(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
Years ago in high school sophomore British Literature class (do they make kids take that anymore?); I remember slugging through Shakespeare, Chaucer and other English writings that needed interpretation (Can you tell I loved the class? Sarcasm intended.)
However we did learn some cool words that while I remember little of Julius Caesar and Romeo and Juliet, I do remember genre (type of literature) and hubris (pride).
I’m not sure why I remember these words, but probably because everything we read we had to identify the genre of literature and the downfall of the lead character was usually hubris (pride).
A hero is amazing, but every hero has a propensity to hubris. Healthy pride is one’s accomplishments turns to inflated arrogance that thinks one is greater, more important, or more immune to failure than anyone else. Greek mythology often has humans fall because of their attempt to claim the powers of the gods or a position over the gods.
St. Augustine quipped, “Pride has made angels into demons.”
It’s why in the Christian church for centuries, pride has been labeled as one of the Seven Deadly Sins. In fact many would argue it is the deadliest of sins as it leads one to control self apart from any need or direction from the Lord.
Pride is deadly – physically.
On 15th April 1912, just before the Titanic was about to embark on its maiden journey, one passenger asked a ship’s agent for extra insurance on some valuables in her luggage. The agent replied, “Ridiculous. This boat’s unsinkable.”
Titanic’s Captain Edward Smith himself was asked about the safety of the Titanic. He answered – “I cannot imagine any condition which would cause a ship to founder. I cannot conceive of any vital disaster happening to this vessel. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that.”
Then, after the ship had struck the iceberg, a passenger asked her employer if they should do something about it. He replied, “Go back to bed. This ship is unsinkable.”
Pride is deadly – spiritually.
Proverbs 16:5 “The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.”
James 4:4-6 So whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or, do you think that Scripture has no reason for saying that the Spirit, who lives in us, yearns jealously? 6 But he gives greater grace! That is why it says, “God opposes the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.”
Pride leaves no room or need for the grace and mercy of God.
Which is why pride is a deadly sin and needs us all to repent of it. It’s not just the Titantic Captain that suffered from pride, we all do. We all want to be the top; be invincible; call all the shots. Our sinful nature wants us to think we are more than we are and in no need of a God to tell us different.
Time for repentance and humility.
James continues in 4:7 “So, submit yourselves to God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded people. 9 Lament, mourn, and weep. Let your laughter be changed into mourning and your joy into gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
With the Spirit of God’s help, we will humble ourselves and learn humility this week from the humility Jesus showed for us.
Apply: How has pride led to failure in your life? What did you learn? For what did you repent?
Prayer: Lord God, forgive and drive out all hubris from my life that I may walk in humility before you and all people. AMEN.