The Dangers of Pride

Proverbs: Practical Wisdom for the Walk of Faith  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The Condition of the Proud

Proverbs 21:4 ESV
Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin.
Pride is excessive self-esteem known as conceit or arrogance. Pride is basically a sin of attitude and of the heart and spirit. (Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible)

Included are the ideas of arrogance, cynical insensitivity to the needs of others, and presumption. Pride is both a disposition/attitude and a type of conduct.

One who is proud is a person who has ultimately shifted confidence in self in the place of confidence in God. While there is a positive sense of being proud in achieving that which is good and wholesome, the vast majority of references to pride in the Scripture are negative.
“Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked are sin.” ()
“It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.” ()
“In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him, all his thoughts are, ‘There is no God.’” ()
Much of our current thought in America can be categorized as being proud as defined in biblical terms. Collectively, modern mankind has (at least in its own mind) surpassed the need for a “god-being.” The intellectual elites of our day disdain even entertaining the possibility of the supernatural. They worship the naturalistic god of science and self-effort.

God’s Attitude toward the Proud

As the prevailing thoughts of the proud are wrapped up in self-promotion and self-sufficiency, with little or no regard towards God, it is not surprising to the find God’s attitude toward the proud is not encouraging.
“Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.” ()
“Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the LORD; be assured, he will not go unpunished.” ()

The Consequences of Pride

Scriptures inform us that sin has a price (cf. ). As pride is definitely in the category of sin, those who are proud in heart will suffer punishment. The Proverbs reflect this understanding of cause and effect.
“The LORD tears down the house of the proud but maintains the widow’s boundaries.” ()
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” () Consider King Nebuchadnezzar (). At the height of his pride, God took him down and turned him into a wild beast for 7 years
“Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.” () In the Book of Esther, Haman is the arrogant advisor who plots to destroy the Jews. He plans on hanging Mordechai, and yet Haman is hung on his own gallows ()
We must be diligent to guard against pride in our lives as believers. Christians are not exempt from the sin of pride, and we can be seduced into it by success, even success that comes from serving the LORD. King Uzziah was a young king who started by following the LORD, yet when he was strong and successful he succumbed to pride (), and the LORD struck him with leprosy.

The Remedy for Pride

While the ultimate remedy for all sin is solely found in the blood of Jesus, Scripture does point to a path that will provide temporal deliverance from the sin of pride. In short, the remedy for pride is humility.
“Better to be lowly and have a servant than to play the great man and lack bread.” () To avoid pride, we must be honest with who we are. Accepting reality with contentment, is a good first step.
“By insolence comes nothing but strife, but with those who take advice is wisdom.” () One of the symptoms of pride is self-sufficiency and a settled arrogance towards those who are considered lesser beings. Having and keeping a sense of approachability is key. Humility comes when we take advice, realizing we don’t have all the answers
“By insolence comes nothing but strife, but with those who take advice is wisdom.” (Prov 13:10)
“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.” () The pronoun most used by the prideful is the pronoun “I” as in “I did this” I am the one who … I am smarter .... etc., etc. When we focus on ourselves and our accomplishments, we open the door to pride. We assume we deserve this recognition or that award. It is good to remember the admonition found in )
“The crucible for silver, and the furnace for gold, and a man is tested by his praise.” () How do we know we have been delivered from the sin of pride? One way is to pass the Praise Test. Can you in humility pass the glory to God, to whom it rightly belongs?
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