“Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.” (Proverbs 16:5 ESV)
Edwin Chapin wrote, “Pride is the master sin of the devil.” I think that most of us have some experience with the form of pride discussed in the verse above, but I know I am very familiar with pride. It is a meal that I have feasted upon many times. I have made mistakes because of the sin of pride. Pride has cost me some great opportunities. It has taken its toll on relationships as well.
I knew I was in trouble the very first time I read 1 Peter 5:5: “God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble.” Then I read Proverbs 16:18, which says, “Pride goes before destruction, and an haughty spirit before the fall.” C. S. Lewis could have described my early life when he said, “A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you’re looking down, you can’t see something that’s above you.”
I can tell you exactly when God saved me from my atheistic lifestyle, but I believe I thought I was taking a consulting position with Him. I’m sure the angels were astonished by God’s grace to me. The Holy Spirit began to change me and continues His work some thirty-three years later.
Pride is very deceitful. It continues to plague our culture of self-worship. Pride is seen as an entitlement by many. We believe we should be treated with a level of respect we have not earned and worshiped in spite of the fact we are the created – not the Creator. Where pride and arrogance reign, men are consumed by the fear of losing status. On the other hand, God “leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way.” (Psalm 25:9) God’s way offers life eternal and greater contentment in the here and now. St. Augustine spoke wisely, when he said, “The sufficiency of my merit is to know that my merit is not sufficient.” The proud man will never enjoy the peace of God.