In his book Mere Christianity , C.S. Lewis referred to pride as: “The great sin.”  “The   essential   vice,   the   utmost   evil,   is   pride.   Unchastity,   anger,   greed,   drunkenness,   and   all   that,   are   mere   flea bites   in   comparison:   it   was   through   pride   that   the   devil   became   the   devil:   pride   leads   to   every   other   vice:   it   is the complete anti-God state of mind.”  “Pride is a spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.” Pride   is   a   component   of   our   sinful   flesh   and   is   common   to   all.      What’s   more,   pride   is   a   “slippery   slope”   in   that   it provides a deceitful feeling of pleasure and/or satisfaction derived from: One's own achievements, and/or Personal attributes, and/or Possessions When   you   think   about   it   all   of   us   desire   to   be   recognized,   appreciated,   and   even   admired   for   our   capabilities   and   what we’ve   accomplished.      For   example,   when   you   were   a   child   you   probably   said   to   your   p arents   or   friends…“Hey,   look what I can do!”  This   desire   continues   in   adolescence,   and   may   greatly   increase   in   adulthood.      For example,   football   athletes   that   score   a   touchdown   or   sack   a   quarterback   will   sometimes separate    themselves    from    their    teammates    and    will    beat    their    chest    or    exhibit    a behavior that says…“Look at what I’ve done.”  Pride   has   a   propensity   to   increase   as   we   become   more   successful,   more   prosperous,   and/or   are   recognized   by   others for   our   accomplishments.      In   fact,   anything,   real   or   imagined   that   elevates   us   above   others   can   become   a   platform   for pride—including   blessings   from   God.      In   addition,   these   trappings   can   cause   us   to   misdirect   our   hope,   belief,   faith, trust, and perception of God. It   is   important   to   note   the   type   of   pride   that   is   discussed   in   this   lesson   is   self-pride.      We   can   also   experience   pride   in someone/something   else,   such   as   our   children,   country,   company   we   work   for,   etc.      This   form   of   pride   can   be   a   good thing   if   it   does   not   darken   our   spiritual   insight   and   relationship   with   God.      However,   self-pride   is   not   a   good   thing.      As such, all following references to pride is self-pride. Synonyms for pride include: Arrogance Conceit Smugness Self-importance Self-righteousness However, pride is more…it’s much more…in that it: Can result in godless self-confidence. Can create an attitude of contempt and indifference towards others. May result in self-adulation, and worse self-worship. Creates a barrier between the prideful and God. Has an inverse relationship with love (as one increases the other decreases). Is a delusional lie. Test for Pride All   of   us   have   some   degree   of   pride.      For   example,   the   apostles   demonstrated   pride   when   they   argued   amongst themselves    about    who    was    the    greatest    (Luke    22:24-27).        In    addition,    Paul    stated    that    he    had    problems    with pride—which   God   kept   in   check   by   allowing   a   “thorn   in   his   flesh.”      While   the   “thorn”   is   never   revealed…we   can   all relate   to   a   weak   spot   in   our   spiritual   armor   that   often   results   in   us   falling   short—resulting   in   a   contrite   and   humble   heart seeking forgiveness. “And   lest   I   should   be   exalted   above   measure   by   the   abundance   of   the   revelations,   a   thorn   in   the   flesh   was   given   to me,   a   messenger   of   Satan   to   buffet   me,   lest   I   be   exalted   above   measure.      Concerning   this   thing   I   pleaded   with   the Lord   three   times   that   it   might   depart   from   me.      And   He   said   to   me,   ‘My   grace   is   sufficient   for   you,   for   My   strength   is made perfect in weakness.’”  2 Corinthians 12:7-9 “For   I   say,   through   the   grace   given   to   me,   to   everyone   who   is   among   you,   not   to   think   of   himself   more   highly   than   he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”  Romans 12:3 Here are some questions that are designed to introspectively reveal pride. How do you respond when: Someone ignores you? A driver “offends” you on the highway? You are shown disrespect? Someone “does your wrong?” How do you respond when someone flaunts their attributes or possessions? Do you perceive yourself as being sufficiently humble?  (Think deeply about this surprisingly revealing question.) Humble, Meek, and Lowly Spirit Our pride will diminish (and dissolve over time) as we: Seek God Receive His: o Love o Unmerited grace o Complete forgiveness for all our sin in His Son Jesus Christ We kneel and fall on our face in humble worship of our Savior and Lord. Continually grow in our understanding of the depths of our depravity. In    addition,    true    humility    and    humbleness    will    continue    to    grow    over    time    as    we    gain    full    appreciation    of    our gifts—which   are   to   be   used   for   His   glory.      Remember,   when   God   is   recognized   and   lifted   up   for   what   He   has   given   us, faith is increased. Consider Jesus, who: Left Heaven and took the form of man on earth. Demonstrated Godly humility. Came not to be served, but to serve. Gave His life as a ransom for many. “Let   this   mind   be   in   you   which   was   also   in   Christ   Jesus,   who,   being   in   the   form   of   God,   did   not   consider   it   robbery   to   be equal   with   God,   but   made   Himself   of   no   reputation,   taking   the   form   of   a   bondservant,   and   coming   in   the   likeness   of men.     And   being   found   in   appearance   as   a   man,   He   humbled   Himself   and   became   obedient   to   the   point   of   death,   even the death of the cross.”  Philippians 2:5-8 Works vs. Grace The   wisdom   of   God   is   revealed   when   you   consider   the   affects   upon   pride   when   you   compare   salvation   by   works versus   unmerited   grace.      Works   is   a   term   used   to   describe   salvation   based   upon   meeting   all   of   the   requirements defined   by   the   Ten   Commandments;   including   the   Biblical   laws   defined   in   the   Old   Testament.      Grace   is   salvation based   upon   a   free   gift   paid   for   by   Jesus   Christ,   and   is   not   based   upon   works   but   upon   faith   in   what   Jesus   Christ   did   for us on the cross. Any   form   of   “salvation”   (regardless   of   religion   type)   that   is   based   upon   works   will   increase   pride—which   hardens   the heart   and   closes   the   eyes   to   the   truth.      This   is   one   of   the   key   reasons   why   the   Pharisees   failed   to   realize   Jesus   Christ was   the   Messiah.      Their   focus   was   upon   the   law;   straining   to   fulfill   every   aspect—which   resulted   in   them   being   proud of   their   perceived   “accomplishments”   and   “status.”      Jesus   Christ   healed   two   men   on   the   Sabbath:   a   blind   man   and   a man   with   a   shriveled   hand.      These   miracles   were   considered   “illegal”   by   the   Pharisees   because   healing   comprised   a form   of   work,   and   work   is   not   allowed   on   the   Sabbath.      Their   myopic   focus   on   fulfilling   the   Law   (combined   with   their pride)   caused   them   to   miss   the   true   meaning,   intent,   and   purpose   of   the   Law   as   they   sought   to   kill   Jesus   because   he healed   on   the   Sabbath.      (It   is   easy   to   understand   why   Jesus   looked   at   them   with   anger   and   was   distressed   with   their stubborn hearts.)  Mark 3:2; Matthew 12:10; John 9:14-16 However,   God’s   agape   love,   His   grace,   and   His   forgiveness   (through   His   Son   Jesus   Christ)   will   create   a   humble   heart as   we   step   forward   in   faith   every   day.      God’s   gift   in   Jesus   Christ   cannot   be   earned.      What’s   more,   because   of   our   sin no   one   is   worthy   to   receive   God’s   gift   in   Jesus   Christ.      Even   after   we   are   saved,   no   one   can   boast   for   what   they   have accomplished   because   we   continually   fall   short.      While   we   will   never   be   “perfect”   we   continue   to   press   on   to   become more like Him.  Instead of “look at what I have done” it’s “look at what Jesus has done for me.” “For   by   grace   you   have   been   saved   through   faith,   and   that   not   of   yourselves;   it   is   the   gift   of   God,   not   of   works,   lest anyone should boast.”  Ephesians 2:8-9 “For   you   see   your   calling,   brethren,   that   not   many   wise   according   to   the   flesh,   not   many   mighty,   not   many   noble,   are called.      But   God   has   chosen   the   foolish   things   of   the   world   to   put   to   shame   the   wise,   and   God   has   chosen   the   weak things   of   the   world   to   put   to   shame   the   things   which   are   mighty;   and   the   base   things   of   the   world   and   the   things   which are   despised   God   has   chosen,   and   the   things   which   are   not,   to   bring   to   nothing   the   things   that   are,   that   no   flesh   should glory   in   His   presence.      But   of   Him   you   are   in   Christ   Jesus,   who   became   for   us   wisdom   from   God—and   righteousness and   sanctification   and   redemption—that,   as   it   is   written,   ‘He   who   glories, let   him   glory   in   the   LORD.’”      1   Corinthians 1:26-31 Sources of Pride Our    pride    may    be    categorized    based    upon    perceived    wisdom,    strengths (attributes), and/or wealth (possessions). Perceived Wisdom “Let   no   one   deceive   himself.   If   anyone   among   you   seems   to   be   wise   in   this   age,   let   him   become   a   fool   that   he   may become   wise.      For   the   wisdom   of   this   world   is   foolishness   with   God.      For   it   is   written,   ‘He   catches   the   wise   in   their   own craftiness’; and again, ‘The LORD knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.’”  1 Corinthians 3:18-20 “Thus   says   the   Lord:   ‘Let   not   the   wise   man   glory   in   his   wisdom,   let   not   the   mighty   man   glory   in   his   might,   nor   let   the rich   man   glory   in   his   riches;   but   let   him   who   glories   glory   in   this,   that   he   understands   and   knows   Me,   that   I   am   the Lord,   exercising   lovingkindness,   judgment,   and   righteousness   in   the   earth.      For   in   these   I   delight,’   says   the   Lord.”     Jeremiah 9:23-24 “Because,   although   they   knew   God,   they   did   not   glorify   Him   as   God,   nor   were   thankful,   but   became   futile   in   their thoughts,   and   their   foolish   hearts   were   darkened.      Professing   to   be   wise,   they   became   fools,   and   changed   the   glory   of the   incorruptible   God   into   an   image   made   like   corruptible   man—and   birds   and   four-footed   animals   and   creeping things.”  Romans 1:21-23 Strengths (attributes) For   if   any   person   thinks   himself   to   be   somebody   [too   important   to   condescend   to   shoulder   another’s   load]   when   he   is nobody   [of   superiority   except   in   his   own   estimation],   he   deceives   and   deludes   and   cheats   himself.      Galatians   6:3 (Amplified Bible) Do   nothing   from   factional   motives   [through   contentiousness,   strife,   selfishness,   or   for   unworthy   ends]   or   prompted   by conceit   and   empty   arrogance.      Instead,   in   the   true   spirit   of   humility   (lowliness   of   mind)   let   each   regard   the   others   as better   than   and   superior   to   himself   [thinking   more   highly   of   one   another   than   you   do   of   yourselves].      Philippians   2:3 (Amplified Bible) Be   of   the   same   mind   toward   one   another.      Do   not   set   your   mind   on   high   things,   but   associate   with   the   humble.      Do   not be wise in your own opinion.  Romans 12:16 Wealth and/or Possessions Jesus   said    ‘Do   not   lay   up   for   yourselves   treasures   on   earth,   where   moth   and   rust   destroy   and   where   thieves   break   in and   steal;   but   lay   up   for   yourselves   treasures   in   heaven,   where   neither   moth   nor   rust   destroys   and   where   thieves   do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’”  Matthew 6:19-21 Jesus   said   “Because   you   say,   ‘I   am   rich,   have   become   wealthy,   and   have   need   of   nothing’—and   do   not   know   that   you are   wretched,   miserable,   poor,   blind,   and   naked—I   counsel   you   to   buy   from   Me   gold   refined   in   the   fire,   that   you   may be   rich;   and   white   garments,   that   you   may   be   clothed,   that   the   shame   of   your   nakedness   may   not   be   revealed;   and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.”  Revelation 3:17-18 “Command   those   who   are   rich   in   this   present   age   not   to   be   haughty,   nor   to   trust   in   uncertain   riches   but   in   the   living God,   who   gives   us   richly   all   things   to   enjoy.      Let   them   do   good,   that   they   be   rich   in   good   works,   ready   to   give,   willing   to share,   storing   up   for   themselves   a   good   foundation   for   the   time   to   come,   that   they   may   lay   hold   on   eternal   life.”      1 Timothy 6:17-19 The Pride of Satan Wikipedia   defines   egomania   as   an   obsessive   preoccupation   with   one’s   self   and   applies   to   someone   who   follows   their own   ungoverned   impulses;   and   is   possessed   by   delusions   of   personal   greatness;   and   feels   a   lack   of   appreciation.     Someone suffering from this extreme egocentric focus is an egomaniac.  While the above definition may provide insight into Satan’s pride…it lacks the following: Willing to do anything / everything to fulfill his vain and delusional desire. Driven by absolute unadulterated hatred. This   same   spirit   (Satan)   has   been   revealed   in   multiple   egomaniacs   throughout   time.      These   tyrants   (oppressors, dictators,     etc.)     did     whatever     it     took     to     grow     their     power     and     achieve     their     goals…regardless     of     the consequences…including   destruction   of   life…which   was   (is   and   will   be)   justified   by   hatred   towards   the   “enemy”   and/or anyone that “stood in their way.” Can you name a few? Is this same spirit active today? In the last days Satan will indwell “The abomination that causes desolation.” (Matthew 24:15) “Your   heart   was   lifted   up   because   of   your   beauty;   You   corrupted   your   wisdom   for   the   sake   of   your   splendor.”      Ezekiel 28:17 Which do you think occurred first…Satan’s corrupted wisdom or Satan’s pride? Who was responsible for Satan’s corrupted wisdom? Notice in the following scripture how “I will” precedes each vain desire to be like God.  Not “thy will” but “I will.” “How   you   are   fallen   from   heaven,   O   Lucifer,   son   of   the   morning!      How   you   are   cut   down   to   the   ground,   you   who weakened   the   nations!      For   you   have   said   in   your   heart:   ‘I   will   ascend   into   heaven,   I   will   exalt   my   throne   above   the stars   of   God;   I   will   also   sit   on   the   mount   of   the   congregation   on   the   farthest   sides   of   the   north;   I   will   ascend   above   the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’”  Isaiah 14:12-14 Satan’s   vain   pride   and   corrupted   wisdom   caused   him   to   live   in   total   darkness;   unable   to   comprehend   truth;   and   unable to cease his ungoverned impulses to be worshipped—evidenced by Satan’s attempt to cause Jesus to worship him. “Again,   the   devil   took   Him   up   on   an   exceedingly   high   mountain,   and   showed   Him   all   the   kingdoms   of   the   world   and their glory.  And he said to Him, ‘All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.’”  Matthew 4:8-9 The   pride   that   consumed   Satan—including   the   consequences—can   also   happen   to   us   if   we   do   not   humble   ourselves and   yield   to   the   Holy   Spirit.      It   requires   a   prayerful   decision;   a   realistic   evaluation   of   who   we   are   (including   our   good and bad points) and a continual action to keep check on our thoughts and motivations. As   an   absolute   and   perfect   contrast   to   Satan’s   pride,   self-exaltation,   and   pure   hatred,   consider   Jesus…WHO   IS GOD…and   how   He   humbled   himself,   took   on   the   form   of   man   and   gave   His   life   as   a   ransom   for   many,   because   of   His pure agape love. “Let   this   mind   be   in   you   which   was   also   in   Christ   Jesus,   who,   being   in   the   form   of   God,   did   not   consider   it   robbery   to   be equal   with   God,   but   made   Himself   of   no   reputation,   taking   the   form   of   a   bondservant,   and   coming   in   the   likeness   of men.     And   being   found   in   appearance   as   a   man,   He   humbled   Himself   and   became   obedient   to   the   point   of   death,   even the death of the cross.”  Philippians 2:5-8 Action It   is   imperative   that   we   each   take   an   honest   look   at   our   unmerited   (undeserved,   unearned)   salvation   in   God’s   grace through   Jesus   Christ—which   is   the   greatest   gift   any   person   can   receive—and   compare   it   against   our   insignificant attributes,   accomplishments,   and/or   possessions.      Once   we   realize   all   we   “are”   and   all   we   “have”   is   because   of   Him,   is when   we   will   lay   our   “crowns”   at   His   feet   in   worship   and   prayer,   and   give   humble   thanks   to   God   for   the   wondrous things He has done; for God alone is worthy of honor and praise. As an example, consider what John was granted to see in Heaven and what he wrote in Revelation chapter 4. “After   these   things   I   looked,   and   behold,   a   door   standing   open   in   heaven.     And   the   first   voice   which   I   heard   was   like   a trumpet speaking with me, saying, ‘Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.’” “Immediately   I   was   in   the   Spirit;   and   behold,   a   throne   set   in   heaven,   and   One   sat   on   the   throne.     And   He   who   sat   there was   like   a   jasper   and   a   sardius   stone   in   appearance;   and   there   was   a   rainbow   around   the   throne,   in   appearance   like an   emerald.     Around   the   throne   were   twenty-four   thrones,   and   on   the   thrones   I   saw   twenty-four   elders   sitting,   clothed in   white   robes;   and   they   had   crowns   of   gold   on   their   heads.      And   from   the   throne   proceeded   lightnings,   thunderings, and voices.  Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.” “Before   the   throne   there   was   a   sea   of   glass,   like   crystal.     And   in   the   midst   of   the   throne,   and   around   the   throne,   were four   living   creatures   full   of   eyes   in   front   and   in   back.      The   first   living   creature   was   like   a   lion,   the   second   living   creature like   a   calf,   the   third   living   creature   had   a   face   like   a   man,   and   the   fourth   living   creature   was   like   a   flying   eagle.     The   four living   creatures,   each   having   six   wings,   were   full   of   eyes   around   and   within.     And   they   do   not   rest   day   or   night,   saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!’” “Whenever   the   living   creatures   give   glory   and   honor   and   thanks   to   Him   who   sits   on   the   throne,   who   lives   forever   and ever,   the   twenty-four   elders   fall   down   before   Him   who   sits   on   the   throne   and   worship   Him   who   lives   forever   and   ever, and   cast   their   crowns   before   the   throne,   saying:   ‘You   are   worthy,   O   Lord,   to   receive   glory   and   honor   and   power;   for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.’” It's   safe   to   say   that   every   person   has   varying   degrees   of   pride—which   can   distort   and   diminish   our   ability   to   see spiritual   truths.      Plus,   imagine   being   on   the   other   side   of   death   and   standing   before   God.     As   you   look   back   upon   your life…what   will    you   say?      Will   you   boldly   declare   “Look   at   what   I   achieved!”      Or   will   you   humbly   acknowledge   your complete dependence upon Him for everything…with a thankful heart? “Thus   says   the   Lord:   ‘Let   not   the   wise   man   glory   in   his   wisdom,   let   not   the   mighty   man glory   in   his   might,   nor   let   the   rich   man   glory   in   his   riches;   but   let   him   who   glories   glory   in this,   that   he   understands   and   knows   Me,   that   I   am   the   Lord,   exercising   lovingkindness, judgment,   and   righteousness   in   the   earth.      For   in   these   I   delight,’   says   the   Lord.”      Jeremiah 9:23-24 I   pray   this   lesson   provides   you   with   greater   spiritual   insight   into   pride   and   how   it   can   create   a   “brick   wall”   between   each of   us   and   God.      Take   time   to   consider   each   source   of   pride   below   and   ask   yourself   if   any   fosters   self-pride,   or   have you cast each crown before the throne with heart-felt thankfulness to the One who is worthy! This link provides additional reading on pride: http://www.cslewisinstitute.org/Pride_and_Humility_SinglePage Here is a great music video by Jeremy Camp called “Lay Down My Pride.”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjnF4sC0eqA&ab_channel=Charlesc28 Your Brother in Christ, Harold D. Thomas Thought-Provoking Questions The   purpose   of   the   questions   is   to   facilitate   a   deeper   understanding   of   the   Bible,   this   Bible   study   topic   and   ourselves.     The   questions   may   be   answered   by   each   reader,   or   used   by   a   Bible   study   group   leader   or   church   pastor.      The following questions regarding self-pride should be answered or discussed after reading “Pride.” There   are   two   types   of   questions:   lesson   and   opinion.      Lesson   questions   (preceded   by   a   number)   are   provided   an answer.      Opinion   questions   (preceded   by   an   O)   are   designed   to   enhance   learning   via   the   determination   of   opinions and/or discovering how the lesson content illuminates our personal lives.  As such, no answers are provided. Questions 1. Can you identify at least 3 consequences of pride? O Ephesians   2:8-9   says,   “For   by   grace   you   have   been   saved   through   faith,   and   that   not   of   yourselves;   it   is   the   gift   of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”  Why would God base salvation on faith and not works? What effect do you think it would have on pride if salvation is based upon: o Faith o Works Take a moment and imagine what Heaven would be like if entrance was based upon works. o Would    some    feel    as    if    they    have    earned    more    rewards    and/or    preferential    treatment    because    they perceive their works were more important than others? o Would a works-based entrance foster division, envy, and self-righteousness?  Explain. o Would the focus be more upon self (look at what I accomplished to get here) rather than Jesus? o Instead of worship and praise songs…can you imagine some singing “I did it my way!” O Will pride in exist in Heaven?  Explain. O Which form of pride represents your greatest challenge, and what should you do about it? Answers 1. Godless   self-confidence;   attitude   of   contempt   and   indifference   towards   others;   self-adulation   and/or   self-worship; barrier to God; inverse relationship with an ability to love others; delusional lie. The questions may be viewed and downloaded as a PDF file by clicking on this button.
Jesus
In   his   book   Mere   Christianity ,   C.S.   Lewis   referred   to   pride as: “The great sin.”  “The    essential    vice,    the    utmost    evil,    is    pride. Unchastity,   anger,   greed,   drunkenness,   and   all   that, are   mere   flea   bites   in   comparison:   it   was   through pride   that   the   devil   became   the   devil:   pride   leads   to every   other   vice:   it   is   the   complete   anti-God   state   of mind.”  “Pride    is    a    spiritual    cancer:    it    eats    up    the    very possibility   of   love,   or   contentment,   or   even   common sense.” Pride   is   a   component   of   our   sinful   flesh   and   is   common   to all.        What’s    more,    pride    is    a    “slippery    slope”    in    that    it provides   a   deceitful   feeling   of   pleasure   and/or   satisfaction derived from: One's own achievements, and/or Personal attributes, and/or Possessions When   you   think   about   it   all   of   us   desire   to   be   recognized, appreciated,   and   even   admired   for   our   capabilities   and what   we’ve   accomplished.      For   example,   when   you   were   a child   you   probably   said   to   your   parents   or   friends…“Hey, look what I can do!”  This   desire   continues   in   adolescence,   and   may   greatly increase   in   adulthood.      For   example,   football   athletes   that score    a    touchdown    or    sack    a   quarterback        will        sometimes separate    themselves    from    their teammates    and    will    beat    their chest   or   exhibit   a   behavior   that says…“Look at what I’ve done.”  Pride   has   a   propensity   to   increase   as   we   become   more successful,   more   prosperous,   and/or   are   recognized   by others   for   our   accomplishments.      In   fact,   anything,   real   or imagined   that   elevates   us   above   others   can   become   a platform    for    pride—including    blessings    from    God.        In addition,   these   trappings   can   cause   us   to   misdirect   our hope, belief, faith, trust, and perception of God. It   is   important   to   note   the   type   of   pride   that   is   discussed   in this   lesson   is   self-pride.      We   can   also   experience   pride   in someone/something   else,   such   as   our   children,   country, company   we   work   for,   etc.      This   form   of   pride   can   be   a good   thing   if   it   does   not   darken   our   spiritual   insight   and relationship   with   God.      However,   self-pride   is   not   a   good thing.      As   such,   all   following   references   to   pride   is   self- pride. Synonyms for pride include: Arrogance Conceit Smugness Self-importance Self-righteousness However, pride is more…it’s much more…in that it: Can result in godless self-confidence. Can   create   an   attitude   of   contempt   and   indifference towards others. May result in self-adulation, and worse self-worship. Creates a barrier between the prideful and God. Has    an    inverse    relationship    with    love    (as    one increases the other decreases). Is a delusional lie. Test for Pride All   of   us   have   some   degree   of   pride.      For   example,   the apostles   demonstrated   pride   when   they   argued   amongst themselves   about   who   was   the   greatest   (Luke   22:24-27).     In    addition,    Paul    stated    that    he    had    problems    with pride—which   God   kept   in   check   by   allowing   a   “thorn   in   his flesh.”      While   the   “thorn”   is   never   revealed…we   can   all relate    to    a    weak    spot    in    our    spiritual    armor    that    often results    in    us    falling    short—resulting    in    a    contrite    and humble heart seeking forgiveness. “And    lest    I    should    be    exalted    above    measure    by    the abundance   of   the   revelations,   a   thorn   in   the   flesh   was given   to   me,   a   messenger   of   Satan   to   buffet   me,   lest   I   be exalted   above   measure.      Concerning   this   thing   I   pleaded with   the   Lord   three   times   that   it   might   depart   from   me.   And   He   said   to   me,   ‘My   grace   is   sufficient   for   you,   for   My strength   is   made   perfect   in   weakness.’”      2   Corinthians 12:7-9 “For   I   say,   through   the   grace   given   to   me,   to   everyone   who is   among   you,   not   to   think   of   himself   more   highly   than   he ought   to   think,   but   to   think   soberly,   as   God   has   dealt   to each one a measure of faith.”  Romans 12:3 Here     are     some     questions     that     are     designed     to introspectively reveal pride. How do you respond when: Someone ignores you? A driver “offends” you on the highway? You are shown disrespect? Someone “does your wrong?” How     do     you     respond     when     someone     flaunts     their attributes or possessions? Do   you   perceive   yourself   as   being   sufficiently   humble?   (Think deeply about this surprisingly revealing question.) Humble, Meek, and Lowly Spirit Our pride will diminish (and dissolve over time) as we: Seek God Receive His: o Love o Unmerited grace o Complete   forgiveness   for   all   our   sin   in   His   Son Jesus Christ We   kneel   and   fall   on   our   face   in   humble   worship   of our Savior and Lord. Continually   grow   in   our   understanding   of   the   depths of our depravity. In   addition,   true   humility   and   humbleness   will   continue   to grow    over    time    as    we    gain    full    appreciation    of    our gifts—which   are   to   be   used   for   His   glory.      Remember, when   God   is   recognized   and   lifted   up   for   what   He   has given us, faith is increased. Consider Jesus, who: Left Heaven and took the form of man on earth. Demonstrated Godly humility. Came not to be served, but to serve. Gave His life as a ransom for many. “Let   this   mind   be   in   you   which   was   also   in   Christ   Jesus, who,   being   in   the   form   of   God,   did   not   consider   it   robbery to   be   equal   with   God,   but   made   Himself   of   no   reputation, taking    the    form    of    a    bondservant,    and    coming    in    the likeness   of   men.      And   being   found   in   appearance   as   a man,   He   humbled   Himself   and   became   obedient   to   the point   of   death,   even   the   death   of   the   cross.”      Philippians 2:5-8 Works vs. Grace The   wisdom   of   God   is   revealed   when   you   consider   the affects   upon   pride   when   you   compare   salvation   by   works versus   unmerited   grace.      Works   is   a   term   used   to   describe salvation    based    upon    meeting    all    of    the    requirements defined   by   the   Ten   Commandments;   including   the   Biblical laws   defined   in   the   Old   Testament.      Grace   is   salvation based   upon   a   free   gift   paid   for   by   Jesus   Christ,   and   is   not based   upon   works   but   upon   faith   in   what   Jesus   Christ   did for us on the cross. Any   form   of   “salvation”   (regardless   of   religion   type)   that   is based   upon   works   will   increase   pride—which   hardens   the heart   and   closes   the   eyes   to   the   truth.      This   is   one   of   the key   reasons   why   the   Pharisees   failed   to   realize   Jesus Christ   was   the   Messiah.      Their   focus   was   upon   the   law; straining   to   fulfill   every   aspect—which   resulted   in   them being    proud    of    their    perceived    “accomplishments”    and “status.”      Jesus   Christ   healed   two   men   on   the   Sabbath:   a blind    man    and    a    man    with    a    shriveled    hand.        These miracles     were     considered     “illegal”     by     the     Pharisees because   healing   comprised   a   form   of   work,   and   work   is not    allowed    on    the    Sabbath.        Their    myopic    focus    on fulfilling   the   Law   (combined   with   their   pride)   caused   them to   miss   the   true   meaning,   intent,   and   purpose   of   the   Law as   they   sought   to   kill   Jesus   because   he   healed   on   the Sabbath.      (It   is   easy   to   understand   why   Jesus   looked   at them   with   anger   and   was   distressed   with   their   stubborn hearts.)  Mark 3:2; Matthew 12:10; John 9:14-16 However,     God’s     agape     love,     His     grace,     and     His forgiveness   (through   His   Son   Jesus   Christ)   will   create   a humble   heart   as   we   step   forward   in   faith   every   day.      God’s gift    in    Jesus    Christ    cannot    be    earned.        What’s    more, because   of   our   sin   no   one   is   worthy   to   receive   God’s   gift   in Jesus   Christ.      Even   after   we   are   saved,   no   one   can   boast for   what   they   have   accomplished   because   we   continually fall   short.      While   we   will   never   be   “perfect”   we   continue   to press   on   to   become   more   like   Him.      Instead   of   “look   at what   I   have   done”   it’s   “look   at   what   Jesus   has   done   for me.” “For   by   grace   you   have   been   saved   through   faith,   and   that not   of   yourselves;   it   is   the   gift   of   God,   not   of   works,   lest anyone should boast.”  Ephesians 2:8-9 “For   you   see   your   calling,   brethren,   that   not   many   wise according   to   the   flesh,   not   many   mighty,   not   many   noble, are   called.      But   God   has   chosen   the   foolish   things   of   the world   to   put   to   shame   the   wise,   and   God   has   chosen   the weak   things   of   the   world   to   put   to   shame   the   things   which are    mighty;    and    the    base    things    of    the    world    and    the things   which   are   despised   God   has   chosen,   and   the   things which   are   not,   to   bring   to   nothing   the   things   that   are,   that no   flesh   should   glory   in   His   presence.      But   of   Him   you   are in    Christ    Jesus,    who    became    for    us    wisdom    from God—and       righteousness       and       sanctification       and redemption—that,   as   it   is   written,   ‘He   who   glories,   let   him glory in the LORD.’”  1 Corinthians 1:26-31 Sources of Pride Our pride may be categorized based upon  perceived wisdom, strengths (attributes), and/or wealth (possessions). Perceived Wisdom “Let   no   one   deceive   himself.   If   anyone   among   you   seems to   be   wise   in   this   age,   let   him   become   a   fool   that   he   may become   wise.      For   the   wisdom   of   this   world   is   foolishness with   God.      For   it   is   written,   ‘He   catches   the   wise   in   their own     craftiness’;     and     again,     ‘The     LORD     knows     the thoughts   of   the   wise,   that   they   are   futile.’”      1   Corinthians 3:18-20 “Thus   says   the   Lord:   ‘Let   not   the   wise   man   glory   in   his wisdom,   let   not   the   mighty   man   glory   in   his   might,   nor   let the   rich   man   glory   in   his   riches;   but   let   him   who   glories glory   in   this,   that   he   understands   and   knows   Me,   that   I   am the     Lord,     exercising     lovingkindness,     judgment,     and righteousness   in   the   earth.      For   in   these   I   delight,’   says   the Lord.”  Jeremiah 9:23-24 “Because,   although   they   knew   God,   they   did   not   glorify Him   as   God,   nor   were   thankful,   but   became   futile   in   their thoughts,     and     their     foolish     hearts     were     darkened.     Professing   to   be   wise,   they   became   fools,   and   changed the   glory   of   the   incorruptible   God   into   an   image   made   like corruptible   man—and   birds   and   four-footed   animals   and creeping things.”  Romans 1:21-23 Strengths (attributes) For    if    any    person    thinks    himself    to    be    somebody    [too important   to   condescend   to   shoulder   another’s   load]   when he   is   nobody   [of   superiority   except   in   his   own   estimation], he   deceives   and   deludes   and   cheats   himself.      Galatians 6:3 (Amplified Bible) Do        nothing        from        factional        motives        [through contentiousness,   strife,   selfishness,   or   for   unworthy   ends] or   prompted   by   conceit   and   empty   arrogance.      Instead,   in the    true    spirit    of    humility    (lowliness    of    mind)    let    each regard   the   others   as   better   than   and   superior   to   himself [thinking    more    highly    of    one    another    than    you    do    of yourselves].  Philippians 2:3 (Amplified Bible) Be   of   the   same   mind   toward   one   another.      Do   not   set   your mind   on   high   things,   but   associate   with   the   humble.      Do not be wise in your own opinion.  Romans 12:16 Wealth and/or Possessions Jesus   said    ‘Do   not   lay   up   for   yourselves   treasures   on earth,   where   moth   and   rust   destroy   and   where   thieves break   in   and   steal;   but   lay   up   for   yourselves   treasures   in heaven,   where   neither   moth   nor   rust   destroys   and   where thieves   do   not   break   in   and   steal.      For   where   your   treasure is, there your heart will be also.’”  Matthew 6:19-21 Jesus   said   “Because   you   say,   ‘I   am   rich,   have   become wealthy,   and   have   need   of   nothing’—and   do   not   know   that you   are   wretched,   miserable,   poor,   blind,   and   naked—I counsel   you   to   buy   from   Me   gold   refined   in   the   fire,   that you   may   be   rich;   and   white   garments,   that   you   may   be clothed,   that   the   shame   of   your   nakedness   may   not   be revealed;   and   anoint   your   eyes   with   eye   salve,   that   you may see.”  Revelation 3:17-18 “Command   those   who   are   rich   in   this   present   age   not   to be   haughty,   nor   to   trust   in   uncertain   riches   but   in   the   living God,   who   gives   us   richly   all   things   to   enjoy.      Let   them   do good,   that   they   be   rich   in   good   works,   ready   to   give,   willing to   share,   storing   up   for   themselves   a   good   foundation   for the   time   to   come,   that   they   may   lay   hold   on   eternal   life.”      1 Timothy 6:17-19 The Pride of Satan Wikipedia       defines       egomania       as       an       obsessive preoccupation   with   one’s   self   and   applies   to   someone   who follows   their   own   ungoverned   impulses;   and   is   possessed by   delusions   of   personal   greatness;   and   feels   a   lack   of appreciation.        Someone    suffering    from    this    extreme egocentric focus is an egomaniac.  While   the   above   definition   may   provide   insight   into   Satan’s pride, it lacks the following: Willing   to   do   anything   /   everything   to   fulfill   his   vain and delusional desire. Driven by absolute unadulterated hatred. This   same   spirit   (Satan)   has   been   revealed   in   multiple egomaniacs   throughout   time.      These   tyrants   (oppressors, dictators,   etc.)   did   whatever   it   took   to   grow   their   power   and achieve           their           goals…regardless           of           the consequences…including   destruction   of   life…which   was (is   and   will   be)   justified   by   hatred   towards   the   “enemy” and/or anyone that “stood in their way.” Can you name a few? Is this same spirit active today? In   the   last   days   Satan   will   indwell   “The   abomination that causes desolation.” (Matthew 24:15) “Your   heart   was   lifted   up   because   of   your   beauty;   You corrupted    your    wisdom    for    the    sake    of    your    splendor.”    Ezekiel 28:17 Which   do   you   think   occurred   first,   Satan’s   corrupted wisdom or Satan’s pride? Who     was     responsible     for     Satan’s     corrupted wisdom? Notice     in     the     following     scripture     how     “I     will” precedes   each   vain   desire   to   be   like   God.      Not   “thy will” but “I will.” “How   you   are   fallen   from   heaven,   O   Lucifer,   son   of   the morning!      How   you   are   cut   down   to   the   ground,   you   who weakened   the   nations!      For   you   have   said   in   your   heart:   ‘I will   ascend   into   heaven,   I   will   exalt   my   throne   above   the stars    of    God;    I    will    also    sit    on    the    mount    of    the congregation    on    the    farthest    sides    of    the    north;    I    will ascend   above   the   heights   of   the   clouds,   I   will   be   like   the Most High.’”  Isaiah 14:12-14 Satan’s   vain   pride   and   corrupted   wisdom   caused   him   to live   in   total   darkness;   unable   to   comprehend   truth;   and unable     to     cease     his     ungoverned     impulses     to     be worshipped—evidenced    by    Satan’s    attempt    to    cause Jesus to worship him. “Again,    the    devil    took    Him    up    on    an    exceedingly    high mountain,   and   showed   Him   all   the   kingdoms   of   the   world and   their   glory.     And   he   said   to   Him,   ‘All   these   things   I   will give   You   if   You   will   fall   down   and   worship   me.’”      Matthew 4:8-9 The      pride      that      consumed      Satan—including      the consequences—can    also    happen    to    us    if    we    do    not humble   ourselves   and   yield   to   the   Holy   Spirit.      It   requires   a prayerful   decision;   a   realistic   evaluation   of   who   we   are (including   our   good   and   bad   points)   and   a   continual   action to keep check on our thoughts and motivations. As   an   absolute   and   perfect   contrast   to   Satan’s   pride,   self- exaltation,    and    pure    hatred,    consider    Jesus…WHO    IS GOD…and   how   He   humbled   himself,   took   on   the   form   of man   and   gave   His   life   as   a   ransom   for   many,   because   of His pure agape love. “Let   this   mind   be   in   you   which   was   also   in   Christ   Jesus, who,   being   in   the   form   of   God,   did   not   consider   it   robbery to   be   equal   with   God,   but   made   Himself   of   no   reputation, taking    the    form    of    a    bondservant,    and    coming    in    the likeness   of   men.      And   being   found   in   appearance   as   a man,   He   humbled   Himself   and   became   obedient   to   the point   of   death,   even   the   death   of   the   cross.”      Philippians 2:5-8 Action It   is   imperative   that   we   each   take   an   honest   look   at   our unmerited    (undeserved,    unearned)    salvation    in    God’s grace   through   Jesus   Christ—which   is   the   greatest   gift   any person     can     receive—and     compare     it     against     our insignificant        attributes,        accomplishments,        and/or possessions.      Once   we   realize   all   we   “are”   and   all   we “have”   is   because   of   Him,   is   when   we   will   lay   our   “crowns” at   His   feet   in   worship   and   prayer,   and   give   humble   thanks to   God   for   the   wondrous   things   He   has   done;   for   God alone is worthy of honor and praise. As   an   example,   consider   what   John   was   granted   to   see   in Heaven and what he wrote in Revelation chapter 4. “After   these   things   I   looked,   and   behold,   a   door   standing open   in   heaven.     And   the   first   voice   which   I   heard   was   like a   trumpet   speaking   with   me,   saying,   ‘Come   up   here,   and   I will show you things which must take place after this.’” “Immediately   I   was   in   the   Spirit;   and   behold,   a   throne   set in   heaven,   and   One   sat   on   the   throne.      And   He   who   sat there   was   like   a   jasper   and   a   sardius   stone   in   appearance; and     there     was     a     rainbow     around     the     throne,     in appearance    like    an    emerald.       Around    the    throne    were twenty-four   thrones,   and   on   the   thrones   I   saw   twenty-four elders   sitting,   clothed   in   white   robes;   and   they   had   crowns of   gold   on   their   heads.      And   from   the   throne   proceeded lightnings,   thunderings,   and   voices.      Seven   lamps   of   fire were    burning    before    the    throne,    which    are    the    seven Spirits of God.” “Before   the   throne   there   was   a   sea   of   glass,   like   crystal.   And   in   the   midst   of   the   throne,   and   around   the   throne, were   four   living   creatures   full   of   eyes   in   front   and   in   back.     The   first   living   creature   was   like   a   lion,   the   second   living creature   like   a   calf,   the   third   living   creature   had   a   face   like a   man,   and   the   fourth   living   creature   was   like   a   flying eagle.      The   four   living   creatures,   each   having   six   wings, were   full   of   eyes   around   and   within.      And   they   do   not   rest day   or   night,   saying:   ‘Holy,   holy,   holy,   Lord   God   Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!’” “Whenever   the   living   creatures   give   glory   and   honor   and thanks   to   Him   who   sits   on   the   throne,   who   lives   forever and   ever,   the   twenty-four   elders   fall   down   before   Him   who sits   on   the   throne   and   worship   Him   who   lives   forever   and ever,   and   cast   their   crowns   before   the   throne,   saying:   ‘You are   worthy,   O   Lord,   to   receive   glory   and   honor   and   power; for   You   created   all   things,   and   by   Your   will   they   exist   and were created.’” It's   safe   to   say   that   every   person   has   varying   degrees   of pride—which   can   distort   and   diminish   our   ability   to   see spiritual   truths.      Plus,   imagine   being   on   the   other   side   of death   and   standing   before   God.      As   you   look   back   upon your   life…what   will   you   say?      Will   you   boldly   declare   “Look at   what   I   achieved!”      Or   will   you   humbly   acknowledge   your complete   dependence   upon   Him   for   everything…with   a thankful heart? Thus    says    the    Lord:    ‘Let    not    the wise   man   glory   in   his   wisdom,   let   not the   mighty   man   glory   in   his   might, nor    let    the    rich    man    glory    in    his riches;   but   let   him   who   glories   glory in    this,    that    he    understands    and knows   Me,   that   I   am   the   Lord,   exercising   lovingkindness, judgment,   and   righteousness   in   the   earth.      For   in   these   I delight,’ says the Lord.”  Jeremiah 9:23-24 I   pray   this   lesson   provides   you   with   greater   spiritual   insight into   pride   and   how   it   can   create   a   “brick   wall”   between each   of   us   and   God.     Take   time   to   consider   each   source   of pride   below   and   ask   yourself   if   any   fosters   self-pride,   or have   you   cast   each   crown   before   the   throne   with heart-felt thankfulness to the One who is worthy! This      link      provides      additional      reading      on      pride: w e Page Here   is   a   great   music   video   by   Jeremy   Camp   called   “Lay Down My Pride.”  w C a nnel=Charlesc28 Your Brother in Christ, Harold D. Thomas Thought-Provoking Questions The    purpose    of    the    questions    is    to    facilitate    a    deeper understanding    of    the    Bible,    this    Bible    study    topic    and ourselves.        The    questions    may    be    answered    by    each reader,   or   used   by   a   Bible   study   group   leader   or   church pastor.        The    following    questions    regarding    self-pride should be answered or discussed after reading “Pride.” There    are    two    types    of    questions:    lesson    and    opinion.    Lesson   questions   (preceded   by   a   number)   are   provided an   answer.      Opinion   questions   (preceded   by   an   O)   are designed    to    enhance    learning    via    the    determination    of opinions    and/or    discovering    how    the    lesson    content illuminates   our   personal   lives.      As   such,   no   answers   are provided. Questions 1. Can you identify at least 3 consequences of pride? O Ephesians   2:8-9   says,   “For   by   grace   you   have   been saved   through   faith,   and   that   not   of   yourselves;   it   is   the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”  Why    would    God    base    salvation    on    faith    and    not works? What   effect   do   you   think   it   would   have   on   pride   if salvation is based upon: o Faith o Works Take   a   moment   and   imagine   what   Heaven   would   be like if entrance was based upon works. o Would   some   feel   as   if   they   have   earned   more rewards    and/or    preferential    treatment    because they   perceive   their   works   were   more   important than others? o Would   a   works-based   entrance   foster   division, envy, and self-righteousness?  Explain. o Would   the   focus   be   more   upon   self   (look   at   what I accomplished to get here) rather than Jesus? o Instead   of   worship   and   praise   songs…can   you imagine some singing “I did it my way!” O Will pride in exist in Heaven?  Explain. O Which     form     of     pride     represents     your     greatest challenge, and what should you do about it? Answers 1. Godless    self-confidence;    attitude    of    contempt    and indifference   towards   others;   self-adulation   and/or   self- worship;   barrier   to   God;   inverse   relationship   with   an ability to love others; delusional lie. The questions may be viewed and downloaded as a PDF file by clicking on this button.  
Jesus