The Sin Of Pride
We often ask ourselves what the motivation is for the good things we do, but we often neglect investigating what drives most of the sin in our lives. Paul taught that love should be a motivating factor for everything we do (1 Cor. 13:1-3). Doing good works is important, but if the proper motivation does not drive the desire to do the good, it is a waste of time. Sin is sin, and there is nothing good that comes from it, but learning what motivates us to sin can help us attack the root of the problem. There are many different things that motivate us to sin, but one of the greatest reasons we commit sin is because of pride. Pride is the root cause for the majority of the sins we commit. By attacking the problem of pride we can destroy the motivation for many of our sins. When you spend some time considering the problem of pride, you will discover that sins such as covetousness, lust, jealousy, anger, gossip, and self-centeredness all find their roots in the sin of pride. A thorough study of the Bible on the topic will show that it repeatedly condemns pride while stressing the importance of humility in the life of the Christian. If we can understand the dangers of pride, we will be well on our way to overcoming it in our life. Let’s consider why pride is so dangerous, and why it is impossible for a faithful Christian to be a prideful person.
1. Pride causes us to focus all of our attention on ourselves instead of God. We can’t spend our lives trying to be more like Jesus when all we think about is ourselves. Pride is the sin that caused the initial fall of mankind. Satan tempted Eve to eat the fruit of the tree and then told her, “You will be like God” (Gen. 3:4). Instead of submitting to the commands of God, she saw an opportunity to make herself more like Him. The first sin was based on pride. We see the exact opposite in the life of Jesus. Jesus gave up the glory of being with God to be like us, so He could save us. Paul stated that Jesus “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” (Phil. 2:7,8). Jesus gave us the perfect example of someone taking the attention off of Himself in an effort to humbly submit to God.
2. Pride causes us to focus all of our attention on ourselves instead of others. Jesus stated that we are to “love one another” (John 13:34), and Paul taught us to “bear one another’s burdens” (Gal. 6:2). These are just a few of the many examples of the Bible teaching us to care for others. A prideful person cannot show care and love for others because the prideful person is too absorbed with loving and caring for themselves. Paul stressed this when he wrote, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil. 2:3,4).
3. Pride causes us to depend on ourselves instead of depending on God. Unfortunately, the more successful or blessed some of us become in our lives, the more we tend to believe it is because of our own talents or abilities. We stop living by faith in God, and begin to accredit the blessings to ourselves. We have to be like Paul and realize “by the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Cor. 15:10). We must also realize that no matter how “great” a person we may become, we can never save ourselves. Pride leads one to believe otherwise. Both Peter and James stated, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:5; 1 Pet. 5:5). It is by God’s grace that we are saved through faith (Eph. 2:8). The prideful person will not submit to God in faith which means God will not bless him with His saving grace. It is impossible for a prideful person to be saved unless they repent and humble themselves before God. If Jesus was willing to humble Himself to save mankind, shouldn’t we be willing to humble ourselves to be saved by what Jesus did for us? -Ed