25 September 2013

The Pride of Life

Narcissim

The phrase “pride of life” is found only once in the Bible.

“For everything in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, comes not from the Father but from the world.” ~1 John 2:16

The concept of the pride of life, especially when linked with the “lust of the eyes” and the “lust of the flesh,” appears in two more significant passages of Scripture— the temptation of Eve in the Garden and the temptation of Christ in the wilderness. The pride of life can be defined as anything that is “of the world,” meaning anything that leads to arrogance, pride in self, egoism, or selfishness.

Another word that comes to mind is narcissism. Better defined as someone with an inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love, vanity.

I believe the greatest sin of all mankind, continues to be the pride of life or narcissism.

For example…

Do you always need to be right? Have you ever felt the need to correct people, no matter the cost? Have you ever felt superior, smarter, or more spiritual than your neighbor? Have you ever judged others for their choices instead of loving them right where they are? Do you crave attention and respect? Do you need constant recognition or compliments? Do you have a hard time admitting when you’re wrong? Do you get upset when treated like a slave? Have you ever felt someone was talking about you or thinking about you when the truth is, they could probably care less?

     I am guilty as charged.     

Starting with the angel, Lucifer who was kicked out of heaven for thinking of himself higher than God, the human race has been doomed by the destruction of pride. The problem with pride—it’s a vortex and it leads nowhere but down.

If you think about it, pride is also the catalyst for war, politics, divorce, prejudice, poverty, abandonment, abortion, lust, greed, power, and fame.

And yet, the bible does not mince words.

God hates pride.

Because of Adam and Eve, it is inherit in ALL of us, although its deception can be very subtle. For some of us, we don’t even notice it anymore. Just like the serpent deceived Eve, we’re easily coerced into thinking we need to be more and do more, constantly trying to add our name to the top of the list and earn the applause of other sinners. And rather than living in freedom, we’re actually kept in bondage, day after day.

One thing is certain...

Pride kills.

Oh Lord, please forgive me. Help me, a sinful prideful person, pursue humility by Your loving grace. Teach me how to love others and cultivate a servant’s heart, for your glory— not my own.

Remind me daily, that I am loved, worthy, and beautiful, not because the world says so but because You say so.

And help me Lord, teach my children to fix their eyes on You and guard their hearts against the pride of life, which comes to steal, deceive, and destroy.  

The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.” ~Isaiah 2:11

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