Beware The Pride Of Life
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
(1 John 2:15-17)
Pride is a word that is used often in our society. We sometimes say it to show our satisfaction or pleasure with someone or something. For instance, if your child does well on a school project, you might say “I’m so proud of you!” or if you yourself has accomplished a difficult project or task, you might say “I’m so proud of this! (trophy, art, something you made, etc)”. Being proud of someone or something you’ve done is not a bad thing. It’s when we take it to another level that it becomes a problem.
First, let’s define pride. Pride can come in different forms. It can be described as an exaggerated view of oneself, what you own, what you do or your accomplishments. It could be someone who feels they are highly important or that nothing can be done without them. The Pharisees were proud as they loved to be first and to be seen doing good things. They loved the best seats in the synagogues and the best places at feasts as we see in Luke 20:46. Pride can be in the form of taking credit for things that others participated in without sharing the credit and can even go as far as not giving God the credit. Pride can even be something on a smaller scale like not asking for help or denying assistance when offered, though it’s needed. People sometimes do this so as not to look badly taking “charity” or because they feel they can accomplish an impossible task themselves. Sometimes it can simply be because they do not want to bother others by asking for help. Many times it stems back to childhood and how they were raised.
There is another way pride slips in…when we love the things of this world so much we feel we can’t live without it and we do whatever we can to get it.
The book of John gives a strong warning about not loving the things of this world. Jesus, Himself, in Mark 4:18-19 pointed out in his explanation of the Parable of the Sower, how things of the world can choke the Word in us causing it to become unfruitful:
“Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”
As we come into another holiday season, the desire to please our families and friends by purchasing the right gift can become overwhelming, especially if money is tight. The Word of God does state that it is better to give than to receive, but over the years, society has put so much stress on the giving part, especially at Christmas time, that it has become a burden for some and people’s personalities change completely when trying to obtain that gift on such days as Black Friday with shoving and fighting over an item. Sometimes we can lose the spirit of giving by the way we act in obtaining the gift.
Much of the problem is our view. We have allowed ourselves to become attached to so many things…toys, games, phones, cars, homes, computers, clothes, even our looks. It even goes further to wealth and power. All of these things we love dearly and hold close to us but sadly what we have is never enough and we desire more. We always seem to need bigger, better and more advanced items. What we have, which works fine, is considered old after about 6 months where technology is concerned. Therefore the desire to constantly obtain the more upgraded item is always in our thoughts. Sadly, we fail to recognize the same tricks and tactics of the enemy to continue stealing our thoughts and time away from God through the lure of the desires of our eyes and our flesh.
However, Christ tells us we must not become attached to these things because they are the things of the world and are only temporary. We must seek first the kingdom of God which is permanent. How do we seek the kingdom of God first? By changing our hearts and our views. By becoming more attached to God and less attached the things of this world.
To be comfortable in this world means we are not prepared for Christ’s world…the kingdom of God. To be loving this world and the things in it means we are asleep to the coming of Christ. When we feel we cannot live without all of these things which, in most cases pleases our flesh, it means that we can live without God and have replaced Him. To have something and use it is one thing, but to feel as though you could not exist without it is another.
The pride of life is not just loving what you are, what you do, or what you have. It’s the feeling as though it gives you life and a reason to live when in fact God is the only one who gives us life and a reason to live. Many are asleep because they’ve stopped believing in what God can do. They say they believe in God and trust Him but sometimes praying and waiting on Him is their last choice they make. They prefer to do things in their own power instead of asking God.
Pride was the downfall of Satan and it’s the downfall of mankind. It was part of what Eve fell into along with lust of the flesh and lust of the eyes. Once she found out, through the twisting of the serpent’s words, that she could obtain wisdom, she took and ate of the fruit and then passed it onto her husband thus causing the consequence of sin and death for future generations. Her pride was wanting to “be like God” (Genesis 3:5), to know what He knows and to do what He does. On a whole, there is nothing wrong with that except when you have to rebel against God to try and obtain it which falls into disobedience. Eve could only desire it when it was brought to her attention in a way that made the tree with the fruit and what she could obtain from it, desirable.
Pride is the product of the enemy’s twisted (deceiving) words and how we view what is presented to us. Something is brought to our attention, we are enticed by it and therefore we strive to obtain more of it.
We must beware of the pride of life and heed the words of our Savior. We must ask ourselves if there is anything we are becoming obsessed over or feel we can’t live without. Please do not misunderstand what I’m saying. Our needs are way different than our wants. We need a place to live, food to eat, clothes to wear, a job, transportation, fuel for our homes and vehicles, tools to make repairs, etc. It’s our way of life and how we survive. But what is a want or desire in our lives that we feel we can’t live without or we are attached too? Do you desire to be like someone else and have what they have? Do you spend time and money constantly improving your looks or wardrobe? Do you feel stressed or anxious if you were to leave your cell phone home? Do you spend endless hours on your cellphone and computer playing games or surfing the net? Or when you go out to dinner with your family, do you spend more time on your phone than enjoying your family? Do you occupy your time spending money you barely have on shopping for things you don’t really need? Is it important to you that your children have the most expensive clothing, toys, etc? Do you feel that you are the only one who could do your job and you can’t be replaced?
Now I have to ask…where does God fit in the picture? When God began this world, it wasn’t meant to be this way. We were meant to worship and glorify Him and have a loving relationship with Him but fast forward to today’s world, there are too many “fun” distractions prohibiting our time with Him. When we allow ourselves to spend time with God, we can then hear what He has to say. The words might be “I love you” or “Don’t be discouraged”. We might hear an answer to a problem or a word of encouragement.
Or He might simply want to give you a message:
“Don’t be attached to anything in this world because I’m coming back soon. Seek first the kingdom of God and prepare yourself for My return because I want you to be with Me for eternity!”
“Lord, I don’t want to miss what You have to say. Forgive me for allowing the pride of life to distract me from my time with You. Help me to appreciate what you have given to me and break my chains to pride of all kinds. I want to be ready for your return. I ask this in Jesus name…Amen.”