Today you should read: Ezekiel 31
Fill in the blank: Oh, C-A-T-S Cats Cats ________________!” Ok, now that I have your attention, fill in this one:
“Pride comes before the _________________.”
It’s a phrase we know well. It is the essence of Ezekiel 31. Pride comes before the fall. We’ve all heard the stories of the athletes who “guaranteed” a win, or the politicians who “promised” a victory that would ensure an office; overconfidence led to their downfall. This is precisely what God is promising Egypt in this chapter. He tells Pharaoh to think about the example of the Assyrians. The imagery of a strong tree being falling catches our mind’s eye. In the same way, the pride of Pharaoh will make him much like that felled cedar of Lebanon. What else does God’s word teach us about pride? Let’s take a moment to see.
All who fear the Lord will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech. Proverbs 8:13
Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
Babylon, the most glorious of kingdoms, the flower of Chaldean pride, will be devastated like Sodom and Gomorrah when God destroyed them. Isaiah 13:19
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has done it to destroy your pride and bring low all earth’s nobility. Isaiah 23:9
Listen and pay attention! Do not be arrogant, for the Lord has spoken. Jeremiah 13:15
And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.” Mark 7:20-23
Seems crystal clear, doesn’t it? But how do we resist the pride that so easily creeps into our hearts? Here are a few quick thoughts, and I would love to hear yours as well in our comments section below.
1) Remember Whose you are and who you are. You are in Christ, and you have been bought with a price. You have a new identity, and you desperately need the help of your Savior to remind you of that truth daily. The “abundant life” mentioned in John 10:10 comes at the cost of surrendering your pride.
2) Be a quick repenter. When you realize that pride has overtaken you, stop right then and ask the Lord to give you His strength to turn from it.
3) Give a few close friends/family members the license to call you out. Accountability is huge for the totality of the Christian life. It is especially necessary for keeping our pride at bay.
4) Be a servant. I know well the rhythms of my life. One of those rhythms seems pretty consistent to me: when I take the time & energy to serve others, I am pushed toward humility. After all, “…even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Serving helps me embrace my most humbling and empowering God-given calling: being like Jesus.
Posted by: Todd Thomas