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The Cure for Pride: Humility Through Recognition of God’s Grace – Part 1 March 12, 2006

Posted by JP in Uncategorized.
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In my earlier post on Pride I mentioned that I would attempt to offer a cure for pride. I should say rather that I would offer a take on God’s cure for pride, which is: humility.

We can see the cure for pride expressed simply in 1 Peter 5:6-7:

Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own
estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may
exalt you, Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. [Ps. 55:22.]

But do we truly understand the full force of this passage? Before we discuss the cure, let us look again at pride. Here are ten Biblical observations about pride (obviously humility is the opposite of these):

1. Pride is self-satisfaction 

God says to Israel in Hosea 13:4-6:
Yet I am the Lord your God from [the time you became a nation in] the land of Egypt, and you shall know or recognize no God but Me, for there is no Savior besides Me. I knew (recognized, understood, and had regard for) you in the wilderness, in the land of great drought. According to their pasture, so were they filled [when they fed, they grew full], and their heart was lifted up; therefore have they forgotten Me.

2. Pride is self-sufficiency and self-reliance

Moses warns the people of God in Deuteronomy 8:11-17 about what will happen when they have rest in the promised land: 
Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His precepts, and His statutes which I command you today, Lest when you have eaten and are full, and have built goodly houses and live in them, And when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all you have is multiplied, Then your [minds and] hearts be lifted up and you forget the Lord your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, Who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, but Who brought you forth water out of the flinty rock, Who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end. And beware lest you say in your [mind and] heart, My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.

Although Moses warned about God’s goodness being turned into self-sufficiency, we know that it happened anyway.

3. Pride considers itself above instruction

In Jeremiah 13:9-10 God says to the people of Judah:
…After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. These evil people, who refuse to hear My words, who walk in the stubbornness of their hearts and have gone after other gods to serve them and to worship them, shall even be like this girdle or waistcloth, which is profitable for nothing.

Pride stubbornly refuses to be taught the way of God, and makes its own wishes, its own way, the measure of truth.

4. Pride is insubordinate

Psalm 119:21 says:
You rebuke the proud and arrogant, the accursed ones, who err and wander from Your commandments.

When the commandments of God are spoken, pride turns away and will not submit. It rejects the right and authority of God to command.

5. Pride takes credit for what God alone does

One of the most vivid illustrations of this is the case of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon in Daniel 4:30-32:

The king said, Is not this the great Babylon that I have built as the royal residence and seat of government by the might of my power and for the honor and glory of my majesty? While the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, And you shall be driven from among men and your dwelling will be with the living creatures of the field. You will be made to eat grass like the oxen, and seven times [or years] shall pass over you until you have learned and know that the Most High [God] rules in the kingdom of men and gives it to whomever He will.

Then, after his season of humiliation grazing in the fields like and ox, Nebuchadnezzar is restored and confesses:
And at the end of the days [seven years], I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up my eyes to heaven, and my understanding and the right use of my mind returned to me; and I blessed the Most High [God] and I praised and honored and glorified Him Who lives forever, Whose dominion is an everlasting dominion; and His kingdom endures from generation to generation.

6. Pride exults in being made much of

In Matthew 23:5-7 Jesus indicted the religious leaders in Jerusalem:
They do all their works to be seen of men; for they make wide their phylacteries (small cases enclosing certain Scripture passages, worn during prayer on the left arm and forehead) and make long their fringes [worn by all male Israelites, according to the command]. And they take pleasure in and [thus] love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues, And to be greeted with honor in the marketplaces and to have people call them rabbi.

7. Pride aspires to the place of God

In Acts 12:21-23 we read the story of Herod’s pride:
On an appointed day Herod arrayed himself in his royal robes, took his seat upon [his] throne, and addressed an oration to them. And the assembled people shouted, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man! And at once an angel of the Lord smote him and cut him down, because he did not give God the glory (the preeminence and kingly majesty that belong to Him as the supreme Ruler); and he was eaten by worms and died.

8. Pride opposes the very existence of God

Psa 10:4  The wicked one in the pride of his countenance will not seek, inquire for, and yearn for God; all his thoughts are that there is no God [so He never punishes].

Self-sufficiency, the very core of pride is indeed dependent upon the non-existence of God.

9. Pride refuses to trust in God

Proverbs 28:25 provides us a contrast arrogance and trust:
He who is of a greedy spirit stirs up strife, but he who puts his trust in the Lord shall be enriched and blessed.

Pride cannot trust God. The posture of trust is too weak. Too dependent. It calls too much attention to the strength and wisdom of another. Trusting God is the heartbeat of humility, the opposite of pride.When we are proud there are two possibilities: one is that we feel a false security based on our own imagined power and shrewdness to avert catastrophe. The other is that we realize that we cannot guarantee our security.

10. Pride is anxious about the future In Isaiah 51:12-13 God says to anxious Israel that their problem is pride:
I, even I, am He Who comforts you. Who are you, that you should be afraid of man, who shall die, and of a son of man, who shall be made [as destructible] as grass, That you should forget the Lord your Maker, Who stretched forth the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, and fear continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, when he makes ready to destroy or even though he did so? And where is the fury of the oppressor?

God basically is asking them “Who do you think you are to be afraid?” It sounds strange but that is the subtlety of pride. Our self-sufficiency, our feeling of self-worth is such that it keeps us from trusting in God to take care of us and builds in us fear and anxiety.

Now we can see clearly and feel the force of 1 Peter 5:6-7:
Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.

In what way should we humble ourselves? By “casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.“(v. 7). The most humble thing in the world is to “…entrust your soul to a Faithful Creator.”(1 Pet 4:19), casting our anxieties on God and trusting in the promise that He cares for you and has the wisdom and power to put that care to work in a glorious way.

Easier said than done? I thought it was… In the beginning of this I said that humility is the opposite of pride – of the ten biblical observations of pride. Truly though, the trust in God described in 1st Peter is the opposite of pride. It is the essence of humility. It’s the confidence that the mighty hand of God is not over you to crush you but to care for you just like the promise says. Don’t be proud, but cast your anxieties on him because he will care for you. Next:  A Further Exploration of Humility – The Cure For Pride 

 

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Comments»

1. theseldomscene - March 12, 2006

good stuff and very on time…i’ll be looking forward to the next part…

2. JP - March 12, 2006

I’m working on it. Although I have sidetracked myself by pulling up other studies… I have to try to work on Humility while I am studying Bibliology, Ecclesiology, and Eschatology (not to mention a years worth of Systematic Theology topics as well).

3. theseldomscene - March 12, 2006

…sounds like you’re on your way to being quite an ologist….GOD bless…this blog is the best…

4. Randall Gibbons - February 13, 2012

I came across this blog while researching a blog article of mine and I would like to post this one on my blog, http://www.rcgibbons.com/partnershiprussia/internationalchristianblog, with credits and a link, if it would be okay with you.

Thanks
Randall

5. Saito - July 11, 2013

This info could be very helpful especially if given to young up-coming Christians. Iv’e just noted with concern how misleading pride can be… …!

6. Brittney - January 27, 2016

Awesome article and right on time for this season! God bless you!

7. Jacqueline - August 22, 2016

It can be easy to forget how God has brought you through difficult times once youre comfortable and lacking nothing. But it is also difficult to let go of the past and realize who you now are in the Lord. This is my constant challenge as well as an eye opening and blessed experience. My journey and my ministry are blessings from God, and i praise Him!

8. Jacqueline - August 23, 2016

This is a message absolutley on time for me in my life. I’ve never understood pride before, and how pride has ruined relationships and opportunities in my life. I pray to God for humility and to continue His work through me to help others as well as myself and family


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