Pride and Humility
“The greatest characteristic of a saint is humility.” ~ Oswald Chambers
What is the first RECORDED sin mentioned in the Bible? Many of us might think of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden. Yes, original sin did take place in paradise and was committed by the very first children of God. However, Satan committed the first sin RECORDED in the Word of God and Pride was his downfall. Shortly after his sin of pride, rebellion was added to his long list of transgressions.
“ ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ ” Isaiah 14:14 (NKJV)
“You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you.” Ezekiel 28:14-15 (NKJV)
Unfortunately, mankind is NOT immune to the sin of pride. Although sin is sin, and all sin leads to death, pride is often the root cause of many other sins. Pride wars against Christian humility, a virtue highly valued by God. In addition, remember what happened to Satan when God took offense to his pride. He fell…. And he fell hard!
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18 (NKJV)
“Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor is humility.” Proverbs 18:12 (NKJV)
Jesus, in absolute humility, stepped down from heaven and lived among man. He could have called upon a legion of angels to take out His enemies and at any time He could have returned to His Father’s throne room. However, with a love we cannot fully understand, He died for us and was humiliated by those whom He Himself created! Spit on and whipped, bruised for our transgressions, Jesus lived and died in humility and rose again. He conquered the grave and Satan knows it.
God was looking for obedience in His son, and Jesus was obedient to that which He was called. Selfless and humble, Christ regarded others above Himself. Take a minute to consider that measure of humility….. God, our creator, put us ahead of His needs and wants. Did He not take on the role of a servant? Did He not wash the feet of His disciples? Was He not born in a stable?
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9 (NKJV)
We are told what is good and what the Lord requires of us.
“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you? But to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah6: 8 (NKJV)
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves” Philippians 2:3 (NASB)
With pride in our hearts, we can’t see beyond ourselves. Pride repels the call to love others because, with it, we are caught up in our own self-love. Pride takes our focus off God. We forget that our Creator is the one who has given us everything: our looks and gifts, our talents and ideas, our intellect and successes in life.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17 (NKJV)
In no uncertain terms, God expects His children to walk with humility. The fruit produced from a humble life is the attainment of wisdom. Proverbs 8:11 is just one scripture that speaks of wisdom’s value.
“For wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.”
“When pride comes, then comes shame, But with the humble is wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2 (NKJV)
Furthermore, a promise is given to those who walk in humility…. Honor.
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” 1 Peter 5:6 (NKJV)
“Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor.” Proverbs 15:33 (NKJV)
“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up.” James 4:10 (NKJV)
May we all take some time today to consider our ways and root out any pride that has taken root in our hearts. Let us avoid a fall like the one Satan suffered. Let us all ask if we have been claiming the glory that really belongs to God.
If we win a talent contest… are we remembering who gave us the talent in the first place? Are we using our gifts to bless God and the Body of Christ? Has pride given way to self-love and caused us to ignore those in need? Let us be completely humble, and ask God to remove the shame of pride and replace it with humility and grace. Then, let us walk as children of light and servants of the Most High.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2 (NKJV)
“Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore He teaches sinners in the way. The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way.” Psalm 25:8-9 (NKJV)