How easy it is for us to become puffed up and prideful. We all have talents and areas in our lives where we excel. We receive complements, awards, promotions at work, and other recognition for the good job that we may have done. Each of us at one time or another have probably gotten caught up in the kind of thinking that can lead us down a dangerous path. We let pride get to us and we believe that we have somehow accomplished something real and important on our own and through our own abilities.
The prophet Isaiah spoke of God’s judgement against the king of Assyria. God condemns “the king of Assyria for his willful pride in his heart and the haughty look in his eyes” (Isaiah 10:12). Listen to the words with which the king had deceived himself: “For he says: ‘By the strength of my hand I have done this, and by my wisdom, because I have understanding. I removed the boundaries of nations, I plundered their treasures; like a mighty one I subdued their kings. As one reaches into a nest, so my hand reached for the wealth of the nations; as people gather abandoned eggs, so I gathered all the countries; not one flapped a wing, or opened its mouth to chirp’” (Isaiah 10:13). Did you notice the focus of his statements? He uses the words “I” and “my” like he accomplished all of this on his own. Here is a man that was full of self-pride.
God was the one who enabled and used the king of Assyria to accomplish His goals. “Does the ax raise itself above the person who swings it, or the saw boast against the one who uses it? As if a rod were to wield the person who lifts it up, or a club brandish the one who is not wood!” (Isaiah 1:15). Even a pagan king was simply a tool used by God to carry out His plan. As a Christian our lives are no longer our own and we should never forget that all we do is for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
The book of Proverbs gives us many warnings about the danger of pride. “The LORD detests all the proud of heart…Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:5,18).
The New Testament is also full of warnings about the danger of thinking more of ourselves than we should. “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (James 4:6). The danger of pride leads to us worshiping ourselves rather than God. We must understand that all we are and all we have comes from God.
Monticello church of Christ