Martin De Haan years ago said, “Self-satisfaction is the death of progress. The most boring people I ever meet are the ones who take up my time telling me what they have done.” So none of us reaches perfection this side of heaven, it tells me something else. It tells me that it’s our imperfection. It’s our not having arrived that pushes us onward and upward. It gives us the impetus to continue the race. Now, that’s very essential on a race.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, he once met a man who said he had arrived, he had attained, he had reached total sanctification in this life. Spurgeon said, “Oh, really?” And he did something that I don’t necessarily recommend though, it sounds pretty fun. He took a pitcher of water and poured it all over the man. And the man started swearing. And Spurgeon smiled and said, “I thought so.” [Laughter] “You haven’t arrived. Listen to what’s coming out of your mouth.” And he just wanted to prove it.
The humble are care free. Where there is worry, anxiety, anxiousness there is pride. The root of worry and anxiety is self-sufficiency. God gives grace to those who humble themselves and cast each and every care on him. The effect of this act is the weakening of pride and the experience of peace and joy.
C.S. Lewis said pride is the chief cause of misery in every nation and family since the world began. Think of it. It was pride that took Lucifer out of heaven. It was pride that took Adam out of paradise. It was pride that took Saul, King Saul, first King of Israel, out of the kingdom. It was pride that took Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, out of Babylonian society. It was pride that took Haman out of the Persian court. It was pride that changed angels into demons. It is pride that changes friends into enemies. Pride ruins everything, and here’s why.
Pride is the cancer of the soul. And if it’s left undiagnosed and untreated, it will destroy spiritual life. So the antidote is humility. That’s the cure for this age-long disease, humility.
If there is pride in your heart it will be expressed in one of three ways. Firstly, through self-righteousness that results from feeling insecure, the need to prove yourself or a “better than” attitude. Secondly through self-reliance, having to be strong, not trusting others or knowing how to build relationships. Thirdly through self-pity, focusing on the negatives with a lack of joy, feeling unappreciated and unloved.
Henry Ward Beecher was right when he observed, “A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.” Pride is the father of ingratitude and the silent killer of gratitude.
Worry is a form of pride. It’s the opposite of humility. When you choose to worry and take on the cares of this world, you are essentially saying that God can’t handle it. That you’ve got to take it out of “His mighty hand” and worry about how to fix it yourself.