Friends Magazine Hong Kong
By Bro. Eddie C. Villanueva
July 2012 Edition
“Pride comes before a disaster, but humility comes before respect.” (Proverbs 18:12, CEB).
One Bible commentary posits that all the sins in the world may be classified under these three: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life.
“Everything that is in the world—the craving for whatever the body feels, the craving for whatever the eyes see and the arrogant pride in one’s possessions—is not of the Father but is of the world” (1 John 2:16, CEB).
And in this triad of sin, it is said that pride is the chief. It is so sinister that it made a “father of lies”(John 8:44) out of an “anointed cherub” (Ezekiel 28:14). It is so insidious that it mainly delights in the preoccupation with self, which makes it a dangerous enemy of God.
In the same way that pride separated Lucifer from God, it also continues to sever relationships – that of man against God, and man against man. It is this deadly sin that leads man to build walls and burn bridges, all the while trapping himself in the seething anger of his soul. Because pride insists on its rights and, at the same time, keeps its records of wrongs.
The Word of the LORD brings into light this evil sin of pride:
“1 What is the source of conflict among you? What is the source of your disputes? Don’t they come from your cravings that are at war in your own lives?2 You long for something you don’t have, so you commit murder. You are jealous for something you can’t get, so you struggle and fight. You don’t have because you don’t ask.3 You ask and don’t have because you ask with evil intentions, to waste it on your own cravings.
“4 You unfaithful people! Don’t you know that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God?5 Or do you suppose that scripture is meaningless? Doesn’t God long for our faithfulness inthe life He has given to us?6 But He gives us more grace. This is why it says, God stands against the proud, but favors the humble. 7 Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will run away from you.8 Come near to God, and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners. Purify your hearts, you double-minded.9 Cry out in sorrow, mourn, and weep! Let your laughter become mourning and your joy become sadness.10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4, CEB).
God stands against the proud, but favors the humble. The LORD’s message can’t get clearer than that. And it comes bundled with the most fitting instruction: Humble yourselves before the LORD, and He will lift you up.
Philippians 2:3-4, Good News Translation counsels us:“Don’t do anything from selfish ambition or from a cheap desire to boast, but be humble toward one another, always considering others better than yourselves. And look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own.”
Evangelist F.B. Meyer, a famous crusader against immorality and contemporary of D.L. Moody, beautifully illustrated a paradox in a Christian’s life. He shared, “I used to think that God’s gifts were on shelves one above the other; and that the taller we grew in Christian character the easier we could reach them. I now find that God’s gifts are on shelves one beneath the other; and that it is not a question of growing taller but of stooping lower; and that we have to go down, always down, to get His best gifts.”
Beloved of the LORD, never lose sight of the fact that everything we have and everything we are is all because of Jesus. Everything came into existence through Him. Not one thing that exists was made without Him (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-20). And so we have this treasure in clay jars to show that its extraordinary power comes from God and not from us (2 Corinthians 4:7).
The “I” sits enthroned in the middle of pride. The very word proves it. And the only antidote to pride is to take the “I” out of the picture and intentionally humble and submit our selves unto the LORD. This can only be done when we daily die to self (1 Corinthians 15:31) by living according to the principle of Galatians 2:20:
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
“12 You are the people of God; He loved you and chose you for His own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.13Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you.14 And to all these qualities add love, which binds all things together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:12-14).