[P]raise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.
The Disease of Pride
The great British writer, G.K. Chesterton, lived his life in the early years of the 20th Century. He was a happy bear of a man. He always had an easy smile, a ready laugh, and an exuberant personality. As a Christian, however, there was one subject he never failed to take seriously. If there was a single sermon he could preach, he once wrote, it would be against the sin of pride.
When a fiery prohibitionist demanded that Chesterton take “The Pledge” to abstain from alcoholic beverages, Chesterton had a ready answer. He would swear off drinking, he said, when the temperance reformer swore off the sins of pride. Then he ended with this. “The wickedest work in this world is symbolized not by a wine glass but by a looking-glass.”
Chesterton was not alone. Shakespeare said, “He that is proud eats up himself.” CS Lewis said, “Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.” And Martin Luther wryly observed that pride “is truly a disease that mocks all doctors…[for it] is a diabolical temptation in the spirit which is not [even] felt.” Luther was right. The disease of pride is so pervasive in us that we often don’t even know it’s there.
This is where the Lord steps in. In love, he does what is necessary in our lives to highlight the disease. He helps us to see it because he knows that as long as we are proud, we cannot see our need for Jesus. And without Jesus, we are lost.
May God do whatever is necessary to reveal and destroy the pride in our hearts so that we look less and less at ourselves and more and more at Jesus.
Lord, destroy the disease of pride in my heart so that I see you more clearly. Amen.
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