• Bear Morton

Oh, How the Mighty Will Fall

Oh, the ugly sin of pride. It is easy to spot it in others, but it goes undetected in our own lives. In a biblical sense, pride pits your glory against God’s glory. Pride lies to your soul and says you can do a better job than God can. And God will have nothing to do with that.

The Bible has much to say about pride and the seriousness with which God views it. James 4:6 says, “But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” Why is God harsh on pride? Because the simple truth is that God will not share His glory with anyone or anything. He will not allow anyone to steal His glory and claim it for themselves. It is said that the chief foundation of every sin is the root of pride. Why? Because when you choose sin over God’s truth and righteousness, you are saying that your ways are better than God’s commands. You think that you can live life better apart from what God has directed. We want to be self-made. We want to be self-sufficient. We want to be in control.

The world picks up on this. From our earliest years we are taught to take charge of our lives and create our own situations. There is this idea that if we study longer, work harder, plan better than the next guy, we will get ahead in life. Now, there is nothing wrong with these pursuits, only, and I do say only, if they are grounded in the glory of God and He is receiving the glory and praise for what is accomplished in your life. God expects us to make good use of our time, gifts, and talent for His kingdom. Christian, you are not a self-made man, a self-made person. You are a God-made person. You have been bought with a price, the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. You are not your own. You are the Lord’s. When you repent of your sins and believe in Jesus Christ, you become His child, for Jesus has atoned for your sins. Everything that you are is because of the gracious hand of God. Your breath, your health, blessings, and family are all from God. To ignore that and praise yourself, giving yourself a pat on the back, is a slap in God’s face and blasphemous to His truth. That is the destructive nature of pride. It pits your wisdom against God’s.

It is safe to say that pride has damned men and women throughout human history. It was pride that the Scriptures tell us damned Satan and his angels. Pride is destructive because it breaks that first and great command that we are to have no other gods before God Himself. That even means yourself. God will not have you strutting around like a peacock as though what you are and have isn’t a result of His graciousness and goodness to you. God is to be the first and only in your life. God is the only one to be worshiped, the only one to be praised. His will is supreme. The great Puritan preacher Johnathan Edwards defined pride as, “. . . a person having too high an opinion of himself. Pride is the first sin that ever entered into the universe, and the last sin that is rooted out. Pride is the worst sin. It is the most secret of all sins. There is no other matter in which the heart is more deceitful and unsearchable. Alas, how much pride the best have in their hearts! Pride is God's most stubborn enemy! There is no sin so much like the devil as pride. It is a secret and subtle sin, and appears in a great many shapes which are undetected and unsuspected.” Stephen Charnock in his book The Attributes of God defines pride as simply, “. . . self-contending with God for preeminence.”

Would you like more Biblical ammunition? How about these verses just from the book of Proverbs? Proverbs 21:4, “Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, is sin.” Proverbs 16:5, “Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; Assuredly, he will not be unpunished.” Proverbs 8:13, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverted mouth, I hate.” Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.” Proverbs 29:23, “A man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor.” Proverbs 11:2, “When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom.”

Pride is a serious sin, condemned repeatedly throughout Scripture. It leads to abomination because it desecrates the name of God and the rightful place that He has in your life. It brings about destruction, for the end of pride is judgment. And it leads to a fall and to shame. Oh, how the mighty will fall.

Beloved, it is time to do a heart check. Knowing that God is opposed to the proud and gives grace to the humble, may we seek to put ourselves under the mighty truth of God’s Word and walk in such a way that gives Him glory. May we humble ourselves before God and give Him thanks for sending Jesus to be our Savior and Redeemer. May He receive all the praise that is clearly due Him!