Prov. 16:18; 18:12; 6:16-19
I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but I have a section of the blog page which lists some books I recommend. The one that heads the list is Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. There’s a reason why it’s still being read over 70 years after its first printing.
Lewis makes a strong and profound point on Christian morality. He spends a chapter on sexuality, but he contends very early on that the center (or centre, as he spells it) of morality is not there. Later on in the book, when he gets to the chapter on pride, he says (I’m paraphrasing here) “Do you remember that when we were talking about sex, I told you that the centre of Christian morality wasn’t there? Well, this is the centre. This is what made the Devil the Devil. It lies at the foundation of every sin, every misery, every evil we find in the world today. And worst of all is its insidious nature. People will admit that they have problems with alcohol, with lying, with all manner of sin. But pride will be the last thing they confess, and it’s also the fault they show the least mercy for when they see it in others. It’s the total anti-God state of mind.”
Not only did it cause the Devil’s fall, it also caused the Fall of our original Parents. At the back of their mind, whether conscious or not, there was this thought: “I know better than God does.” And like Lewis said, that’s the foundation of every sin. He tells us to do something, and we think we know better.
So for the next couple of days we’re going to mine the wisdom of Solomon on this. What are some insights he offers?
• You might have heard 16:18 quoted before, since it’s pretty famous. But there are good reasons why it’s so familiar: It’s true. I’ve seen it in my life, as you’ve undoubtedly seen it in yours. Just when I start to get a “big head” about something, he mercifully pricks it and deflates my ego. And the bigger the ego, the worse the pain.
• And of course the converse is true as well. Maybe not at first, but eventually, honor will come with humility. And of course it's best if our honor doesn't come in this life but in the next one. In Heaven, I’m pretty sure that there'll be quite a few names lauded that we’ve never heard of before. These Christ-like souls did their God-given tasks quietly outside the spotlight. But when they're finally applauded, it'll be by nail-scarred hands.
• We’ve looked at 6:16-19 before, but there’s another point to make with this. It lists seven things that God hates. What tops it? What’s # 1 on his hit list? A haughty (or proud) look. God hates pride. Why? Not just because it’s an insult to his honor and worth, but also because of what it does to us. As long as we let this cancer go untreated, we cannot have a right relationship with him.
So are there any areas of your life in which you’ve given in to this? Let me let you in on a little secret. If you don’t think that pride is a problem, then you have a problem with it. Put it down, and come to him.
Lord Jesus, I know that I need to deal with this, and I so desperately need your help. Please.