If you have been in Christian circles long enough, you have undoubtedly been exposed to a church that is embroiled in scandal, hurt, and poor decisions. Individuals (both inside and outside of the church) have watched as leaders or members take a stand that is not only hurtful, but arrogant and prideful. It can be as simple as choosing a paint color and as complicated as an extra-marital affair on the part of the minister.
I have been watching a scandal unfold in a local church and the depth of the hurt has been unimaginable. No one in the church has been unscathed by the accusations and finger-pointing that has resulted as sin has been exposed to the light. My heart grieves as I watch a church that has been growing for years, splinter before my very eyes. I can’t imagine how burdened God’s heart is for his church right now.
As I look at the issues that have come out in this scandal I try to wrap my head around how things got to this point. And I have come to the conclusion that pride has played a huge role in some of the individual’s actions and responses. A simple apology, humbly made, could have made all of the difference in the world. But instead an arrogant response and defensive posture have resulted in devastating consequences. Pride is an ugly thing.
Pride leads to arrogance, contempt, self-righteousness and judgment. It makes the rights of self more important than the rights of others. It shows itself in behaviors of micro-managing, boasting, and stubbornness. The fruit of pride is a lack of humility, a sense of rightness no matter what others say, and a critical spirit.
The Bible is full of verses about pride. It provides multiple examples of those who grew proud and haughty, only to hasten their own downfall.
It is easy for me to make judgments about the pride of others and the consequences of their pride. But unfortunately, as I am writing this, I hear God whisper quietly to my heart, “What about you?”
Verses to ponder;
Proverbs 11:2 states, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Proverbs 18:12, “Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.”
1 John 2:16: “These are the ways of the world: wanting to please our sinful selves, wanting the sinful things we see, and being too proud of what we have. None of these come from the Father, but all of them come from the world.”
All verses are quoted from the NIV.