As we’ve seen how pride is a great danger to our own selves, let’s look now at how wicked pride is against God.
Often enough people struggle to see their own sin. And generally that is because pride is something permissible in their life, so they hardly see just how wicked it truly is. When we seek to look at our sin, we often seek first to look at our sin against our fellow man. And when pride is permissible in our eyes, and our lack of love for our neighbor only seems like a lofty suggestion and not a reality, then we are left to believe we are not so sinful.
But in some ways, seeing our sin should first be looked for in how we treat God. The first problem here is that our natural relationship to God is disjointed to such a degree that we would not think of God at all unless we were told to. Not only that, we are also naturally opposed to God. To us, God has done us wrong and He is to blame for all the suffering in the world. At the very least, He’s to blame for not stopping it. Next, we naturally feel no use for God. To us He’s maybe a hobby we might take up—after all, we do want more interesting experiences—but if we’re really honest, we feel no use for God. Lastly, when we’re told about God, to us He may or may not be real. At best we may loosely speculate at God’s existence, but we never firmly believe He does exist and can be known, and at worse, we deny His existence altogether.
When we start from our own natural selves, this is all we’ll see. And because we look through this lens, which is a fallen nature, we will fail to perceive our sins because they are the very eyes through which we are looking. And because of this, we believe our nature, our sin, over God and truth. We will see no fault with ourselves, because we trust in ourselves. Only in breaking this trust of ourselves will we begin to see the wickedness of our ways.
We will see no fault with ourselves, because we trust in ourselves. Only in breaking this trust of ourselves will we begin to see the wickedness of our ways.
The truth is that this nature in us is our very sin. What we feel and think about God, and how we act towards Him, is the very thing that is sinful.
How we act towards God is from the state of our fallen nature. We do not act from a holy nature. Rather than being naturally inclined to God (as He deserves), we are opposed to God. This reveals that our state is entirely fallen. We do not honor God as God, we do not believe Him, we do not know Him to be entirely holy, we do not love Him, we do not obey Him, we do not look to Him for all things, we do not believe in His providence, nor His sovereignty. And in the midst of all of this what we do do is honor ourselves, despise God, give God no thought at all, doubt Him, disbelieve His goodness, live in our own strength, trust in ourselves, seek to believe in our own goodness, make up our own morality and rules.
We live in complete rebellion against God. There is not one part or piece in us that does not resist God, or has not become completely dead to God. God is not dead, we are.
God is not dead, we are.
And in the place of all of this, in place of God, we have put our pride.
We choose our own thinking, our own ideas, our own morals, our own ambitions; we choose to love ourselves, to do whatever we wish, to live in whatever bias we desire, and in all ways to try to make things how we want them. Even if we seek to make things better, we do it all in spite of God, in resistance to God, against God, and not with Him.
We live for ourselves and not for Him. We live as if this whole universe is here by chance, rather than created by Him. We live to do our own will, rather than His. And we deny God at every turn, all to permit ourselves and our pride whatever we wish.
Pride is the culmination of all our sin against God. It is a state of complete fallenness. It is so deeply entrenched in us, our self-deception is so severe, so blinding, that we can hardly even imagine that the God of the entire universe exists.
God is literally the All in All, the Creator, Sustainer, and Giver of all things, He is the Great I Am, and we cannot perceive Him at all. How desperately fallen and self-deceived then are we?
With one hand we choose our pride—we live for it, we die for it. It is our everything. And with the other we are utterly blinded by the self-deception it brings. We are blind to reality itself.
Having looked briefly at the great evil of pride and its nature against God, in Part 3 we will go on to see the evil of pride against others and against unity.