We can justify anything if we believe we know better than God does. Pride births every other wrong in our thoughts, words, and actions.
Pride is hideously ugly when we see it in other people – and yet, it can be so insidious in our own lives. We can have it – a lot of it – and not even see it. Pride tends to blind us to our own sin.
A PRIDEFUL HEART IN MARRIAGE:
Let’s take a peak into a prideful spouse’s heart…
- I’m always right.
- I deserve to be waited on and served.
- Other people, including my spouse, are here to do what I want them to do.
- I’m better than my wife/husband is.
- Everyone should cater to me.
- My will and my comfort are what is important.
- It’s my way or the highway.
- Do what I say.
- If you sin against me, I will leave you and try to hurt you as much as possible.
- If you don’t meet my needs, I’ll find someone who will and I don’t care if it hurts God, you, or our family.
- I will not forgive anyone. I deserve to hold grudges and be bitter.
- If you hurt me, I am justified in retaliating in any way I see fit.
- I want X, so you better make it happen.
- People need me much more than they need God. I am the essential ingredient to the success of anything.
- I have the wisdom that everyone else needs.
- God is holding out on me. If I do things His way, I will miss what is best in life.
- I want things for myself in this lifetime – treasure, fame, power, glory, attention, etc…
- Change my spouse, Lord! He/she is not who I want him/her to be and that is inconvenient to me.
Let’s look at false humility in a spouse (which is also pride)
- I’m not worthy of being loved by you (but I expect myself to be worthy and good in and of myself apart from Christ).
- I’m so awful (and I expect myself to be perfect and good in my own strength, I am focused on self not God).
- No one loves me (I will use guilt and pity to try to make people love me more but I will not look to God for my source of love, acceptance, life, peace, purpose, and help. I will try to handle it on my own. I will not receive love from God or anyone else.).
- I’m ugly and useless (I don’t accept my identity, value, and worth in Christ because I know better than God does).
- I shouldn’t have needs or ask for help. I should be able to handle everything totally on my own.
- I believe that I have to hate myself, put myself down, and be totally self-sufficient to have value.
- I am obsessed with thinking negatively about myself and do not allow God to fill me. I reject and refuse what Christ wants to do for me and offer to me.
- If you hurt me, I will sink down into depression and self-harm. I put the approval of others before approval of God.
Pride and false humility repel those around us. They are toxic and off-putting. It is very difficult to love someone who is filled with self and prickly pride. It is equally difficult to love someone who won’t receive love and who hates themselves and are obsessed with self in a negative way.
Believers and non-believers alike are quick to see pride and false humility in others and to be disgusted by it.
Let’s look at a humble spouse’s heart…
- Not my will, but God’s will be done and His glory be accomplished in this.
- How may I be a blessing to my spouse and family?
- What would most please Christ?
- Other people, including my spouse, are here for me to learn to demonstrate the love of Christ and to learn spiritual maturity.
- Lord, I’m totally dependent on Your wisdom and Your power every moment.
- There is no good in me, but I no longer live – I have been crucified with Christ, now Christ lives in me and through me. Jesus gives me the power to walk in holiness and obedience so that my life might bring great glory to God alone.
- I can put my needs on the back burner if God prompts me to so that I can be part of pouring healing into my spouse’s life.
- People need Christ, not me. He must greatly increase and I must greatly decrease!
- I have received unspeakable love, grace, forgiveness, and mercy from Jesus – so I have plenty of that to give to others.
- No one can meet my deepest needs but Jesus. I need Him alone!
- I don’t have to be right all the time. I don’t have to defend myself and win every argument.
- My way is not always best. God’s way is.
- If you don’t meet my needs, I will be content in Christ and trust Him to lead me and to heal our marriage. I trust Him to use times of pain and suffering to help me grow.
- If you are involved in great unrepentant sin or I am in danger with you, I may separate but I will continue to pray for you to come to Christ and for God to heal and restore our marriage for His glory.
- I see myself as God sees me and I receive who I am according to Scripture. I respect God, myself, and others.
- My spouse has wisdom to offer that may be very valuable.
- I want to store up treasures in heaven, the things of this world aren’t that important. What will matter most in eternity?
- If you hurt me, I will respectfully confront you about it, but if you won’t repent, I will trust vengeance to God’s hands and I will seek to repay evil with good. I may also have to remove myself from the situation if you continue on in unrepentant sin and in violation of our marriage covenant (Matt. 18:15-17, I Corinthians 7).
- I only want God to be pleased with me. I want to make the decisions that would most bring Him joy.
- Change me, Lord! Make me more like Jesus!
PRIDE IS THE SOURCE OF ALL SIN:
What is the greatest sin? Ultimately any singular sin separates us from God for eternity unless it is “atoned” for – that is, that blood is shed to pay for that sin. We wouldn’t think that eating a piece of forbidden fruit was a “big sin,” but look at the consequences of that one “small” sin.
Any rebellion against God is a big deal. But what comes before rebellion?
A spirit of pride.
I believe that pride is the greatest danger to marriage (for both the husband and wife). How did Satan tempt Eve? He appealed to her pride and that she would be as wise or wiser than God. Wasn’t that the same temptation that caused him to fall? The desire to be equal to or greater than God?
I HAVE ONLY TWO CHOICES:
- I can imitate Satan. Pride was his primary character trait. He wanted to be equal to God. From pride came all other sins. If I enthrone Self in my life, I am serving Satan and living as his child. I believe I know best. I believe God is holding out on me and that my wisdom is greater than God’s. From this mindset of scorn toward God and His wisdom, I can justify any other sin – unforgiveness, bitterness, lust, adultery, rage, hatred, envy, jealousy, idolatry, unbelief in God, disobedience to God, stealing, sexual perversion, disrespecting God, trying to control others, greed, flirting with someone else, addictions, desiring power/fame/luxury/comfort, violence, abuse, divisions, gossip, self-righteousness, false teaching, etc…
- I can imitate Jesus. Humility was His primary character trait. He was God and was already equal to God but set aside His glory and heaven and entered our world humbly, considering equality with God not something He wanted to try to grasp. He made Himself in the form of a Servant. He came to serve not to be served. When I yield to Him as LORD of all in my life, I am God’s child. When I am willing to receive my death to my old self and sin and allow His Spirit to fill me, He gives me His Spirit of humility, from which all other virtues spring.
ETERNAL BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES OF PRIDE VS. HUMILITY:
- God will humble the proud and arrogant by punishment in His timing.
- God will exalt those who humble themselves before Him in His timing.
Quotes from Andrew Murray, “Humility”
- “Humility is the displacement of self by the enthronement of God.”
- “Humility, the place of entire dependence on God, is the first duty and the highest virtue of the creature, and the root of every virtue. And so pride, or the loss of this humility, is the root of every sin and evil.”
- “The truth is this: Pride must die in you or nothing of heaven can live in you. Under the banner of the truth, give yourself up to the meek and humble spirit of the holy Jesus. Humility must sow the seed or there can be no reaping in heaven. Look not at pride only as an unbecoming temper, nor at humility only as a decent virtue: for the one is death and the other is life; the one is hell and the other is heaven. So much as you have of pride within you, you have of the fallen angel alive in you; so much as you have of true humility, so much you have of the Lamb of God within you.”
Free download of Andrew Murray’s book Humility
Meekness and Humility – a Peacefulwife Video