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

Proverbs 16:18

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What is Pride?

The American heritage dictionary defines pride in both positive and negative ways. 

Definitions from a positive perspective are as follows:

 

           A sense of one’s own proper dignity or value;

self-respect.

“Pleasure or satisfaction taken in an achievement, possession, or association”

 

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But the following negative definitions are also given:

 

Arrogant or disdainful conduct or treatment;

haughtiness

 

 An
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excessively high opinion of oneself;

conceit

 

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The word pride occurs 53 times in the New American Standard transl
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ation of the Bible,                         50 of which are in the Old Testament.  While there are a few references to positive pride .

Example: 2 Chronicles 17:6; 

His heart was devoted to the ways of the LORD; 

furthermore, 

 

he removed the high places and the Asherah poles from Judah.

 

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The vast majority are negative.  It is interesting that not only is pride one of the seven deadly sins;       it is consistently placed at the top of the list! 

 

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C.S. Lewis is reported to have said:

 

That of all the sins Pride  carries with it the greatest ability to divide

and separate man from man, and man from God.

 

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What are the consequences of Pride?

<span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans1)    It brings dishonor: 

 

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, 

       but with humility comes wisdom. 

Proverbs 11:2

 

2)    It brings destruction: 

 

<span style="Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. 

Proverbs 16:18

 

3)
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 It produces insolence (lack of respect:) 

 

The proud and arrogant man-

“Mocker” is his name; 

       he behaves with overweening pride. 

Proverbs 21:24

 

4)    It debases  (reduces something in quality or value:) 

 

A man’s pride brings him low, 

       but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.

 

The arrogance of man will be brought low

and the pride of men humbled; 

the Lord alone will be exalted in that day,

Proverbs 29:23

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The arrogance of man will be brought low 

and the pride of men humbled;        

the LORD alone will be exalted in that day,

Isaiah 2:17

 

5)    It produces selfishness, oppression and ultimately abominations! 

 

While Sodom is remembered primarily for her abominable and perverted sexual behavior, pride was an ultimate consequence of her arrogance.

 

As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, 

your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you 

and your daughters have done.

 

  ‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: 

She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; 

they did not help the poor and needy. 

 

They were haughty and did detestable things before me. 

 

Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.

Ezekiel 16:48-50

 

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What is the source of pride?

 

Much like unbelief, pride finds its source in the will of men.  It first manifested itself as sin in the Garden of Eden when Eve succumbed to the devil’s wooing of her desire to be “like God.” 

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The fruit of the tree not only was beautiful and looked delicious,

it was also “desirable to make one wise” 

 

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree 

was good for food and pleasing to the eye, 

and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. 

She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

Genesis 3:6

 

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This was what John later called the “boastful pride of life”     

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For everything in the world—

the cravings of sinful man, 

the lust of his eyes 

and 

the boasting of what he has and does—

                     comes not from the Father but  from the world.                      

I John 2:16

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Of course, the first known source of sinful pride appeared in Satan himself .

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  How you have fallen from heaven, 

    O morning star, son of the dawn! 

 

       You have been cast down to the earth, 

       you who once laid low the nations!

 

    You said in your heart, 

  “I will ascend to heaven;

 

  I will raise my throne above the stars of God;

 

       I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, 

       on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. 

 

 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; 

                                                        I will make myself like the Most High.”                                                    

Isaiah 14:12-14

 

   “Son of man, 

take up a lament concerning the king of Tyre and say to him: 

 

‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says:

 

       ” ‘You were the model of perfection, 

     full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.

 

    You were in Eden, the garden of God; 

       every precious stone adorned you: 

       ruby, topaz and emerald, 

       chrysolite, onyx and jasper, 

       sapphire,  turquoise and beryl. 

 

       Your settings and mountings were made of gold; 

       on the day you were created they were prepared.

 

    You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you.

 

       You were on the holy mount of God; 

      you walked among the fiery stones.

 

       You were blameless in your ways  from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you.

 

         Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, 

          and you sinned.

 

               So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, 

            and I expelled you, 

              O guardian cherub,  

         from among the fiery stones.

 

                 Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, 

          and  you corrupted your wisdom because  of your splendor.

 

           So I threw you to the earth; 

       

                   I made a spectacle of you before kings.

 

                 By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries. 

       

                    So I made a fire come out from you, 

                   and it consumed you, 

                  and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching.

 

                         All the nations who knew you are appalled at you; 

                         you have come to a horrible end and will be no more.’ “

 

Ezekiel 28:12-19

 

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And pride and arrogance are most characteristic of him until this day.    

 Job Chapter 1

Revelation Chapter 12

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It rears its ugly head many times in scripture,  in both ungodly and godly alike! 

An example: Pharaoh – Ungodly-

 

So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, 

“This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: 

 

‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? 

 

Let my people go, so that they may worship me.

 

Exodus 10:3

 

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It is very interesting what acts and behaviors Jesus lumps together with pride in

 Mark 7:20-23.

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He went on: 

“What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ 

 

For from within, out of men’s hearts, 

come evil thoughts, 

sexual immorality, 

theft, 

murder, 

adultery, 

greed, 

malice, 

deceit, 

lewdness, 

envy, 

slander, 

arrogance 

and 

folly. 

All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.’ “

 

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What is the remedy for pride?

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There really only is one — to acknowledge who God is and humble ourselves before Him. 

 

God will hear and respond!

There are MANY examples in scripture. 

Some are not surprising such as King Josiah, a godly king of Judah. 

 

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 Tell the king of Judah, 

who sent you to inquire of the LORD, 

 

‘This is what the LORD, 

the God of Israel, 

says concerning the words you heard: 

 

Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the LORD 

when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people, 

that they would become accursed 

and laid waste, 

and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, 

I have heard you, declares the LORD. 

 

Therefore I will gather you to your fathers, 

and you will be buried in peace. 

 

Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place.’ ”  

      

So they took her answer back to the king. 

2 Kings 22:18-20

 

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Some, however, might be quite surprising, such as Nebuchadnezzar! 

After being judged and disciplined by God, he repented, 

acknowledged God and humbled himself before Him! 

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At the same time that my sanity was restored, 

my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. 

 

My advisers and nobles sought me out, 

and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. 

 

Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, 

praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, 

because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. 

 

And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

Daniel 4:36-37

 

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 Humility (not humiliation!) is much praised in both Old and New Testaments

and by the Lord Himself. 

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Examples; 

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, 

and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Luke 14:11

 

I tell you that this man, rather than the other, 

went home justified before God. 

 

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, 

and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Luke 18:14

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The Apostle Peter tells us 

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“God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble”

1 Peter 5:5

 

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In summary, I believe we can apply a very famous passage to ourselves as professors of Christ and who would identify ourselves as the people of God. 

There are actually two verses that go together, but usually only the second is quoted. 

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They are 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 and read as follows:

           

“If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain,

or

if I command the locust to devour the land,

or

if I send pestilence among My people,

and

My people who are called by My name humble themselves 

and pray and seek My face

and turn from their wicked ways,

then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin

and will heal their land.”

 

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The first three “if” conditions represent the consequences of pride and arrogance in the people of God,

and the only remedy is presented following them.

 

Note the beginning of the remedy is that the people of God 

 “humble themselves!”

 

Pride

has got to go!

 

Then the process of repentance and turning back to God begins, 

and consequently so do the positive actions on the part the Lord.

 

The final consequence to this humbling is healing, and

 

we need all remember that!

 

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