One of the most destructive sins that I think we rarely talk about is the sin of PRIDE. It is a crafty assassin of the heart.
I think the area I struggle with pride the most is when I drive around town and get stuck behind someone going slow. Perhaps you could call this me being impatient, but I actually think it is me being prideful. Here is why I believe this to be a sin of pride. When I get stuck behind someone that I don’t think is going fast enough, what I am really saying is that my life is more important. My schedule, my time, my job, my work, and ultimately, I am more important than you and you are in my way.
Pride by definition is this: Pride is an inwardly directed emotion that carries two antithetical meanings. With a negative connotation pride refers to a foolishly and irrationally corrupt sense of one's personal value, status or accomplishments, used synonymously with hubris. I heard it stated this way, “Pride is the burden of a foolish person.”
When I am in my car about to lose my mind because I am stuck behind someone that doesn’t seem to have any interest in going the speed limit or arriving at an eventual destination then I am full of pride and I am being foolish.
When we allow pride to take over it can be detrimental to our relationships with Jesus, to our marriage, to our parenting, to our work, to our friendships, and to nearly every aspect of our lives. What is interesting is that we see it clear as day in other people but rarely identify it in our own life. We’ve heard of marriages ruined or parent/child relationships strained We’ve worked for bosses or worked with people that let their pride run their life. It is easy to see in others but not as easy to deal with in our own life. If we can get a handle on pride it could radically change our lives.
Jesus was a great example of someone that had every reason to be full of pride but was dominated by a heart of humility. He was considered by others to be a friend of tax collectors and sinners. We see this being displayed in Luke 5:27-31, when he eats with Levi and other tax collectors.
This set him completely apart from the other religious teachers and Rabbis of his day. They thought it was absurd that Jesus, a Rabbi, would lower himself enough to interact with the scum of society. This was unheard of in this day. No other religious teacher, Rabi, prophet, or god would have done what Jesus did. The gods of this day were to be served but Jesus said he came to serve. He lowered himself enough to wash the feet of his disciples and to the point of death on a cross.
How do we overcome the sin of pride in our lives and be more like Jesus? I think it starts with daily practicing certain behaviors or traits. The way Bob Goff put it in his book Everybody Always was to fill our bucket with the characteristics of Jesus.
We've got to start filling our buckets with patience, love, and humility.
Patience can’t exist in the same place as pride. Everywhere you go and in everything you do practice the art of patience. It will not happen overnight, I promise you that. PRACTICE.
Pride tells us to hurry through life, take what we can get, and make sure to look out for ourselves. Jesus says to love others and be humble. That will require patience, LOTS OF PATIENCE. If we want to get pride out of our lives it will require us to slow down and give grace. If we want to be like Jesus and wash the feet of others it takes patience. It takes being willing to give those that hurt us a second chance, a third chance, a fourth, and on and on. It means being willing to take time with your kids and spouse even when they are driving you insane. IT means we tolerate each other even when we don’t understand or don’t agree with each other. Paul said it this way in Ephesians 4:2, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” We have to bear with one another in love.
This leads me to the second thing we must fill our bucket with. We have to start filling our buckets with love. Love – covers a multitude of sins. It forgives. It doesn’t envy or boast, it isn’t proud. 1 Peter 4:8, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” If we fill our buckets with love and patience we are quickly on the road to stomping out pride in our lives. It is really hard to love others and be patient with others all while being prideful. It just can’t be done. There is no room for unhealthy pride in a place where love and patience reside. It won’t be easy but it takes a daily practice of loving others.
Lastly, fill your bucket with HUMILITY. John Wooden former coach of the UCLA basketball team was a coach for a living. He was perhaps one of the best coaches of all time but his calling was to impact people. Despite all of his success and numerous championships. Do you know what he could be found doing in the middle of the week? Going into the closet, getting a broom, and sweeping his own gym floor. He would lower himself and sweep the floor. We’ve got to be willing to go get a broom and sweep the floor. Like Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. He ate with and was a friend of sinners. He lowered himself even to the point of death on a cross. Are we willing to lower ourselves? Are we willing to not think so highly ourselves?
How are we doing with our pride friends? May we be willing to lower ourselves like Jesus did. Let’s get our bucket and start filling it with patience, love, and humility. Let’s fill our buckets so full of the things of Jesus that pride cannot reside in our hearts.
Have a great day. LOVE MORE & DO MORE for others.