The Deadly Sin of Pride

Chic Broersma

Read: Luke 18:9-14

I hate pride and arrogance. (Prov. 8:13 NIV)

In a discussion group, the leader posed the question, “Who in your life do you most admire?” A variety of answers followed—parents, teachers, coaches. Then a handsome husband and successful businessman said, “Of all the people I know, I admire myself most.” Silence followed. Everyone was at a loss for words. But God is not silent: “I hate pride and arrogance.”

This man, whom we’ll call Henry, had studied hard, earned degrees, landed impressive jobs with good salaries, and served the church and community through his foundations. He was proud of his accomplishments. One day I reminded him that in the final judgment, God will be unimpressed by worldly credentials. The gentleman’s response? A blank stare.

God approves when we do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with him (Micah 6:8). But pride is the enemy of humility. In the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, Jesus contrasts two men: the first did many good deeds but was full of pride, whereas the second admitted his sin and pleaded for God’s mercy. Jesus says the sinner went home justified that day rather than the Pharisee because “everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:14).

Studying, working hard, and doing charitable acts are good. But if your goal is to impress others, forget being blessed by God. If you want God’s grace, seek how to be humble and let him take care of the rest. —Chic Broersma

Prayer: Lord, forgive my foolish pride.