Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Sinful Heart of Pride

Have you ever found yourself really digging your heels in? Have you ever just had to be “right” even when it really didn’t matter? Have you ever fought to have your own way to the point that you no longer cared about others? If so, than you have battled pride.

Pride is an ugly word that carries even uglier connotations. I don’t know a person who does not struggle with this very human and very sinful heart attitude. It is so important that we understand how this sin affects us and how desperate we ought to be to change this sinful attitude of the heart.

Pride is a heart-attitude sin that overflows into a person’s motivation, decision-making, and activities. Pride is at the root of nearly every problem we struggle with in life and in counseling!

The heart of pride is focused on “self.” Prideful people believe they deserve better than what life has brought them. They become sorrowful, resentful, and even jealous of other people and their successes. Pride breeds self-pity, which is a major component in depression. Typically, people who struggle with pride will live life based on how they feel and expect everyone else to accommodate them and adapt to their moods.

Two key characteristics of pride are independence and rebellion. It should not be too difficult for us to understand why this is so. The truth is we all want our own way about things, and we usually will do almost anything to have it our way. The sinful nature leads us to desire independence, and we rebel at the thought of being under anyone’s control or authority.

In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. Psalm 10:4 (NIV)

In our hearts we say as Pharaoh did, “Who is the Lord that I should obey Him?” (Exodus 5:2)

WE CANNOT REMAIN FULL OF PRIDE BECAUSE GOD HATES IT.

All who fear the LORD will hate evil. That is why I hate pride, arrogance, corruption, and perverted speech. Proverbs 8:13 (NLT)

The heart of pride brings devastating consequences that God ordains: a hardened heart and consequences of this sin.

Scripture shows us the results of pride through the examples of two kings: King Nebuchadnezzar and King Herod. They both became prideful and consequently were humbled by God.

But when [Nebuchadnezzar’s] heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory. He was driven away from people and given the mind of an animal; he lived with the wild donkeys and ate grass like cattle; and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and sets over them anyone he wishesDaniel 5:20-21 (NIV)

King Nebuchadnezzar lived like an animal until he came to his senses and repented of his sin. God then restored the kingdom to him.

On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.” Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died. Acts 12:2-23 (NIV)

In your life, pride will cause your heart to harden toward God. Consequently, God will not allow you to prosper. He will bring you dishonor, which is the last thing a prideful person wants.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2 (NIV)

Pride brings opposition from God. He will not share His glory with anyone or anything. God will never share His glory with anyone or anything- how often do you demand God share with you what belongs to Him? Is your heart hard? Are you being convicted by these things I have written? If so, this is the hour to repent.

A fool says in his heart that he is void of all pride. Be wise today.

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