There are moments in life we never forget—life-changing encounters. One of mine came as a “firstie”, a senior at West Point. I asked an older friend known for his wisdom to meet with me to discuss the topic of serving. On the day we met, he looked me in the eye and said, “Danny, we don’t need to talk about serving, we need to talk about pride.” He then lovingly shared three specific examples of pride he observed in my life from one dinner conversation in his home.
Each example he cited was accurate. His surgery was clean and heartfelt. He knew malignant pride when he saw it and it was growing in me like rust on metal. I was shaken to the core. I understood from years of reading Scripture that God does not tolerate the proud. The Bible is replete with stories of men and women who were intentionally humbled and in some cases destroyed by God for their rebellious pride.
There is a good form of pride, that in which a person has dignity and self-respect. Healthy pride takes pleasure in achievement, a possession, or an association—like parental pride. Conversely, there is a dangerous form of pride which when fully grown displays arrogance, an unteachable spirit, defensiveness, disdainful conduct or treatment of others, and haughtiness.
The prophet Isaiah wrote, “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 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” (Isa.14:12-15—NKJV).
Before God created Adam and Eve, the sin of pride was fully hatched in the heart of Satan. He wanted to be like God. He sought to usurp the Irreplaceable One. He deceived Eve and Adam to ignore the command of God not to eat the forbidden fruit in the garden with the lie that by eating they too would be like God. This ought to help us understand why pride is called the root of all evil.
King Solomon wrote,“When pride comes, disgrace follows, but with humility comes wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2). I owe a debt of gratitude to a man who had the courage to address my character. May I ask you the condition of your life? Are you full of pride? How would those around you answer the question? Like the song says, “Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord! . . . And He will lift you up!” Something to think about . . . in reveration.
Proverbs 29:23--A person’s pride will humble him, but a humble spirit will gain honor.
Beware of posing as a profound person; God became a Baby.—Oswald Chambers in My Utmost For His Highest
©1999 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)