by: FCC Staff
Pride is a difficult thing to deal with in our lives. When we are proud of ourselves, we need to be grateful and humble before God that he has blessed us with the necessary means by which to accomplish our goals. The satisfaction of seeing God work in and through us, and his faithfulness aiding us in accomplishing what we set out to do in a day is one thing. This healthy sense of pride is seen throughout scripture, and later in the book of proverbs we are told, “Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist.”( Proverbs 23:4) Enough is enough.
As we are told in the New Testament, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” ( Colossians 3:23-24) and also, “Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment,” (1 Timothy 6:6) This healthy sense of pride in a job well done in the Lord is good. When we allow it to become pride in the work of our own hands it is not, and can grow into an arrogant heart.
The Hebrew word that is translated here as “arrogant” literally means high or uplifted. The image of someone with an upturned nose at something, is the posture of this attitude. This “high heart” is one that thinks it is better than others, even than God himself.
When the prophets would speak the Word of the Lord against the wicked rulers of their age, they would point out how their arrogance had blinded them to their place before God. And often they would not just address the spiritual forces behind these prideful kings, “Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I exposed you before kings, to feast their eyes on you. (Ezekiel 28:17) and also, “You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit.” (Isaiah 14:13-25)
This pride in one’s self is self-destructive. Thinking we have nothing to learn from God, that we know all we can, that in our own understanding, our own power, our own abilities we can accomplish all we want, and more. We can ignore God’s wisdom in this life, and we’ll face the consequences for such arrogance as a natural consequence of such a life. And spiritually, in eternity if we do not repent and return to God, we will face a greater consequence.
It is truly arrogant in the extreme to feel like we can know better than God. Also very foolish as we see the result of such pride in the fall and doom of our enemy, the devil. Why would we think we can fare any better than he in our rebellions against God? Only in arrogance can we be so blind.
Prayer for Today
Father, please create in me a pure and humble heart before you. Jesus, show me by your example how to be truly wise, by doing the will of your father. By your Holy Spirit, guide me today and remind me that I am deeply loved by you, that all I have is yours and that everything I do is in your service and to your glory. Keep me humble today Lord, by your mercy and grace. Amen.