In the New Testament, Jesus lists pride as one of the evil things that defile a man: “For from within, out of the heart of men, pass out the evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, greedy desires, iniquities, deceit, lustful desires, a wicked eye, blasphemy, pride, recklessness. He even hires people until the last hour of the working day. If this sounds like exaggeration, it will help us to know that Lewis is not simply giving us his private opinion but summarizing the thinking of great saints through the ages. It would be easy to conclude that pride is the special problem of those who are rich, powerful, successful, famous, or self-righteous. As C.S. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil. “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.” So said the late John R.W. First, Lewis quoted William Law from chapter fifteen of A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life “there can be no surer proof of a confirmed pride than a belief that one is sufficiently humble.” Also, “if you want to find out how proud you are the easiest way is to ask your self, ‘How much do I dislike it when other people snub me, or refuse to take any notice of me, or shove their oar in, or patronise me, or show off?”7 Because it is so tricky to recognize, we are perhaps best off to earnestly seek God in prayer and ask him to reveal to us any sinful pride in our lives so we can repent and forsake it. Our relationship with God is a loving and gracious one. Vice President of Ministry, C.S. In cases like this, we are (one hopes) saying that we are really pleased about something good and are not engaging in the sinful type of pride and arrogance the Bible condemns. Vice President of Ministry, C.S. And “perverse mouth” comes from Hebrew words that mean to habitually say things that are the opposite of what is right and kind so as to create antagonism or trouble. It is never self-exalting. In the narcissistic culture of contemporary America, this is a particularly powerful countercultural witness of Christ’s presence and lordship in our lives. It is aimed at those “who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt.” It addresses spiritual pride, an especially subtle and dangerous temptation of religious people and leaders, which has been very much in evidence in recent years. There are hints in the text that at some point on the road to the top, he stopped seeking the Lord and the spiritual mentoring of Zechariah. That no matter when someone accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior, everyone receives the same salvation. As Paul reminds the Corinthians, “What do you have that you did not receive? by Thomas A. Tarrants, III, D.Min. The parable is supposed to show us salvation. For the good of our souls, then, we need to gain a clearer understanding of pride and humility and of how to forsake the one and embrace the other. 5 Bible Characters Who Struggled with Depression,Amy Green - Study from the Bible and be encouraged to grow your faith! 4:7). Third, he was used to giving orders, not being ordered. And he will. The well-known story of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector can help us recognize our own spiritual pride. This means that He will make the sky give no rain and dry up the earth. However, Elisha’s servant, thinking the prophet should receive some kind of payment for his services, takes two talents (about $800,000) and returns to Elisha. As a means of thanks, Naaman tries to give Elisha a gift. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Phil. What do you think this means? God Will Never Give You More than You Can Handle: True or False? Thomas A. Tarrants, III, D. Min. 2:3–4). But Sunday school didn’t often cover the historical context of people such as Naaman. But it does happen. More than 500 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer's Digest to Keys for Kids. 84. He sees people in need of a Savior. 15:17–19). Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. Pounding his breast in sorrowful contrition over his sins, he can manage only the desperate plea, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” In the Greek text, it actually reads “the sinner.” His focus is very much on his own sins, not the sins of others, and especially on his need for God’s mercy. All human beings naturally have pride. If the sufferer is hypersensitive, resentful, captious, he may be indicating a fear that he will not appear to advantage in competitive situations where he wants to show his worth. Colin Brown, The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1967), 2:259. According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. What do you think happens when someone tries to give prideful people advice? And it is pride that will be our undoing if we tolerate it in our lives. Then how do you get honor? Here Jesus shows us that he gave us all grace by allowing us to enter the vineyard (the kingdom of heaven). Lewis Institute. The first and worst cause of errors that abound in our day and age is spiritual pride. Having a right view of God and ourselves has a profound effect on our relationships with others. Occasionally Paul mentions boasting, but this is a matter of highlighting what God has done by his grace, either through Paul or in those in the churches. Pride Lewis, Mere Christianity, 112. Pride can be summarized as an attitude of self-sufficiency, self-importance, and self-exaltation in relation to God. A thoughtful article in the Wall Street Journal after the WorldCom and Enron debacles attributed them to “pride, greed and lack of accountability.” The recent financial crisis in America is yet another example of the same thing. It is the chief inlet of smoke from the bottomless pit to darken the mind and mislead the judgment. The very nature of the neurotic disorder is tied to pride. This shocking rejection of God’s word introduced Eve to the hitherto unknown possibility of unbelief and was intended to arouse doubt in her mind about the truthfulness and reliability of God. Tom earned a Master of Divinity Degree from Eastern Mennonite Seminary and Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary. As a person of esteem, Naaman expected an esteemed cure. Frequently reminding ourselves of these things is important. Both adults and children have pride. You may have heard a Bible tory about Naaman. and a graduate of Taylor University's professional writing program. Proud member More than 1,000 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer's Digest to Keys for Kids. Desire increased, giving rise to rationalization and a corresponding erosion of the will to resist and say no. But we are also God’s children: created, loved, and redeemed by God’s grace alone, not by anything in or of ourselves; and gifted by God with certain unique gifts, abilities, resources, and advantages, which are to be used for his glory. It is as if he beats people with his words. Developing the identity, attitude, and conduct of a humble servant does not happen over night. Luckily Naaman listened to his servants, those he considered beneath him, and received a cure for his leprosy by washing in the Jordan River. Throughout the day, he offers a denarius (a day’s wages) for them to work in his field. Because it is so clearly and solidly taught in Scripture. But if the apostles had to struggle with it, who are we to think ourselves exempt? Another lesson on religious pride strikes even closer to home for true believers. (Genesis 31:19) Reuben, the pride and firstborn of Jacob, was a pervert who slept with his father’s concubine. As a result, he acquired wealth and also became politically and militarily powerful. The next proverb to speak of pride is Proverbs 11:2: “Pride comes, then shame comes, but with the lowly is wisdom.”. Our phone is (860) 346-0907or E-mail Us. Any neurotic is living a life which in some respects is extreme in its self-centeredness… the region of his misery represents a complete preoccupation with himself. Pride provokes God’s displeasure, and he has committed himself to oppose it. He says again and again in Scripture, humble yourselves, and I will exalt you. When he became king of Judah at age sixteen, he set his heart to seek God and put himself under the spiritual mentorship of Zechariah. God doesn’t see rich and poor. Self-importance and godless self-confidence grow stronger. And like Naaman, we are in need of a cure, the same cure given to everyone who will have it: salvation. After all, if God worked in the midst of their struggles and weaknesses to accomplish his will—often in extraordinary ways—he can and will do the same in our lives. Another step we might take is to ask those who live or work with us if they see significant expressions of sinful pride or arrogance in our life. This is the main door by which the devil comes into the hearts of those who are zealous for the advancement of Christ. But you might be surprised to know that in all 49 places in the King James Version of the Bible, pride is never mentioned as being a good thing. The tax collector is so painfully aware of his sins and unworthiness before God that he cannot even lift his eyes as he stands in the back of the temple, far from the altar. The Hebrew word translated “pride” in this verse means to act in a way toward others that makes it seem that you believe you are better than they are. →, Covenant and Law (including New Covenant Theology), Sovereign Grace (the Doctrines of Grace, Calvinism, the TULIP), Biblical Typology (Types and Shadows in the Bible), Issues (religious, political, and societal controversies). Hope Bolinger is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E.
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