In a world where evil abounds, and in a lot of cases is practiced, admired, and even defended as a personal right to participate in – the evilest thing of all is still pride. CS Lewis said, “Pride is spiritual cancer.” This sin is insidiously evil because all sin is rooted in it. Whether the pride is arrogant, boastful, or displayed as false humility, it is ugly and causes a stench that permeates the human condition. When pride has run its course on an individual’s heart, it brings destruction to the one who is living within their chosen arrogance. Prov. 16:18 Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall.
It was self-obsessed pride that destroyed Satan and it is the same sneery conceit that is at the root of every imaginable evil. Eze. 28:17a Your heart was filled with pride because of all your beauty. Your wisdom was corrupted by your love of splendor. It was sanctimonious pride that persuaded one-third of the angels to rebel against God. The pride of the eye deceived Eve into sin. The smugness of pride and jealousy provoked Cain to murder his brother. Religious pride that was resident within the self-righteous priests caused the crucifixion of Jesus. To this day, narcissistic pride has caused many to reject salvation. Acts 26:28 Agrippa interrupted him. “Do you think you can persuade me to become a Christian so quickly?”
In the not too distant future, the ugliest of human pride will allow the Anti-Christ to set up a reign of terror. Yet, as people’s souls swim in the darkness of this sin, they will not repent, even in the middle of their painful misery. Rev. 16:11 And they cursed the God of heaven for their pains and sores. But they did not repent of their evil deeds and turn to God. Once Satan has a man or woman living out of a prideful heart, the vice-grip of self-conceit becomes hard to overcome.
Thank God for Jesus who can break every bondage there is. However, we have to repent of this sin and hand our vulnerable hearts over to God so that He can heal it from the effects of this iniquity. The love of God conquers all. When we read what love is, we can see that it is the exact opposite of pride. 1 Cor. 13:4a Love is patient, love is kind. 6b rejoiceth in the truth; 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. When we read what love is not, we can see that it is pride at work. 1 Cor. 13:4b It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs. 6a does not rejoice in iniquity.
Notice, pride is the opposite of love. If we want to conquer pride, we do it with God’s love at work within us. If anyone is having a hard time loving, then chances are pride has entered their heart. Somewhere, somehow this sin has disrupted their ability to step out in love. Therefore, repentance is needed and we overcome pride by expressing authentic love. We do this by faith in the finished work of the cross and the blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all sin, including pride.
Why does Satan promote this particular sin within the human race? Because once pride has a foothold in a person’s life the chances of looking to God for life’s answers begin to wane. Psalm 10:4 In his pride the wicked man does not seek Him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. Imagine, having no room for God in all or any of your thoughts. What an insipid existence that would be. No Saints, Jesus came that we have life and have it more abundantly. Pride will stop that abundant life and the most evil thing of all will become your lot in life.
So, let us lay aside the sin that so easily tricks us into self-absorption and ask God to give us the strength to overcome this vilest of temptation. Heb. 12:1b Let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us. Father, In Jesus name, help us to overcome the sin of pride that we may look to your salvation in the joy and victory of the Lord. Amen!