FOUR KINDS OF PRIDE
The following essay was written in the spring of 1979, one of my first “Gospel-notes.” It would appear that nothing is simple in this world of ours. Even simple pride is not so simple, but there’s an old adage that says a lot about it. “There are four kinds of pride: that of Face, Race, Place, and Grace.” Now some would say that this summary leaves a lot untold, but it does seem to cover the high points pretty well. Especially when most folks can find their own brand in one of these groups or the other.
Taking a look at the FACE variety, we realize that it’s all too common. Not only the good-looking are here though. Some of these souls just think they’ve “got it.” Then considering the RACE variety we see a host of folks indulging in this “cheap thrill.” In the PLACE group many find themselves. Now self improvement is respectable, but where is the ground for pride with those who were given everything? Finally we see the pride of GRACE. Even God frowns on this kind – “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” Corinthians 10:12
Whatever variety our pride may be, we often fail to realize the tragedy of it. In fact, pride is probably the original sin. Lucifer himself, the greatest created being in the beginning, fell into it. He was condemned when he said in his heart, “I will ascend into heaven. . . I will exalt my throne . . . I will sit also upon the mount . . . I will ascend above . . . I will be like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:12-15 At the dawn of our history, in the garden, the human race fell into his nature, rebellion, and condemnation. As one looks into the Book, he sees God’s feelings about pride: “Every one who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord. . .” Proverbs 16:5 “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him. . .” Habakkuk 2:4 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” – Jesus, Matthew 23:12
From the divine attitude about pride, it would appear to be one of the strongest soul poisons around. Why not steer away from it into the sparkling fresh waters of divine Life? Christ himself said, “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” John 4:14 In another place we read, “. . .let him who is thirsty come, let him who desires take the water of life without price.” Revelation 22:17 The salvation of Christ is that water. Let’s not allow pride of any variety to drag us into hell. “Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.” James 4:10 The natural brother of Christ had that to say. A king had this to say "Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven; for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to abase." Daniel 4:37
After reflecting on this simple gospel message for 32 years my conclusion is this. If we wish to harness natural human pride (and ego) the most effective means is the salvation of Christ. Choose Jesus, He is alive.
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