Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD—Prov. 16: 5.
One of the severe ordeals of the Christian is the conquering of the love of the spirit of worldliness under the leadership of pride. Worldly pride challenges faith in God and obedience to Him, and only those who are of good courage and full of confidence in the Lord can overcome this giant. It is necessary, too, that the victory should be made complete—that pride should be thoroughly humiliated, killed, so that it can never rise up again to destroy us. It is an individual battle, and the only proper armament against this giant is a stone from the brook, the message of the Lord, showing us what is pleasing and acceptable in His sight, and assuring us that he that humbles himself shall be exalted and he that exalts himself shall be abased. As the poet has expressed it:
"Where boasting ends, true dignity begins."
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Pride is exaggerated self-esteem. It may manifest itself in an overweening self-respect and self-confidence as well as in self-satisfaction and self-exaltation. The one who is proud in heart loves these qualities in himself, though he invariably despises them in others. Such a spirit leads one to contempt for others. It is one of the most dangerous characteristics to a Christian. It unfits one for every good word and work. It estranges one from God, Christ and his fellows. God cannot use such for His purposes. Knowing their wicked hearts, He resists them and thrusts them aside, and when they prove incorrigible completely, He rejects and abhors them.
Parallel passages: 1Sam. 2: 3; Psa. 10: 2-7, 11; Prov. 3: 32; 6: 16-19; 11: 20; 12: 22; 15: 8, 9, 26; 21: 27; 24: 9; 28: 9; 29: 27; Jer. 9: 23, 24; 13: 15; Mark 7: 21, 22; 2Tim. 3: 2; Jas. 4: 6; 1John 2: 16.
Questions: Was I this week proud or lowly in heart? How did I become so? What were the results?
"PRIDE GOETH BEFORE DESTRUCTION"
A KING in procession had come to the town,
Riding an ass that was playing the clown:
For as people hailed and saluted their king
And started in joy his great praises to sing,
The ass made a curtsy and smiled and bowed
And sat down to salute the worshiping crowd.
The king in his rage had the ass fully stripped,
And there on the street had him publicly whipped.
Which reminds us of some that our Master has used
Who, puffed up in pride, their office abused;
And not honoring Him in all their ways,
They took to themselves His honor and praise—
But pride brings destruction, or something quite near it,
And so they were stripped of the Truth and its spirit;
For they are devoid of true wisdom, alas,
Who possess the audacity of the ass!
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