By Stephen Leonard
“There are six things which the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes….” Proverbs 6:16a
Pride! We all have it. It infects us all. None of us have escaped the malady of this possibly worst of all sins, even the most genuine Christian. We repent, but Satan stirs it up repeatedly. It is what he used in the Garden of Eden to tempt Eve and Adam. He seduced them with, “You can be like God!”
Maybe you are not so abhorred by it. But it is the most powerful and destructive of sins. It is very insidious. It never fails to destroy eventually. It is a sin that will still be active in one even after experiencing the very pains of hell. “Why am I here?” they ask. “I do not deserve this!”
When Satan told Eve she could be as God, she bit the apple readily. And when Eve offered the same temptation to Adam, he took it immediately. And so it has always been: pride takes us all in.
Pride can invoke suicide; it causes murder, stealing; slander; jealousy; hate; it ruins everything around you. Pride very readily, if it could, would send you straight to hell! Were it not for the grace of God in Jesus Christ, pride would simply have you, to your own destruction.
Pride brings estrangement to the closest of families. It turns friends against one another. It works in such a way that relatives or once close friends do not even talk to one another for decades. It is a sin of obdurate stubbornness, which only God’s marvelous grace can break the concrete bonds.
When the Scripture tells you the things God hates most, it begins the list with pride! (Proverbs 6:16-19) “Haughty eyes!” This is a perfect expression of pride. Possibly your physical eyes do not reflect such an ultimate position of your heart, but your internal eyes do. Pride is very subtle. We protest that pride is nowhere within us. That is, until we dig deep. Pride lurks within us in corners and places we seldom, if ever, investigate.
We quickly rise to defend ourselves at the slightest criticism. We get angry or irritated, especially when alone, when things meticulously planned, go wrong. We think we are able to pull things off all by ourselves. We rather think our way is the only right way. Multiple events in our lives show us pride is stalking us.
Constant vigilance is necessary to defeat the Evil one who preys on us persistently. We can only escape by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is why we must call on the Lord continually, not sporadically. Yet this is exactly what He wants us to do. Just as often as you call on Him, He is faithful to come to your aid.
Pride must not only be slain, but it must be slain continuously. Not til Jesus comes will pride be put to death. This is why Jesus says we must never give up. May this be your most important goal. You can be victorious in Christ alone.
“There in the ground His body lay, Light of the world by darkness slain. Then bursting forth in glorious day up from the grave He rose again. And as He stands in victory sin’s curse has lost its grip on me, for I am His and He is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ.”
(3rd verse of Stuart Townsend and Keith Getty hymn, “In Christ Alone,” 2001)