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PRIDE IS A KILLER

by Jacques More

Pride kills life. It will ruin your pleasure of someone else's company. It murders friendships and tarnishes relationships.

Embedded pride blinds the eyes and stops the ears and makes a way for destruction.

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 16:18

The shortened version 'Pride goes before. . .a fall' misses the harder tone of the word 'destruction'.

Pride gives vent to presumptuous thought. Imagination let loose for self exaltation. The bible is full of reference to this kind of imagination out of an evil heart.

. . . proud in the imaginations of their hearts.

Luke 1:51 (see Genesis 6:5, 8:21, Jeremiah 7:24, 23:17 et al)

Pride always has an answer: There is nothing said to which it does not give a reply or judgment.

Pride always thinks it knows better - has heard it before - it is never wrong.

Pride changes its story to appear that it was not in error in the 1st place.

Pride blinds.

It kills your ability to hear God because,

God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

James 4:6

So, how can we know we have pride if it makes us blind?

How can we realise its existence in us when we are blind to it?

I once asked the Lord that very question.

Why?

Because I had come to realise I was having a big problem with pride and it was dominating my life. Killing it.

It was a season which begun or accelerated a home for pride in me as a result of presumptuous thought. I had begun to believe in my own self importance.

MAKING A HOME FOR PRIDE

In the late 1970s when in my late teens I was studying at a College of Further Education in Tonbridge a town in the South of England. The Course was for a Diploma in Automobile Engineering and Motor Retail Trade Management. At the same time we were covering Motor Vehicle Technicians and Crafts examinations with the City and Guilds Institutes of London. A 3 year deal. at the end of the 2nd year Motor Vehicle Technicians II and Crafts II exams were carried out and I recall praying for help (as one does).

I recall specifically asking for help in revising what was needed. On one occasion this led to revising exactly what was in an exam paper immediately before that very test.

So it should have been no surprise when the results came through later that year that 'Distinction' was the mark given for those exams. It had been a partnership with the Lord in bringing about. That was fair enough until...

A few months later, the news filtered through that I had got the best marks in the Country for the Technicians Exam and the 2nd best marks in the Country for the Crafts. This is rewarded by the issuing of Sterling Silver medals by the City and Guilds body in London.

Now soon after, I started thinking ''Well just one exam fine, but TWO must mean I must have a certain ability above everybody else...''

O, O, that was a clear invitation for PRIDE as I came to believe that presumptuous thought.

But Ability is not Availability. My being available to God and His use of me does not reflect on my ability (or any greatness in me), but His faithfulness. No matter how able, it is your availability which God looks for. A heart attitude and a mind set to do God's will knowing that without God we can do nothing - John 15:5 'without Me you can do nothing' Jesus said.

So, having lived with pride and come to recognise (after a time) I had a problem with it, I prayed,

Lord, how can I know I have pride in my heart when it makes me blind to its very presence?

THE ANSWER

The Lord led me to read Psalm 34:1-3

I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; the humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together.

Psalm 34:1-3

What he then taught me from was Verse 2

My soul shall makes its boast in the LORD; the humble shall hear of it and be glad.

Psalm 34:2

My attention was drawn to 'the humble shall hear of it and be glad', that is to say, the proud shall hear and not be glad.

This got me interested.

What do the proud hear and are not glad about?

When someone shares about what the Lord has done for them (and it has nothing to do with me), if I am glad for them then I am not proud, but humble. When I am not glad, but listen with something else to add (to 'their' story), then I am proud.

This opened my eyes to catching - to noticing - the existence of pride in my heart. By the act of seeing how I reacted to what others were sharing with me. By seeing the fruit of pride I could know of its existence.

WHAT TO DO

As I recognised I was not listening to others (listening 'with them') I saw pride in my heart.

Then, while they were still talking I would cry in my heart to the Lord for help to really listen. I would make extra effort to concentrate on hearing the other person. As if the whole purpose of my existence at that moment was to listen and be there for that person.

Doing that set me on a path of overcoming pride. Sometimes I would confess 'I am sorry, I did not hear properly, please say it again'. I could bless the person with 'that's great!', 'terrific!', 'Well done!' without adding any more (of myself - or my own judgment).

OTHER TOOLS TO HELP

You can also 'catch' pride's presence by recognising presumptuous thoughts active in your mind. By imagination running loose. This is not the same as visualising or picturing something, but thoughts based on self-exaltation.

Once recognised just confess it to the Lord and move on. It is the work of,

. . . casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5

If it persists, then a great tool is fasting. I have found this useful especially if it persists immediately before a time of service or ministry in the midst of other folk - just to go without food with the intent of humbling my soul so I can hear God and be generally more effective/of use. David wrote,

. . . I humbled myself with fasting . . .

Psalm 35:13


So, are you listening and glad for your Brother or Sister's story?


O, to have your heart O God. A 'tender heart'
(2 Chronicles 34:27 cf. Vss 18-28)



Ref. S.044

Unless otherwise stated Bible quotes are from the New King James Version

© copyright Thomas Nelson Inc. 1979,1980,1982.

© copyright Jacques More 1998. All Rights Reserved.

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