Recognizing pride

God has sobered me a lot the past couple of months regarding the danger of pride.  Pride was Lucifer’s sin, and I think if you could say that one sin is more deadly than all the others, pride would be it.  It is so dangerous because it is so blinding.  Think about this:  Unless your conscience is totally seared, you know it if you’re living in sexual sin.  You know if you’re robbing people, too, even if you refuse to deal with the sin.  You feel the sting of conviction when you gossip about someone.  Few people, though, know they have a big pride problem but refuse to deal with it.  Most people in bondage to pride have very little idea it’s there.

John Bevere explains that a prideful person will always become more religious.  Religiosity covers the pride, and pride keeps a person from seeing the religious spirit.  Nasty little cycle, huh?  That’s why Jesus said that many people who have done all kinds of great spiritual things will be blown away on the day of judgment to be rejected by God (Matthew 7:21-23).  What a scary thought!

I haven’t always taken pride that seriously.  I sort of assumed that as long as I was in “mostly good standing” with God, He wouldn’t be too put off by a little pride.  I recently realized how ridiculous that thought is when I started meditating on James 4:6:  “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (emphasis mine).  In other words, God isn’t just a little disappointed if I’m prideful.  It doesn’t slow down His work in my life a bit.  God is flat-out opposed to me if I’m proud.  Every good thing in our lives comes because of God’s grace, and He gives that grace to the humble, not the proud!  That got my attention.

I am learning that a prayer God is quick to answer is, “God, I don’t care what it takes, please expose every area of pride in my life.”  I never used to have the guts to pray that prayer, but now I do.  I am growing in the fear of God, and I see that pride can separate me from Him without my ever knowing it.  I don’t care what it costs me anymore, I don’t want to fall away from God.  So I’m asking Him to expose pride, and He is.

The trouble with a blind spot, of course, is that it’s hard to see.  Something John Bevere said in a sermon I recently listened to really helped me.  He explained how humility is simply fully trusting God in absolutely everything.  Looking at it that way, I have begun to see my pride more readily, because I can recognize a host of areas where I don’t fully trust God.  Until my life is 100% submitted to God in everything, pride has not yet been fully conquered.

Oh God, keep me from pride.  Expose every single area of it in my life.  Don’t let one little bit hide in darkness.  I only want to do what you want me to.  I don’t want to fall away from you.  Give me your grace as I walk in humility.  Knowing how susceptible I am to falling, I’m trusting you to keep me.  It’s only by your grace.