Stuart Scott says, “Pride is the opposite of humility and it is one of the most loathed sins in God’s sight” (Prov. 16.5). He adds, “We all have pride … The question is not ‘Do I have it?’ but, ‘Where is it?’ and ‘How much of it do I have?’” So where does pride show up in your life?
2 Chronicles 25-27
Pride … Me?
A PROUD HEART
Verse 4, “A haughty look, a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked are sin.”
Over and over the Bible warns against the dangers of pride.
Stuart Scott in his powerful little booklet From Pride to Humility says:
“It is probably safe to say that humility is the one character quality that will enable us to be all Christ wants us to be. We cannot come to God without it. We cannot love God supremely without it.”
He goes on to say we can’t be an effective witness, love and serve others, lead, communicate properly, or resist sin without it (Eph. 4.1-2).
“You cannot have humility where pride exists. Pride is the opposite of humility and it is one of the most loathed sins in God’s sight” (Prov. 16.5). He adds, “We all have pride, each and every one of us. The question is not ‘Do I have it?’ but, ‘Where is it?’ and ‘How much of it do I have?’”
He lists some of the manifestations of pride as:
1. Complaining against or passing judgment on God.
2. A lack of gratitude in general.
4. Seeing yourself as better than others.
5. Having an inflated view of your importance, gifts, and abilities.
6. Being focused on your lack of gifts and abilities.
8. Talking too much.
9. Talking too much about yourself.
10. Seeking independence or control.
11. Being consumed by what others think.
12. Being devastated or angered by criticism.
13. Being unteachable.
14. Being sarcastic, hurtful, or degrading.
15. A lack of service.
16. A lack of compassion.
17. Being defensive or blame-shifting.
18. A lack of admitting when you are wrong.
19. A lack of asking forgiveness.
20. A lack of biblical prayer.
21. Resisting authority or being disrespectful.
22. Voicing preferences or opinions when not asked.
23. Minimizing you own sin and shortcomings.
24. Maximizing others’ sin and shortcomings.
25. Being impatient or irritable with others.
26. Being jealous or envious.
27. Using others.
28. Being deceitful by covering up sins, faults, and mistakes.
29. Using attention-getting tactics.
30. Not having close relationships.
Some of those may have surprised you, as pride can be very subtle, masquerading as something else.
Today’s reading in 2 Chronicles gives us a great illustration of what pride can do …
Above God’s Law
In chapter 26 we read about Uzziah who, “did what was right in the sight of the Lord …” (v. 4) and “… as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper” (v. 5) “But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction …” (v. 6).
The rest of the story reveals a king who thought he was above God’s law. He went into the temple and burned incense in the priest’s place. And even when he was confronted by Azariah and 80 other priests, he refused to heed God’s commands. Verses 19-20:
19 Then Uzziah became furious; and he had a censer in his hand to burn incense. And while he was angry with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead, before the priests in the house of the LORD, beside the incense altar. 20 And Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and there, on his forehead, he was leprous; so they thrust him out of that place. Indeed he also hurried to get out, because the LORD had struck him.
God is a God of patience and mercy, but He does eventually judge sin. He showed mercy to Uzziah by sending His priests to confront him, but when he refused to listen to their godly rebuke, God Himself dealt with him.
God Is Not Mocked
God will eventually deal with our sinful choices and prideful hearts, as well. Sometimes, by simply allowing the consequences of those choices to play out. Paul said in Galatians 6.7-10:
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
We need to ask God to help us see the pride in our own lives and repent of it. We need to humbly accept godly counsel, even criticism, and understand that God can and will use it for good. If we are unfairly criticized, we need to leave it in God’s hands. He will deal with it in His way.
Today’s Other Readings:
Our Strength Is in Him
Verse 5 begins, “Blessed is the man whose strength is in You …” God is not looking for those who are self-sufficient and think they have it all together. He is looking for those who recognize their own need and put their faith and trust in Him!
CHRIST THE ONLY WAY
Here in verses 1-7 Paul meets a group of men who believed in God, in fact, they probably had a desire to live righteously since they had responded to the message of John the Baptist which was a call to repentance. But Paul recognized that they didn’t understand the gospel and were not saved.
Even today it’s possible to believe in God, to come to church, to try to live right, but lack an understanding of what it takes to truly be saved and, by extension, lack the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit to bring about genuine change beginning in the heart.
Romans 10 is a key chapter about salvation. We often go to verses 9-13 when talking about the Gospel:
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.
But there are some points we don’t want to miss in verses 1-4:
1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
We probably all know people who say they believe in God and claim to be Christians. They may even be religious, “they have a zeal for God,” but they don’t understand that religion won’t save them, being good enough won’t save them, nor will simply believing in God. We must understand that salvation comes through recognizing our own sin and depravity, and accepting Christ’s sacrificial death as payment for our sins. It is the one way, the only way any of us can stand before a Holy God.
So if you died tonight and stood at the gates of heaven and Jesus said, “Why should I let you in?” what would your answer be? Would it be, “I’ve tried to be a good person?” Would it be, “I’ve been baptized?” Or would it be, “I’ve trusted in Christ and Christ alone to forgive and cleanse me from my sins?”
Do you truly understand the gospel? Do you know that your faith is in Christ and Christ alone?
Where and how does pride show up in your life? Did your recognize yourself in any of the manifestations of pride. If so, repent, ask God to forgive you, and ask Him to help you walk in genuine humility.
I encourage you to order a copy of Stuart’s booklet, From Pride to Humility. It is life and relationship changing truth! There is so much packed into 26 pages that our men’s ministry spend a couple of months working their way through the principles and talking about it.
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