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Pride; the Destroyer of Humbleness

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir
Pride is the fruit of hypocrisy, and humbleness is the destroyer of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy cannot exist in an environment filled with humbleness; this is because...
Pride is the fruit of hypocrisy! 
 
Oor should I say rotten vegetable? At the same time, humbleness is the destroyer of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy cannot exist in an environment filled with humbleness; this is because when we are humble we are glued to our Lord and not to ourselves. Pride is perhaps the first sin that entered God's universe; it is also perhaps the last sin that can be conquered. This sin is so enticing it corrupts our innermost being, it gives us the illusion to think over highly of ourselves. So that self-esteem and self love is the priority for our lives, and not the Lord! It causes inordinate amounts of mis-treatment, rudeness and hurt. Pride is the sin that made Satan stumble and fall from grace, and in turn one-third of the heavenly host who fell into the self-destruction of pride and arrogance that then turned into demons, the devil and hell. Pride is what killed the Jews under Hitler, and causes the ethnic cleansing that goes on today in so many countries. Pride is the over zealousness of our self-love, that we place ourselves as the center of the universe and not Christ.

The world may see pride as a sign of respect and dignity, that our worth as human beings is supreme, that we deserve respect and even worship for ourselves. The world may take pleasure and satisfaction with pride as it represents achievements that we deserve. But the source of pride is ourselves, it is conceit; when we are filled with conceit we have a vastly exaggerated opinion of ourselves. We become the main show, filled with self-righteousness, this is disclosed through our imaginations about ourselves, and not from the reality of who we are; who and what we are made to be.

The tower of Babel in Genesis is a prime example as the people saw the great creation they made, and because it was the greatest endeavor by humans at that time, saw themselves as supreme, and equal with God. It is like a great architect or builder standing on the 100th floor of a skyscraper seeing the wonderful job they made and comparing it to the job that God has done. Then when the sensible person sees the skyscraper at 20,000 feet from an airplane, all they see is a speck among the great landscape of mountains and valleys in the creation that God has made. This is pride, this is delusion!

We feel we can amortize Christ, that we can dissolve all the debt that we owe Christ and the gratitude we should feel, and replace it with our own dignity and self worth. This is the root of liberalism, the replacement of what Christ has done, with ourselves elevated into God's position. This is the ultimate act of pride. Our self-esteem must come from who we are in Christ, what Christ has done for us. This should give us an enormous satisfaction and worth for ourselves. That the King and Creator of the universe cares and loves us, and He is living within us, guiding, loving and holding us. You cannot have an adequate substitution for that! But it is sad that we try so hard to substitute the wonders of the truth of what Christ did for us with stupid insignificant lies. It would be like giving up living on the Queen Mary to live on a rowboat. We think our pride is the answer, and not Christ. Christ is calling us from an over-exaggerated opinion of ourselves, calling us out of our vanity and out of our delusions of conceit. Christ calls us out of conceit, which is out of ourselves and into Himself.

The practical application of pride is when we go to the church and see someone strut around the place like a rooster in a hen house. So full of themselves and swimming in their delusions. So when the non-Christian visits the church or even the Christian and has a run in with Mr. & Mrs. "puff up," the result of the run in is hurt and disillusionment with the church. This Mr. & Mrs. "puff up" are full of themselves and not full of Christ, so the comments of arrogance and the attitude of condescension flows from their words and actions. I cannot count how many times I've seen this played out in churches and it hurts me so much; imagine how it hurts our Lord!

God's Covering Protects

God is not in the business of gossip, hypocrisy, and legalism nor are the angels and hosts of heaven. They look down at us from heaven, and know all of our deepest inner-most secrets, and the angels see them in plain view, but do they act on this knowledge, are they talking among themselves on how bad and wicked we can be now? NO! God creates a blanket that covers us that nurtures and protects us from ourselves. This covering also protects God from our wicked nature. God is Holy and cannot be corrupted by our sin, so His grace covers us. In theology this is called propitiation. God's wrath is pleased by the sacrifice that Christ made on our behalf. So our response for this covering must be the response of modeling God's character. How we look and respond to each other, Christian or non-Christian, with love, care and respect. The question is do we go around and uncover each other's blankets reviewing the wickedness into…, well, we do! But God desires us not to. God desires us to model his character and when we are modeling his character then we do not go around slandering each other with hypocrisy, and legislating rules to make ourselves feel good.

Let us not fall into the trap of putting on a performance, of acting out the Christian life. Let us not play a Christian, but let us be Christian. Let our actions be responding to the transformation of Christ's grace by living honest lives. We must allow Christ's amazing grace to root out all the evil within us; especially the hypocrisy that causes so much destruction.

Rationalization

"In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God." Psalm 10:4

Cognitive Dissidence is where we perform one behavior while at the same time harboring a contradicting behavior. This is a common human characteristic that God desires us to root out. We cannot be healthy while at the same time harbor to contradictory views; this cannot be done. Psalm 10 tells us that we cannot have pride and God occupy the same heart, yet we keep trying! We cannot be a growing Christian practicing prayer and spiritual disciplines while at the same time making judgments on our neighbors and friends. To the non-Christian, as well as to the Christian, the pain that is caused by the judgments may never be repaired effectively. We Christians drive people away in droves from the church in hurt and disillusionment. While the people who drive the people away may feel they're in the right and acting God-like. We Christians never know the hearts of others, we are not impaths {the ability to read others emotions}, and certainly we are not God. We do not know the pain and brokenness in someone, which may contribute to a certain behavior: Because someone acts contrary to our standard. We must have a heart for people, even people who offend us, and do not pass our mustard test. We must not pass judgments and sentences on people, for we are not the court of law, we are to be the court of grace. When we do something and say "well everyone else is doing it," we are rationalizing. Believing they are doing right and above reproach while spreading destruction, we are rationalizing. God does not want us to rationalize; He wants us to focus on Him.

Our society sees what we do for a living as a prominent aspect as our worth as a human being, and the status of our social hierarchy. But this must not be the perspective of the Christian. God does not see who we are by what we do. God sees us as who we are as…who we are in Him. Thus the key to the Christian life is not what we do, but who we are, our "being in Christ" as "abiding in Christ." When we have a grasp on what God calls us to, then we do not have a need for the discontentment and the actions that flow from it. Like pride and defensiveness, workaholism, condescending actions, isolationism, and a stressed out nature. The hole in our soul is only filled by Christ, not by anything else, such as possessions and blessings. There is nothing we can do to fill that hole, yet people chase their tails all their lives, ending up only hurt and broken. People who chase wealth and blessings all their lives tend to be the most miserable people you will ever meet. Because being a saved person in Christ, yet living the life out of God's will, will produce misery! It is great to have blessings and, if that is all your concentrated focus in life, you will be extremely discontent. However, a life as being in Christ by His grace will fill you with all the blessings you will need.

Questions we must ask ourselves

Do not see yourself as exempt from the daily concerns of life, thinking you are above it, you are not. We are all called to engage in life with our full endeavor, to guard yourself from rationalism. Try asking yourself these questions.

Q: Ask yourself am I too arrogant to see the adventure of normal daily life?

If so, then we will not have a grasp on the small things, and we will fail on the larger things of life. Life is not to be looked at as being mundane. Let us see ourselves as His children, embracing the small before we seize the large. That we become men and women of true faith, set apart for our Lord's service regardless if the task is too small and insignificant for our ego and position that we alone perceive.

Q: Are you so eager to venture in new experiences of life that you ignore what is right in front of you?

If so you will not engage in the responsibilities that God calls us to. What are the responsibilities? This is found out by knowing your spiritual gifts and natural abilities, and growing in the maturity of our faith, through Scripture, biblical teaching, prayer, and worship.

Q: What are your priorities and motives? Are they Christ centered or self centered?

Q: If you are having success in your career or relationships, are you prideful of them? If so, why?

Q: Do you have a grasp on your personality and your areas of strength and weakness?

Q: Are you accountable to a group of people or person who knows you well?

If not, you will soon fall off the road of life, crash and burn.

 

Q: Is your head full of Scripture, and your heart full of sin and contempt?

Remember Psalm 10:4

Q: Knowledge puffs up, but love and care builds up; do you agree with this?

We must ask ourselves if our deepest desires in life and pleasure of living are dedicated to please Christ? Can we take a hard look at our life and see how others see us, how God sees us? Are our actions in life the result of our will, our desires, our inspirations, and our motivations; or are they the result of us living a life of pleasing God? Is there a distinguished reality of the Lordship of Christ, verses the menagerie of living the lie of our desires! We must be set apart to be promoters of our Lord's Kingdom and Grace, to live that life of distinction, a life that honors Christ and motivates and encourages others.
 

Ó 1998, 2001, Rev.  R.J. Krejcir excerpt from the upcoming book 'Pew Sitting' www.intothyword.com

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