Exposing and Destroying the Hidden Sin of Pride

Exposing and Destroying the Hidden Sin of Pride

Back in the 1970s the US military undertook the audacious task of designing a fighter jet that would be capable of penetrating anti-aircraft defences.  After years of design work, billions and billions of dollars spent and various prototypes made, the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber rolled out of the factory in April 1997. What makes the Stealth Bomber so lethal is its ability to fly into the most well-defended airspaces undetected and deliver its devastating payload. Just as the Stealth Bomber is the mother of all undetectable weapons, so pride is the mother of all sins, for its ability to inflict maximum damage and remain undetected.

Pride has been described as “inordinate and unreasonable self-esteem”.  Inordinate in that it places its priority on self above all else.  And unreasonable because it interferes with the individual’s recognition of the grace of God in their life. When these two things are at work, pride becomes the arch-enemy of Christlikeness and the destroyer of all relationships.  Yet, as dangerous as pride is, it is equally hard to spot.

We must not conclude that we do not have pride because we don’t see it. God told the Edomites,

the pride of your heart has deceived you” Obadiah 1:3

Their pride made them believe they were safe when they were actually vulnerable and on the brink of peril. Pride is invisible to the proud person, placing them in the position of spiritual danger while at the same time giving them a sense of spiritual security.

Are you a proud person? Are you spiritually vulnerable and you do not know it? Let’s do some heart surgery. Jonathan Edwards provides some symptoms of pride that may be present in your life:

  • Filtering out God’s goodness in others while finding their faults.
  • A harsh spirit toward others’ sin while overlooking your own.
  • Addressing the sins people see in your life while living contentedly with the sins they don’t.
  • Being defensive, rather than prayerfully silent, when others question you.
  • Needing the attention of others because you are more interested in your own glory than God’s.
  • Neglecting the needs of others because you believe they cannot benefit you.

This list is challenging, isn’t it? If you struggle in any of these areas, then the way to destroy pride is to expose it, to acknowledge it and repent. Confession reminds us of who we are and our total reliance upon the cross of Christ. James says,

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” James 4:6

Become a thankful person. The proud are typified by ingratitude while the humble are forever thankful to God who gives us all things out of the storehouse of His grace and mercy. Have the mind of Job who declared,

the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” Job 1:21

Lastly, consider the interests of others before your own. It is hard to be proud while serving the needs of others.

May the Lord break us from the hidden and destructive sin of pride as we forever fix our eyes upon Jesus, who humbled Himself to the point of death for us (Phil 2:8). May our only boast be in Christ and Christ alone and may we say,

My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride”.

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