Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Perils of Pride by Donna Clayton

Pride is a funny thing. We like to be proud of our families, accomplishments, and abilities. After all, we have worked hard to get where we are. And shouldn’t we tell our loved ones we are proud of them when they have worked hard to accomplish a goal, conquer a bad habit, or done a good deed?

On the other hand, pride is denounced in the Bible in a multitude of verses. Some verses describe pride using adjectives such as stubborn, deceived, wicked, haughty, while other verses link pride with nouns such as downfall, disgrace, quarrels and destruction. I don’t know about you, but those are descriptions and situations I don’t want associated with my name or my life.  

How can pride be deceitful? By observing others’ arrogant attitudes and thinking “I’m glad I’m not like that!” By clouding my vision so that I can’t see how pride affects my very own life. By making excuses when I am being prideful. Deceit keeps my proud heart from recognizing the darkness within, blinding me to my own faults. And that is where the peril comes in.

On a recent Wednesday, Brother Tim Lampley preached on the wickedness of pride, how it wreaks havoc in our lives and why God hates it so much. He referred to some of the writings of D. L. Moody, the great evangelist from the 19th century.  Pride will cause these problems:
It is a roadblock to intimacy with God
It blinds me to spiritual conviction
It drives me to promote myself and protect my reputation
It ruins churches, families, and schools
It takes me to a complete anti-God state of mind
It keeps me from admitting my sin
It blinds me to my own faults, causing me to blame others
It is an obstacle to faith in Jesus
It makes me act self-righteous and keeps me from loving others
It is the main ingredient in every argument!

Do I want ANY of those problems to plague me? No! James 4:6 tells me that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. I don’t want God resisting me – I need Him to draw me to Himself. Having heard this message, God prompted me to look at my heart, confess my sinful pride, and make necessary adjustments in my spirit so that he could fill my (empty, humble) heart with His amazing grace. 

In the words of D.L. Moody, “I firmly believe that the moment our hearts are emptied of selfishness and ambition and self-seeking and everything that is contrary to God's law, the Holy Spirit will come and fill every corner of our hearts; but if we are full of pride and conceit, ambition and self-seeking, pleasure and the world, there is no room for the Spirit of God. I also believe that many a man is praying to God to fill him, when he is full already with something else. Before we pray that God would fill us, I believe we ought to pray that He would empty us. There must be an emptying before there can be a filling; and when the heart is turned upside down, and everything that is contrary to God is turned out, then the Spirit will come...”     ― D.L. Moody

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