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The Bible says that pride was the main cause of man's first sin.
I suppose we've all seen the Oxford and Cambridge boat race one way or another.
But did you know that this world-famous race doesn't have a prize? Other than the pride of winning, that is. So the rowers take time off their studies and spend days, weeks, months training just to get one up on the other university.
These people are dedicated and driven. They want to be on the winning team. They're proud of their university. And that's OK.
But the Bible says that pride was the main cause of man's first sin. The desire to be like God led to disobedience. Even today many people are driven to all lengths in their pursuit of superiority over others.
Some people say they're not proud. Really? Then why say it? Those who say, for whatever reason, they want nothing to do with God are revealing their pride.
Those who think they can get to heaven by their good works are relying on their own opinion of themselves as a 'good person'.
Conversely, those who think that they are so, so bad can suffer from a twisted pride that says, 'My sin is too bad for Jesus to sort out'.
But they're still saying they're better than others: better at sinning!
Here's a test for you: get your Bible and turn to Proverbs. It's not a very long book. Read it through now if you can, but if not, do as soon as possible jotting down the references to pride and how they refer to you. I wonder what God wants to teach you?
Here's a short list to get you thinking... We show we are proud when:
- We don't accept other people's arguments because we know we're always right.
- We belittle people because we know we're better than them (eg having more possessions or skill)
- We want to do things by ourselves without any help from others, thank you very much. And that goes for God too!
- We desire praise and back-slapping and love every minute of it; but at the same time we feign humility and we pull faces that say 'Well, what else could I do?'
If pride comes before a fall we'd better watch our step or we'll be flat on our faces.
Only God is worthy of glory. So be careful! A bit of personal glory can quickly go to our heads and make us topple.