“And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Mt. 23:12………….
“Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.
Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly,
Than to divide the spoil with the proud.” Proverbs 16:18-21………….
When I was a little girl, blessed to attend a wonderful little school where the creative arts were in abundance, I was exposed regularly to the concept of costumes. Costumes for this play, costumes for that one. Costumes, costumes, costumes. Plays, and games, and childhood tend to be filled with costumes, don’t you think? Costumes, and disguises. Disguises, of course, are what’s used to make someone or something look different than he or she or it really is, right? Disguises are intended to hide something, to keep something secret, to keep something in the dark, to keep something, or someone, from being known, from being discovered, from being recognized, from being identified. But costumes and disguises aren’t always fun and funny, entertaining and insignificant, etc., when we’re adults, are they? Take, for example, the disguises of pride.
The Lord abhors pride and makes clear over and again in the Bible we need to humble ourselves and repent of all pride. We need to be diligent and vigilant and extremely careful in this first of all to love and obey God and second of all because pride can parade around in many costumes and disguises such that we may not always recognize it as pride. The Spirit of God brought this to my attention one night when He showed me how I had been prideful in a way I absolutely had been unable to recognize. He showed me how I had been prideful in my thoughts regarding a particular manner in a way I simply could not see, and how my pride had spilled out in my words and actions over and again with different people regarding that matter. I had had no intention of being prideful, and I wasn’t walking around feeling like I was better than these other people, but just the same the Lord brought to light the sin of pride and graciously and mercifully led me to repentance.
Ever had thoughts like these? I deserve this. I don’t deserve that. I’m entitled to that. Look at that idiot over there. I can’t believe those people are so foolish when I know better. If that person would only do what I’m doing. How can God possibly choose this for my life; He’s God, He should know better. I shouldn’t have to help with this; I have better things to do. I’ve been doing this for so long I shouldn’t be stuck in this group with those people who barely know what they’re doing. They should have given me a much warmer welcome when I got there, and not treated me that way; after all, they should have recognized how God has gifted me. My sin isn’t as bad as that person’s sin. I’m a good person compared with those scoundrels over there. I shouldn’t have to suffer through these trials like this; I can’t believe God is doing this. There’s no way that person should take so long learning this lesson; it didn’t take me nearly that long. I know what’s best for my life, and what’s best in this situation; if only God would answer my prayers so this can get resolved the way I know it should. I can’t believe my loved ones are treating me this way when I’ve gone out of my way to be good to them; they need to get their acts together and realize I’m a good person and would never hurt anyone the way they’re hurting me because my sin isn’t even half as bad as theirs!
Whether the Spirit of God shows us pride in our hearts, in our thoughts, in our words to Him, and to others, or in our actions, wherever pride He shows us pride, we need to repent of all of it. We need to continually humble ourselves before Him in loving, submissive, yielded, honoring, revering, devoted adoration, in meek obedience to God almighty through Christ. Even when pride masquerades itself in all sorts of costumes and disguises, the Holy Spirit will convict us of it so that we can humble ourselves before God and seek and receive His forgiveness and learn to be free of it. Do not be fooled by the disguises of pride. Pride is pride, and it all needs to go. For God’s sake!