The  Perils of Pride

Brandon Bachtel, Lead Pastor

In the summer of 1986, two ships collided in the Black Sea off the coast of Russia. Hundreds of passengers died as they were hurled into the icy waters below. News of the disaster was further darkened when an investigation revealed the cause of the accident. It wasn’t a technology problem, like radar malfunction–or even a thick fog. The cause was human stubbornness. Each captain was aware of the other ship’s presence nearby. Both could have steered clear, but according to news reports, neither captain wanted to give way to the other. Each was too proud to yield first. By the time they came to their senses, it was too late.

Pride is very dangerous. It has pierced the lives of many people over the years.  It has ruined relationships, marriages, and even brought about sin in our lives.  Matter of fact, it is our pride that prompts us to believe in our own merit; while constantly seeking the esteem of others because of our ambition, prestige, strength, and personal success.  Not only is pride detrimental, it is often difficult for us to identify in our lives.  We truly want to believe that we are not prideful; however, we often find that our lives are surrounded by discord, bickering, disunity, and separation from God; all of which are symptoms of pride. It is pride that has corrupted people, ruined businesses, brought about the downfall of countries, and kept people from experiencing the forgiving power of Jesus in their lives.

Both James (the half brother of Jesus) and Peter (a disciple), encourage us to “clothe ourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.””

Romans 12:16 says “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.”

Our pride has kept us from associating with certain people, and it has kept us from living in harmony with others.  As people, we must resist the desire to be arrogant and prideful.  We should seek to live with humility, compassion, and love towards others.  Sometimes, that means that we should submit to others and seek harmony; regardless of whether or not we are right or wrong.

In Philippians 2:3-8, Paul encourages us to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;  rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”

As you conclude this blog, I dare you to ask yourself these questions: “Lord, is there any area of my life that is harboring pride?” If so, “who has been affected by my pride?”

When we seek to possess humility over pride, it means that we refuse to have a stalemate with others, or remain on a collision course of destruction because of selfish motives. Many of us, including me, need to seek God’s forgiveness because of the pride in our life. Some of us may need to seek the forgiveness of a spouse, a friend, a child, a co-worker, or even an enemy; because pride has poisoned the relationship. Some of us need to humble ourselves before the Lord, and truly seek Him for the first time in our life.  A relationship with Jesus changes everything. He changes our purpose, desires, and a hardened heart.  Today, I am thankful that Jesus was not proud; He was a servant, who gave Himself for the lowly and disqualified like me.

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