One of my favorite movies in the world is Pride and Prejudice. To me it’s a beautiful story of how first impressions aren’t always right and that pride holds us back. I love when Jane sits with her sister discussing their first encounter with the two bachelors that came to their quiet town.
Jane had overheard Mr. Darcy, the more reserved of the two make a statement that would make any woman boil and relayed a statement that was to paint her posture towards him. “I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine” Jane Eyre Pride and Prejudice
Pride – it makes you compare, critique and judge. Pride is the source of unforgiveness and feelings of superiority and inferiority. Pride also leads to unconfessed sin. You don’t want persons to know about your struggles with sin, so you keep it hidden avoiding persons who will keep you accountable. Sometimes pride keeps you in your sins because your too ashamed of what you have done and telling others might cause them to think less of you.
Other times we just don’t want to admit that what we are doing is wrong because we must change, and honestly the sin we do, we do it because we enjoy it.
Pride also requires others to change while we sit comfortably in our own ways. While here on missions I struggled with a racial pride. I was constantly comparing my country to this one. I wanted them to change for me, or I just got impatient and irritable with the culture. My people cooked this way, acted this way, spoke this way – I struggled with accepting and being open to a different way of doing things.
I also struggled with pride when it came to letting go of my right to be right. Or if I go and confess any wrong I would be vulnerable and they win. It was this last point that I was processing this past week when our speaker said something that hit me such a fervency I thought I needed to excuse myself to see if I had a black eye. She said “pride makes you distance yourself, but humility makes you draw closer.”
I looked at this woman with incredible dismay. I thought to myself, “You are saying to me you want me to draw closer to these people that I feel hurt by?” I almost fell out my chair.
No, she wasn’t talking about the abusive relationship or the toxic family member. This was the friendship that went south, the church mother that spoke stern about the length of your dress, the co-worker that said that irritating thing, or the mentee that won’t take correction.
Pride is sin
It’s easy to overlook that point or rationalize it away. The same speaker asked us to give a rating to different sins. We know all sins are equal before God but we were rating it on a human, “how we treat its level.” We placed murder, rape, immorality at the extreme end. Those were obviously ‘bad’. But where was pride? Some said one or two, some jokingly said it’s not even on the scale.
Then we read Proverbs 8 verse 13, “God hates pride”. He hates it! There are few things listed in the Bible that God hates and murder and rape wasn’t one of them, instead it was pride.
We have a decision. Will we submit our hardened, stubborn, prideful hearts and forgive, apologize, repent, love, and be patient with others? Will we surrender our rights and prejudices to Christ and allow ourselves to represent Him in our selfless actions? Can we be happy for the person that does better than us or be patient with the person who struggles to get it right?
John 17 is a prayer that Jesus prays at the Last Supper with His disciples. In it He eloquently and fervently lays down the unity of His communion with the Father. All He had, came from the Father. All He had, He gave to the Father. Their unity, and His humble submission to the work of the Father even though it meant laying down His life brought glory to the Father.
Christ wanted us to exemplify that humility and unity to others. That would be what brought unbelievers to the Lord. It wasn’t the great signs or flashing fire from the sky, it was our unity from a humble heart.
Pride destroys relationships and kingdoms. Pride keeps you burdened and out of the reach of help and restoration. Pride holds us back from God’s grace. As St Augustine said, “It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.”
republished from Press Service International