Luke 18:9-14 “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”
Webster’s dictionary defines pride as the following: inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable conceit of one’s own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, rank or elevation in office, which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often in contempt of others.
Quote: “Pride must die or nothing in heaven will live in you.”
Proverbs 8:13, “pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.”
1 Samuel 2:3, “Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth.”
Here are three things that the Bible tells us about pride:
1. Pride is hated by God.
2. Pride is an abomination to God.
3. Pride is resisted by God.
Church, we want God on our side! The last thing you want in your Christian life, in your family, at school, on the job, in this church; the last thing we want is resistance from the hand of God!
In the context of our text above, we can put this in terms as used today. Two men went to church. One was a teacher of the law, the other was a tax collector.
Verse 11; “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself,”
- Implies that he stood to be seen/to stand out.
- Implies that he stood by himself to NOT be seen with the publican.
- We may not say it with our words but sometimes with our actions. If someone is not as spiritual as we are, or if they are not as spiritual as we think they should be, then sometimes we avoid them, ignore them, or shun them.
- Implies his prayer life was all about himself.
The ultimate goal of pride is to PRESERVE self, PROTECT self, and PROMOTE self.
The Pharisee talked to himself and about himself, but the publican prayed to God and was heard.
· The Pharisee could see the sins of others but not his own sins while the publican concentrated on his own needs & admitted them openly.
· The Pharisee was boasting; the publican was praying.
· The Pharisee went home a worse man than when he had come, the publican went home forgiven.
Here are several tragic results of pride we find from the Bible:
1. Pride destroys.
Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
Proverbs 15:25 “The LORD will destroy the house of the proud:”
2. Pride blinds us into deception.
Obadiah 1:3-4 “The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD.”
3. Pride is a disgrace.
Proverbs 29:23 “A man's pride shall bring him low:
Proverbs 11:2 “When pride cometh, then cometh shame:”
God has a way of breaking our pride. If we have a prideful spirit, we will then have a great fall. I have known scores of situations where this has happened to good families.
Daniel 4:37 “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.”
4. Pride brings contention.
Proverbs 13:10 “Only by pride cometh contention:”
Every time we have a dispute that ends godly relationships, it is pride that causes that rift to occur and remain. This is true almost every time that a husband and a wife fuss. Every time a church member indeed has a fuss between us.
5. Pride dishonors.
Mark 7:20-23, “That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”
6. Pride distances us from God and others.
Proverbs 10:4 “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God.”
For the Christian, pride also distances us from God’s blessings because pride removes God from our minds. When Adam ate of the forbidden fruit, it was that prideful desire to make himself wise, that removed God from his mind.
7. Pride brings devastation.
Leviticus 26:19 “And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:”
God has a way of breaking your and my pride. And He does so as part of His judgment for sin. We think nothing of pride in ourselves, but God says He hates it. And shame, contention, destruction, defilement, barricades, humiliation, and ultimately judgment.
Job 16:12 “I was at ease, but he hath broken me asunder: he hath also taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces, and set me up for his mark.”
Pastor Esposito would often say, “Wisdom is seeing and living life through God’s perspective.”
As we climb to new levels in our lives, we must be prepared to face new devils – challenges and opposition.