“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (ESV) This verse is found in Proverbs 16:18. Sometimes we get a rebuke from someone who really has our best interests at heart. The minute I hear someone rebuke me, I begin to get ruffled. “You talkin’ to me, huh? Why are you talking to me when others have bigger faults?” Many Christians don’t think they need to deal with the issue of pride, but these are the very ones who need a reality check. It is a problem.
I have two dogs. One is a hound dog mix and the other is a prim-and-proper-looking Yorkshire terrier. The big unrefined hound dog stands right beside this little primped, fancy-looking dog when the word “treat” is promised aloud. Last night, I watched my son give a dog biscuit to both of those dogs. As he put the treats near their mouths, the dogs didn’t lick his hand in appreciation. They bit down hard and quickly ran away with their crunchy goodies. Not even the hand that fed them was going to get that dog biscuit now. It’s mine; now I’m going to go enjoy this all by myself.
How many times do we behave like these dogs? No matter how we get ourselves dressed and fancied up, or even if we are backwoods dogs and don’t care about refinery, we tend to take something that we have gained and selfishly run with it. Our pride tells us that we deserve it. We have earned it.
Remember when Jesus healed the ten lepers in Luke 17:11–19. Only one of them went back to Jesus to thank Him and to give praise and glory to God. That man was a Samaritan. The Jews usually avoided Samaritans. Jesus noticed the man’s faith and did not withhold healing, “Your faith has made you well.” This story is proof that God looks at the heart, not your earthly citizenship or status.
I would like to conclude with some quotes by Adrian Rogers. In his sermon titled “The Problem with Pride,” he addressed this subject in his calm and thoughtful manner that I, like many others, have come to appreciate. You can find this sermon on the Love Worth Finding website. Some quotes from his message:
“The proud person is often very proud of his humility.”
(See John 13:3–5.) “Jesus, knowing that He came from God, and [would go back] to God, laid aside His garments, took a towel, girded himself, and washed His disciples feet. That is humility.”
“Humility is not thinking lowly of yourself. It is not thinking of yourself.”
“Our prayerlessness is really a spirit of independence from God.”
“Pride is a spirit of ungratefulness to God.”
“Paul asked this question, ‘What do you have that you have not received?’”
With these quotes in mind, let us truly be thankful for everything that we have received from God. And, in case you weren’t paying attention, that is everything. Let us sincerely offer ourselves as living sacrifices before God in thanksgiving and humility.
The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. ESV® Text Edition: 2007. The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by permission of Good News Publishers. Unauthorized reproduction of this publication is prohibited. All rights reserved.