Thursday, November 02, 2006

The insidious nature of pride

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:12-13).

The word insidious comes from a Latin word insidiae which means "ambush." The idea is that a certain thing is gradually and subtilly harmful. It sneaks up on you and takes you by surprise. Thus pride is addressed in 1 Corinthians 10:12. You think you're doing okay? You think you're standing firm? Look out! You're just about to fall. The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about pride:

"When pride cometh, then cometh shame; but with the lowly is wisdom" (11:12).

"Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall" (16:18).

"A man's pride shall bring him low; but he that is of a lowly spirit shall obtain honor" (29:23).

But 1 Corinthians 10:13 reminds us that there is a way of escape, if only we will avail ourselves of it. Again, the verses in Proverbs tell us what that escape is--a lowly spirit. Here are some other verses:

". . .he giveth grace to the lowly" (Proverbs 3:34).

"But he giveth more grace. Wherefore the scripture saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble" (James 4:6).

". . .God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time" (1 Peter 5:5-6).

More on this in the next post.


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