for us! Though we didn’t and don’t deserve it, He did it out of love for every one of us!
Our lives and ministry will never be on track when we forget that for one minute. How we live and what we do to minister to others must always be from a place of humility and love. Knowing He has given us this life. He has redeemed us from the pit of Hell, He has provided us with a Comforter to help guide us and lead us.
If you find yourself getting a little puffed up and proud about “your” ministry or accomplishments bring your heart back to the cross. Keep it real. Just remember the words of Solomon taken from
Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom.
Stay safe and be blessed!