Have you ever given someone a piece of advice that would have proven to be beneficial and yet the individual scoffed and ignored your words? If so, you might have noticed that at some point the individual who chose to ignore you ended up in a situation that would have been avoided had they listened to your advice. It is the ignorance of a matter that often causes much of the blunders in our lives and even throughout our world. Time and time again, there are warnings that resound in our life and yet such warnings are not taken seriously.
The reason why is because of the element called ‘pride.’ Pride in its most basic definition is the disposition of self-sufficiency. It is to hold to the belief that you know what is best rather than seeing another person’s point of view. In our world today, the element of pride has taken root, more so now than ever. We live in a world in which the very essence of existence is now surrounded by secular humanism or better known as ‘human pride.’ If you look at various television commercials, you will notice that there has been an increase in the rise of human innovation with a focus on technology.
Essentially this means, many are now looking within themselves for inventive ideas rather than recognizing that we as humans do not have the intellectual capacity to do or invent without the direction and power of God. In the book of Proverbs chapter 16, the topic of pride is addressed. Throughout the book of Proverbs, pride and Godly wisdom are mentioned multiple times because King Solomon who was the writer of Proverbs, wanted the reader to understand that a life that is ruled by pride rather than wisdom is a life that is destined for failure.
Proverbs chapter 16 verses 1-5 says the following:
(NLV) “The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the thoughts of the heart. Trust your work to the Lord, and your plans will work out well. The Lord has made all things for His own plans, even the sinful for the day of trouble. Everyone who is proud in heart is a shame to the Lord. For sure, that one will be punished.”
In this scripture, the first thing we can extract is that we as humans suffer from pride because it is within our very nature. In the first part of verse 2 King Solomon says “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes” which is meant to suggest that naturally because of our sinful nature, we are more self-reliant rather than reliant upon God. So, in the very heart of you and I is where pride exists. However, it is through the remission of sin and acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice that our prideful nature is altered.
When you and I make the decision to surrender our life unto God through Christ, we are laying down our pride and our own way of living. If you look at our world you can see the consequences which are born out of pride. Many see their way of living as ‘pure’ just as the scripture says in Proverbs chapter 16. Essentially, many ignore their sin because they are spiritually blind to their sin in addition to being resistant to the spiritual things of God.
The lawlessness and the consequences that come with an abundance of sin is based on humanity’s willingness to embrace human pride. If you read further into Proverbs chapter 16 you will see that there is evidence of what happens when pride reigns in the life of a person who chooses not to submit to God.
(NLV) “Everyone who is proud in heart is a shame to the Lord. For sure, that one will be punished.”
Another translation of the Bible which is the English Standard Version (ESV) uses the word ‘abomination’ rather than shame. In God’s view, it is abominable or shameful for we as humans to operate in our own pride. The reason is because pride is rooted in selfishness which means that God does not have the freedom to reign in our lives. Pride is one of the many sins that were passed down from Adam & Eve unto us as we were born into this world. It is the person who is prideful who does not repent before God. They believe that their actions are not sinful but rather their actions are in purity.
However, our world shows us the very things that occur when each generation operates in blatant un-repentance and pride. Why is it that there is so much gun violence that is occurring in America? Why is it that countries around the world are experiencing governmental upheaval and economic uncertainty? One of the main symptoms is human pride. There is such a concentration on how ‘we’ as humans can build our own empires and solve our own problems.
However, every time we think that we can operate separately from God it becomes a reality that not only is God displeased with us, but that He leaves us to our own devices which usually means demise. King Solomon says that the person who is proud is the person who will meet punishment from God. Another verse confirms this notion.
(NLV) “Pride comes before being destroyed and a proud spirit comes before a fall.”
The ultimate ending for a person who is prideful and ignores their sin is destruction. There are many who are given the opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord & Savior, and yet they ignore the call of God unto Himself through repentance. It is the proud person who says, ‘I am a good person.’ or ‘What I do isn’t that bad.’ However, the actions and words of a person can tell you just what is in their heart. Many have forsaken the ways of the Lord in exchange for their sinfulness. Most don’t want anyone to tell them how to live their own life. Many want to be unaccountable, but the truth is, on the day of judgment, God will give every person what they deserve.
However, you have an opportunity to avoid the penalty that comes with living in sin. Verse 6 of Proverbs chapter 16 says,
(NLV) “Sin has been paid for by loving-kindness and truth. The fear of the Lord keeps one away from sin.”
King Solomon says that your sin and my sin has already been paid for by God’s loving-kindness and His truth. The way that this has occurred is through Jesus Christ and His sacrifice. The sacrifice of Christ on the cross is sufficient to remove the stain of your sin, however, you must be willing to take God’s way out to be saved. Secondly, there must be a fear of the Lord. ‘Fear’ also means reverence in this context. Many (even those who claim Christianity) continue to operate in sinful behavior because they don’t fear God.
Without a reverential disposition towards God then you will believe that your own standard is what brings salvation and the solution to life’s problems. However, God wants you and I to come to Him to lay down our pride. The term ‘death by pride’ essentially means that both a spiritual and physical destruction result from a life steeped in pride. If you don’t believe that it can happen to you, simply peer through the windows of our society and notice how immoral and godless humanity has become. In fact, if you decide to reject God’s decrees and embrace a prideful stance, then you will personally see the negative results.
Humanity has become its own undoing, however, the solution is Jesus Christ. If you don’t know Jesus as your personal Lord & Savior, today is the day to relinquish your pride. God wants to know you and He wants to be your lifeline through Christ in these uncertain times. Pride runs rampant in our society, but the remedy to such pride is to bow down in humility before Jesus Christ. Only in doing so will you experience true freedom and the answer to life’s challenges.