The Sin Of Pride

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up” (James 4:10).

The sin of pride is the most basic of all sins because it was the primeval sin of Satan which led him to rebel against his Creator. When He cast Satan out of his position as “the anointed cherub” covering God’s throne (Ezekiel 28:14,16), God said to him: “For thou hast said in thine heart, . . . I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:13,14).

When he then tempted Eve, it was also with an appeal to pride: “Your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods” (Genesis 3:5). Satan still hopes to defeat God, and Eve’s descendants still seek to be independent of God, even today. No wonder Paul warned Timothy (and each of us) against “being lifted up with pride,” lest we “fall into the condemnation of the devil” (I Timothy 3:6).

Pride is the easiest sin to commit, and the most difficult to overcome, even for the Christian. How easy to become proud of our strength or wealth or race or education or position or intelligence or whatever we have going for us. It is possible even for people to take pride in their poverty or ignorance. Some are even proud of their humility!

But as Paul would remind us: “For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive?” (I Corinthians 4:7). Paul with the finest education one could get in his day, and recognized as the most influential Christian of all time, yet had to confess: “By the grace of God I am what I am” (I Corinthians 15:10).

Pride is also the chief barrier to salvation; one must acknowledge that he is a lost, hell-deserving sinner before he can be saved “by grace . . . through faith” (Ephesians 2:8). “Where is boasting then? It is excluded” (Romans 3:27). “ . . . for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble” (I Peter 5:5). HMM