Friday, June 25, 2010

Am I The Center of the Universe?



How Can I Tell if
I Have a Problem With Pride?

Recognize your feelings when your will is opposed

Recognize smug, self-satisfaction in the least of success

Recognize self-absorption in the face of the needs of others

Recognize anger at any mention of your faults

Recognize any displeasure at the blessings of others

It is much too difficult to be ruled by an internal force that constantly drives oneself to be the center of attention. Pride is an unseen enemy that is difficult to discern until it is sometimes too late. “In general, pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes.” (John Ruskin)

As the sin nature abides within us it manifests itself in pride. Pride manifests itself in two distinct forms. Each distinct form is supported by an innumerable host of ways and means in which pride is manifested. If we don’t recognize these two forms of pride and take corrective action, then we will actively strive to push everyone aside, including God in order to elevate ourselves.

Pride rears its’ ugly head in the form of boasting or depression. Boasting can take many forms – either in attitude, actions, or articulation. We can appear to very proud in our attitude by how we carry ourselves and present ourselves in our body language. The rolling of the eyes, the uplifted head, the proud look or expression often display pride.

Our actions, many times speak louder than words and we can often portray boasting through what we do or don’t do. Many times boasting by actions constitute physical activity that demonstrates or translates disdain, disrespect, or the demeaning of someone.

Boasting is certainly manifested in our speech through the words that we articulate. Often very hurtful and demeaning words are used as a result of our pride. On the flip side, when we are talking about ourselves, more often than not, boasting is manifested through the choice of words we use about ourselves.

Pride also manifests itself in a form that is often overlooked as pride. Depression is also pride. Depression is the opposite of boasting. Boasting in essence says look at me, look at what I did, or what I am, or what I think I am or want to be. Boasting directs attention to us in order to foster an elevated opinion of ourselves to ourselves and to others.

Depression says in essence, look at me, I don’t have what I deserve, things aren’t going my way, I am not being treated as I think I deserve. I am unhappy because I don’t have what I want, can’t get my way, or have lost what I think I deserve. It is a statement that life, others, or God has not treated me or dealt with me in the way in which I should be treated. (I am not saying that chemical, neurological, or cerebral imbalance, damage, or mal-functions do not lead to some forms of depression. After a full physical, chemical, and neurological work up rules out any imbalance and/or damage and there is nothing physicaly wrong, then most depression is a result of an unbiblical evaluation of us or our circumstances.) Please do not misunderstand me or misquote me. 

Let me make a quick distinction here, depression is not to be equated with grief. Grief is a legitimate emotional expression that we experience when there is a painful loss, injury, or reversal in our lives.

Pride is very wicked and sinful. It is a despicable quality that is innate to the sin nature. We must deal with pride regularly. The apostle John knew how wicked pride was, what fed it, causing it to fester and grow. John gave us information and instructions that help us recognize pride.

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride in possessions is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” (I John 2:15-17)

“The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance are the way of evil…” (Proverbs 8:13, ESV)

Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. (C. S. Lewis)

Take Washington Red Skins Albert Haynesworth as an example of pure narcissistic pride. He is refusing to play for the Redskins – the team that dropped $100 million on him last February – simply because Washington is changing its defensive scheme. 

The foolish pride of Washington Red Skins Albert Haynesworth is going to cost him both money and reputation if he doesn’t recognize his pride as sinful and changes his course of action.

Pride is an admission of weakness; it secretly fears all competition and dreads all rivals. ( Fulton J. Sheen)

Does pride as an internal force drive you to seek praise and recognition for yourself and your accomplishments?

The antidote can be found in recognizing this horrible monster and deciding to deal with it biblically. First, confess pride for what it is horrible sin; second, ask God to deal with this innate sin for his glory and your good; third memorize scripture and scripture principals that address this very sin and its solution; fourth, be alert and ready – the enemy will challenge you.

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.” (Proverbs 27:1)

7 comments:

The Old Geezer said...

You have some excellent quotes about pride.

Here's one I like:

He that is proud eats up himself. Pride is his own glass, his own trumpet, his own chronicle; and whatever praises itself but in the deed, devours the deed in the praise.
William Shakespeare

Question? - I'm proud of my family and grandchildren. Is that kind of pride OK?

Lloyd said...

Sometimes we are so self-centered that we, as believers, forget that God wants us to be like His Son. But, the devil tries his hardest to keep us from being Christ-centered, by putting "pride" before us to show others just how "religious", "good" and "smart" we are.

Gregg said...

Old Geezer - thanks for your comments. I think there may be a fine line between "proud of" and delight or pleasure in. Proud of grandkids can be sinful - when we think more highly of them than we should for our own opinion of ourselves as a result of what they do or who they are. God is not proud of us as his children, the bible states that he delights in us. He takes pleasure in us. So I think it is quite all right to delight in your grandchildren and be take pleasure in them for God's glory!

Lloyd - isn't that the truth? Your observation is right-on! Thanks for your comment.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Sorry for my lateness in replying, not a good day today, just calming down reading all the blogs I usually do much earlier.

As usual I loved your post and the quotations, I could do with a few myself.

Yvonne.

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Kansas Bob said...

I can often tell when I am feeding my flesh/brain too much because I will demonstrate a few of those traits that you mention. But when I am feeding my innermost being I somehow find a way to trump pride. I guess it is an issue of strength.. our innermost being needs to be fed and exercised to overpower the outer being.

Wanda said...

Interesting insight. Never thought about depression being a form of pride.