Defeating Our Worst Enemy: Pride
- Tuesday, March 12, 2013
I sat there staring at my phone, secretly wishing I could call my friend. We hadn’t spoken to each other for a week, but it honestly felt more like a year. As much as I wanted to bridge the angry silence between us, something inside of me kept me from dialing her number.
A mini war raged in my heart. Part of me wanted to restore our friendship; the other part just wanted to be right. I wanted her to realize how wrong she was and come crawling back, asking for forgiveness.
My fingers fiddled with my cell phone keys, scrolling up and down past her name.
“No. Don’t do it!” one side of my heart cried. “You’ve already stood your ground for seven days. You can’t show weakness now by backing down! You have to stand firm. When she’s ready to admit her faults, she’ll have to be the one to pick up the phone and call.”
I tried to recall the argument. It was fuzzy in my mind. How did we get into this mess anyway? What was keeping us from making amends?
Pride, I realized suddenly. Yep, the whole situation reeked with pride. Pride kept me from reaching out. Pride made me value being right more than having a Christ-like attitude. I was caught in pride’s ugly trap.
Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty sprit before a fall.” And we certainly had fallen. Our friendship had fallen. But, come to think of it, we’re not the only ones ensnared by pride. Almost every human relationship has suffered because of this sin.
Could pride actually be the primary source of human relationship problems? I think so.
Here’s how Charles Spurgeon describes pride:
“I might paint it as being the worst malformation of all the monstrous things in creation; it hath nothing lovely in it, nothing in proportion, but everything in disorder. It is altogether the very reverse of the creatures which God hath made, which are pure and holy. Pride, the first-born son of hell, is indeed like its parent, all unclean and vile, and in it there is neither form, fashion, nor comeliness.”
Yikes! Pride’s a pretty nasty thing. And it’s sure to wreak havoc in both your life and your relationship.
Consequences of Pride
Strangles Communication – When we are prideful about a situation, tension builds, and it’s difficult to communicate. We are so set on being “right” that we are willing to sacrifice fellowship with the people we care about.
Keeps us from Restoration – Pride creates a barrier to both forgiveness and apology. But God calls us to “clothe ourselves in humility” and to “make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive” (Colossians 3:13).
Creates Defensiveness – A.W. Tozer says this about pride: “As long as you set yourself up as a little god to which you must be loyal, there will be those who will delight to offer affront to your idol.” We are so easily offended and so easily become defensive because we’ve secretly made an idol of ourselves. We’re willing to fight at all costs to have the last word.
Restrains us from Offering Grace – When we are caught up in our own self-righteousness, it’s hard to be gracious to others. Yet God calls us to live full of grace: “Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?” (Matthew 18:33) “Show mercy and kindness to one another” (Zechariah 7:9).
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