The Pride Test

Read: Proverbs 11:2 and 16:18

Pride has always been a challenge for the human race. It’s not a new problem, there is evidence all the way back to the beginning of time and the story of Cain and Able in which we see it’s destructiveness. But it somehow seems to find new ways to creep into our lives with each passing generation.

Just this past week the front cover of Time magazine had an article about the latest generation being the “Me, Me, Me” generation. I’m not so sure they share it alone though. Each generation seems to learn from the one before it. Maybe we all need to step back and take a look in the mirror?

Solomon shared many great nuggets of wisdom in the book of Proverbs. Several of those verses deal with pride. He says, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace.” (11:2) He also says, “Pride goes before destruction.” (16:18) Unfortunately even Solomon forgot some of these great nuggets later on in his life.

As Christians who follow Jesus Christ we need to foster a spirit of humility in our lives as Jesus did. It is opposite of what we see in the world and unfortunately is sometimes opposite of what we see in our own lives. Because of this we need to constantly be seeking the help of the Holy Spirit in this area.

Oswald Sanders once said, “Pride is a sin of whose presence its victim is least conscious.” He then went on to give three helpful tests that can help us keep our pride in check.

1. The test of precedence. How do we react when another is selected for the assignment we expected, or for the office we coveted? When another is promoted and we are overlooked? When another outshines us in gifts and accomplishments?

2. The test of sincerity. In our moments of honest self-criticism we will say many things about ourselves, and really mean them. But how do we feel when others, especially our rivals, say exactly the same things about us?

3. The test of criticism. Does criticism arouse hostility and resentment in our hearts, and cause us to fly into immediate self-justification?

These are helpful things to think about. Sometimes we view pride as a puffed out chest or a cocky attitude. Many times it is more subtle than that and can even creep its way into our heart and minds without anyone else realizing it.

May Christ be our example. May his Spirit give us the conviction, the support, and the encouragement to cultivate humility in our lives instead of the often promoted pride that we see in the world. Perhaps we can be an example of Jesus Christ to someone that might pass our way this week.

Make it personal: Pray about what area of pride you may need to deal with this week. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak into your heart and bring about a Christ like attitude in that area. May humility and a gentle, loving, respect for others be our mantra. Remember, Christ is our Center!

Have a great week,
Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling and Community Life, Arthur Mennonite Church