Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”
Excessive pride is a tell-tale sign of an unforgiving spirit. When we encounter people who are very prideful, we can quickly see that they suffer from un-forgiveness. In my opinion, people with excessive pride have often been deeply wounded in the past by someone they trusted. They have never learned humility, because they are terrified of getting hurt again. By seeing themselves as superior to everyone else, they come to the mistaken conclusion that they are invincible. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Proverbs 16:18 reminds us, Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. We can see by this Scripture reference that pride does not make us invincible. In fact, it makes us vulnerable to destruction. Pride becomes a wall around a person that does not allow others to get close. It's a very high wall that can even keep God at a distance. The wall must come down before forgiveness can take place.
In thinking ourselves far greater than we really are, we see great things far smaller than they really are. The lie of pride causes us to see God smaller, less important than he is. And in trying to make truly great things subservient to our false supremacy, pride shrinks our capacity to experience joy and wonder and we learn to only value what satisfies our appetites.
The lie of pride is that it promises us happiness through God-usurping self-exaltation, which turns out to be the very thing that kills our happiness. The more highly we think of ourselves, the smaller our capacity for wonder and worship over what is most worthy. Have you ever heard someone say, “The last place I want to be is in church” or “I just don’t feel like worshiping, reading my bible, or praying.” How about, “I don’t feel like doing the right thing, they don’t deserve it” or “I deserve to do this, I have earned it”. How often have you used an excuse to do the wrong thing that somehow justifies it in your way of thinking? That’s pride at work!
Dan Ousley - Worship Leader - StoneBridge Baptist Church