Thursday, April 5, 2012


I shared a lesson on pride this mornig in our men's time at GBC.  Below are my notes.  Much of this material was gleaned from CJ Mahaney's book Humility: True Greatness.


Proverbs 6:16-17 – “There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes…”

Proverbs 8:13 – “The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil.  Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.”

Proverbs 16:5 – “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the LORD; be assured, he will not go unpunished.”

James 4:6 – “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’”

Isaiah 66:2b –“… this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.”

Humility = honestly assessing ourselves in light of God’s holiness and our sinfulness.

John Stott – “At every stage of our Christian development and in every sphere of our Christian discipleship, pride is the greatest enemy and humility our greatest friend.”

Pride= when sinful human beings aspire to the status and position of God and refuse to acknowledge their dependence upon Him.

Pride’s essence = contending for supremacy with God, and lifting up our hearts against Him.

You and I hate nothing to the degree that God hates pride.

Pursuing greatness according to…

            The world = individuals motivated by self-interest, self-indulgence, and a false sense of self-sufficiency pursuing selfish ambition for the purpose of self-glorification.

            Scripture = serving others for the glory of God.

41 Evidences of Pride (by Nancy Leigh DeMoss):

1. Do you look down on those who are less educated, less affluent, less refined, or less successful than yourself?

2. Do you think of yourself as more spiritual than your mate, others in your church?

3. Do you have a judgmental spirit toward those who don’t make the same lifestyle choices you do . . . dress standards, how you school your kids, entertainment standards, etc.?

4. Are you quick to find fault with others and to verbalize those thoughts to others? Do you have a sharp, critical tongue?

5. Do you frequently correct or criticize your mate, your pastor, or other people in positions of leadership (teachers, youth director, etc.)?

6. Do you give undue time, attention, and effort to your physical appearance—hair, make-up, clothing, weight, body shape, avoiding appearance of aging?

7. Are you proud of the schedule you keep, how disciplined you are, how much you are able to accomplish?

8. Are you driven to receive approval, praise, or acceptance from others?

9. Are you argumentative?

10. Do you generally think your way is the right way, the only way, or the best way?

11. Do you have a touchy, sensitive spirit? Easily offended? Get your feelings hurt easily?

12. Are you guilty of pretense? Trying to leave a better impression of yourself than is really true? (Would the people at church be shocked if they knew what you were like at home?)

13. Do you have a hard time admitting when you are wrong?

14. Do you have a hard time confessing your sin to God or others? (not just in generalities but specifics)

15. Do you have a hard time sharing your real spiritual needs/struggles with others?

16. Do you have a hard time praying aloud with others?

17. Are you excessively shy?

18. Do you have a hard time reaching out and being friendly to people you don’t know at church?

19. Do you resent being asked or expected to serve your family, your parents, or others?

20. Do you become defensive when you are criticized or corrected?

21. Are you a perfectionist? Do you get irked or impatient with people who aren’t?

22. Do you tend to be controlling—of your mate, your children, friends, those in your workplace?

23. Do you frequently interrupt people when they are speaking?

24. Does your wife feel intimidated by your “spirituality”?

25. Does your wife feel like she can never measure up to your expectations of what it means to be a good wife, home maker, mother, etc.?

26. Do you often complain—about the weather, your health, your circumstances, your job, your church?

27. Do you talk about yourself too much?

28. Are you more concerned about your problems, needs, burdens than about others’ concerns?

29. Do you worry about what others think of you? Too concerned about your reputation or your family’s reputation?

30. Do you neglect to express gratitude for “little things”? To God? To others?

31. Do you neglect prayer and intake of the Word?

32. Do you get hurt if your accomplishments/or acts of service are not recognized or rewarded?

33. Do you get hurt if your feelings or opinions are not considered when your mate or your boss is making a decision or if you are not informed when a change or decision is made?

34. Do you react to rules? Do you have a hard time being told what to do?

35. Are you self-conscious because of your lack of education or natural beauty, or your socio-economic status?

36. Do you avoid participating in certain events, for fear of being embarrassed or looking foolish?

37. Do you avoid being around certain people because you feel inferior compared to them/don’t feel you measure up?

38. Are you uncomfortable inviting people to your home because you don’t think it’s nice enough or you can’t afford to do lavish entertaining?

39. Is it hard for you to let others know when you need help (practical or spiritual)?

40. When is the last time you said these words to a family member, friend, or co-worker: “I was wrong; would you please forgive me?” (If it’s been more than a month, mark it down!)

41. Are you sitting here thinking how many of these questions apply to someone you know? Feeling pretty good that none of these things really apply to you?

Practical strategies for fighting pride:
1.      Reflect on the wonder of the cross

 John Owen, “fill your affections with the cross of Christ that there may be no room for sin.”

When I survey the wondrous cross, on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.

John Stott, “Every time we look at the cross Christ seems to be saying, “I am here because of you.  It is your sin I am bearing, your curse I am suffering, your debt I am paying, your death I am dying.”  Nothing in history or in the universe cuts us down to size like the cross.  All of us have inflated views of ourselves, especially in self-righteousness, until we have visited a place called Calvary.  It is there at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size.”

2.      Begin your day by acknowledging your need for God

 How we begin our mornings so often sets the tone for the day.

3.      Begin your day by expressing gratitude to God

Are you thankfully acknowledging His provision, presence, kindness, grace?

An ungrateful person is a proud person

4.      Practice spiritual disciplines

Prayer – study of God’s word – worship

Preferably at the beginning of the day.

5.      Seize your commute

Use this time to memorize and meditate on Scripture (not merely listening to the radio!)

6.      Cast your cares on Him

1 Peter 5:6-7 – Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Where there’s worry, where there’s anxiousness, pride is at the root of it.

7.      End each day by reviewing the day and assigning all glory to God for the grace we’ve experienced.

Small Group Questions:

1.      How do you see pride in your own life?  What evidences of pride do you struggle with?

2.      Why do you think pride is such a big deal to God?

3.      What strategies for fighting pride most speak to you and why?

4.      How can this group pray for you?

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