Christians must know as Christians that pride is the number one sin. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness and others are mere fleabites in comparison to pride. It was through pride that the devil became the devil. He wanted to be on an equal footing with God. Pride itself leads to every other vice. It is the complete anti-God state of mind.
The more pride one has, the more one dislikes pride in others. Each person’s pride is in competition with everyone else’s pride. Pride is not essentially competitive; it is competitive by its very nature. Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, but only by having more of it than the next person. We say that people are being proud of being rich, clever or good looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, cleverer or better looking than other people.
Greed will make a man want money for a better house, car and holidays, but only up to a certain point. What is it that makes a man anxious to get to $100m when he already has $50m? It’s pride. He wishes to be richer and flashier that the chap next door. What makes a pretty girl spread misery amongst men wherever she goes collecting admirers? It’s not her sexual instinct because she’s not doing it with all her admirers. It’s pride. What makes a politician want more power? It’s pride. Power is what pride really enjoys, because there is nothing that makes men feel more superior than making other people move around like toy soldiers.
Christians are right; it is pride that has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family in history. Other vices like drunkenness, unchastity, and anger, all other sins in the Bible at least bring people together, but Pride always means enmity – it is enmity.
As long as you are proud you cannot know God. While a proud man looks down on things he cannot look upwards.
Matt 7:21-23 Some people will claim to cast out demons in Christ’s name but not really know Him.
If we are thinking that our religious life is making us feel good, better than others and above someone else then we are being acted upon, and not by any Godly means. Pride is a terrible thing and it can smuggle itself into the very centre of our religious lives.
Pride can even be used to beat down the simpler vices! Think about this common teaching:- "Have self-respect, overcome cowardice, lust, and anger; learn to know that it is beneath your dignity and behave decently" but this is only to believe that it is by your own control that this is done. We see here the subtlety of pride because, in this instance, you would look upon another who couldn’t control these things himself, with a sense of your own pride. No we are subject to pride and it is somewhere we all fail. Christianity is a struggle with this pride.
Let's make things cleat -When a man is proud of his son, he is more likely to have a warm admiration for him, unless he is thinking that his son is better than somebody else’s son. Taking pleasure in praise for praise sakes is not pride either. One can take pleasure in praise thinking “I have pleased, this is good” and not “What a fine person I am to have done it”. God gave us the ability. It is his name who should be praised.
Pride isn’t something that God forbids because he wants you to have humility for his own dignity, as if he is proud. No. God wants us to know him and wants us to give ourselves to him. We are humbled in the presence of God, delightfully humbled with the feeling of infinite relief once we have rid ourselves of all dignity, put to bed our restlessness and taken in his presence of complete happiness. If we could do this collectively we could picture a perfect world.
A humble man is someone who listens to others, hears what they have to say and genuinely takes an interest in their plight. He doesn't put himself first. The first step is to realise that one is proud and it is taking a big step too. Nothing can be done until that step is taken, in fact. If you think you are not conceited then you are very conceited indeed.
As Christians, we must not allow pride to come by virtue of judging others. It is not acceptable look down upon our noses at any sinner and that is everyone and anyone. We all stand with each other at the foot of the cross on equal grounds and it is the Father who will bestow judgement upon all of us.
A self-righteous bigot who is full of pride and goes to church regularly may be closer to hell than a God fearing and desperate prostitute.