Pride

Pride was the first sin, originating in the devil 1Tim 3:6.

It is closely allied to independence – the desire to be independent of God. This was the devil’s first temptation of man Gen 3:5. Sin is a separating force and results in death Jas 1:15. The essence of death is separation. Spiritual death is separation from the life and fellowship of God. Temporal death is the separation of the soul from the body. Eternal death is the separation of the person from the life and fellowship of God eternally. On the other hand, spiritual life is the knowledge and fellowship of God Jn 17:3.

Christian life is the fellowship of Christians in interdependence as the members of Christ’s body 1Cor 12:21. Pride disrupts this fellowship. There are a multitude of manifestations of pride.

Whereas pride can manifest itself in bombastic talk, this needs to be carefully analysed. There are those who speak in order to show off how much they know, but this needs to be carefully distinguished from those who talk in order to convey information to others. In the case of the latter, the pride of their hearers can be demonstrated in their response.

The pride and jealousy of hearers can be detected in:-

1. dismissing the speaker as ‘lecturing’ – journalists frequently said this about Margaret Thatcher’s interviews. Rather, Thatcher put across interesting information for listeners, and they resented her knowledge, which they dismissed as ‘lecturing’.

2. in their silence. They don’t want to show up their own ignorance, so they wisely keep silence Pro 17:28. However, their pride manifests itself in not making enquiry because this is to adopt the attitude of pupil or learner – or a disciple! They justify this proud attitude by claiming that they don’t want the speaker ‘to get too big for his boots’, but in truth it is to avoid their adopting the position of learner. They do not “esteem others better than themselves” Php 2:3. Their pride prevents them humbling themselves before others, even in their speech.

3. ignoring other Christians. This is contrary to Php 2:3 and 1Cor 12:21.

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