Climb Higher: Pummeling Pride
Read Proverbs 11:1-9
A false balance is an abomination to the Lord,
but a just weight is his delight.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with the humble is wisdom.
The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.
Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
but righteousness delivers from death.
The righteousness of the blameless keeps his way straight,
but the wicked falls by his own wickedness.
The righteousness of the upright delivers them,
but the treacherous are taken captive by their lust.
When the wicked dies, his hope will perish,
and the expectation of wealth[a]perishes too.
The righteous is delivered from trouble,
and the wicked walks into it instead.
With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor,
but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.
Scripture is filled with warnings about pride. In 2 Chronicles 26:3, when King Uzziah was first crowned at age 16, he "sought God." But as he became older and more powerful, he became more and more prideful. When he tried to burn incense in the temple--a privilege reserved for priests--he was struck with leprosy. (2 Chronicles 26:16-21). The Lord warned of judgment for the vain in Isaiah 3:16-17 "The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes. . . . Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion; the Lord will make their scalps bald." Christ shocked the Pharisees He was dining with by saying, "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Luke 14:11).
While no one has escaped pride's grip, not many are willing to freely admit that they are guilty of this sin. Some people will admit other vices--a bad temper, a struggle with lust, an addiction--yet, somehow, a problem with pride is often overlooked. C.S. Lewis, on the other hand, challenges us to take pride very seriously. "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." Lewis describes pride as "spiritual cancer" and warns that its presence in our lives can block us from knowing God.
Lord, please remove pride from my heart. Show me how to model Your humility. Amen.