While trying to find an image online for this post, I googled pride, and clicked on the image tab, and the first several pages of results were a shocking revelation of how pride has indeed completely taken over culture. Try it for yourself. Google pride, and then click on images.
The Devil’s oldest trick
There’s a good reason God describes the serpent (devil) as the subtlest of animals; he does know how to sneak around almost undetected. One thing that he has had a roaring success in sneaking into every culture throughout the ages is pride, and his single aim in doing this is to bring man into conflict with his Creator.
From the garden of eden where he tempted Eve to query God’s altruism, and rely on her own intuition; to the wilderness where he tempted Jesus to display his power and prove his sonship; and then in Gethsemane where he again tempts the Lord to pursue his own will; the devil is consistent in pushing the suggestion into our hearts that we don’t have trust the Lord with all our hearts, and we can instead lean on our own understanding.
When we strip that idea of its garbs; whether its rationality or even false humility, we find naked pride. For pride in its simplest form is the sense that we can rely on ourselves the often subtly concealed corollary of which is that, we do not need God.
Do not be deceived
Thankfully, whether the devil chooses to disguise pride, and offer it to you as ‘self worth’ or more boldly as the rebellious selfishness of putting yourself (including every kind of fantasy that can be invented to please you) first above anything and anyone else; we are no longer ignorant of the devices of Satan (2 Cor 2:11).
In dying for us, we are no longer to live for ourselves. Like the Lord, we are to be able to say, “my meat is to do the will of him that sent me”.
Separation from his Love
In Romans 8:35, the question is asked; “Who shall ever separate us from Christ’s love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword?”
It is curious that while the question was about who, the potential separators mentioned were things. The reality is that the only one who wants to separate us from the love of Christ is to subtle to appear in person and try to separate us from the lover of our soul. What he does is to send suffering and affliction and the like. Still, none of those can separate us from the Love of the Lord.
But beware! Those are not the only weapons in the arsenal of the devil. Once ever he manages to plant pride in our hearts, and we, being negligent allow it to bloom, then it is only a matter of time before we find ourselves in opposition to the Lord, for “he resists the proud”.
What shall we say to these things?
“…by the grace (unmerited favour of God) given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance],…” Romans 12:3.
There is the crux of the whole matter; what do you think of yourself?
It is instructive that the image that defines pride today is one with which man celebrates his defiance of God. It is indeed pride!