An Antidote to Pride
Pride is one of the most original and common of sins. Pride is the sin that motivated Satan to rebel against God. When any man is brought to a position of prominence, there is always a temptation to become prideful. When pride enters the heart of man, it always distances him away from the heart of God. JC Ryle warned “let us watch against pride in every shape- pride of intellect, pride of wealth, pride of our own goodness.” When a man’s heart is lifted up with pride, he shuts himself out from the presence and blessing of God.
In Deuteronomy 17, God foresaw that the Israelites would beg for a king once in the land and gave them certain requirements to look for in a king. A king of Israel had to be chosen from among the Israelites. He was forbidden to multiply horses, wives, or silver and gold unto himself. One of the most interesting requirements was the last one given. It said that when he became king “he shall write him a copy of the law in a book…and it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life” (v. 18-19). The reason for this command is even more insightful- “…that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of the law and these statutes, to do them: That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment” (vv. 19-20). One of the reasons why the king had to write a copy of God’s Word and meditate upon it was to remain humble.
Meditation on God’s Word is one of the best antidotes to pride. Exalted views of self are quickly deflated when one comes face to face with the mirror of God’s Word. The Word of God acts as a mirror that shows man his true self. When men compare themselves among themselves, they are usually able to find reasons to boast. However, when men compare themselves with the greatness and holiness of God as revealed in the Bible, self-boasting quickly turns to self-abasement. When one allows the Word of God to dwell in their heart, self-confidence turns to confidence in Christ, an exalted view of self turns to an exalted view of God, and independence turns to a dependence on God’s ever-present grace. So many men ruin their souls by neglecting the plain truth of the Word of God. Neglect of the Bible leads to pride, error, sin, and confusion. The surest remedy for pride is an honest evaluation of self, sin, and God from the mirror of God’s Word. May we heed God’s command to “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (1 Pet. 5:6). When we meditate on God’s Word, we are led into the most blessed path of obedience as we walk humbly before God.
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