The question I asked Sunday was, “Has your pride ever ended up hurting you or someone you know?”
I encourage you to read the story of Naaman in the Bible. (2 Kings 5:1-14)
Naaman, a valiant warrior and prominent leader, finds he has a spot of leprosy. At the time leprosy was considered a death sentence. Naaman hears he might have a chance if he sees the prophet, Elisha, in Israel. So Naaman has his own king pull some strings with the king of Israel in order to meet this prophet, Elisha. Naaman gathers some of his great wealth and a letter from his King and heads out to see the prophet.
There is so much good stuff packed into the story of Naaman, but the bottom line is when Naaman gets to Elisha’s place, Elisha doesn’t even meet with him. Instead Elisha sends out a servant who tells Naaman to go down to the River Jordan and dip seven times and he’ll be healed. The servant says, “Wash and be clean.”
But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage. (2 Kings 5:11-12)
For the second time in the story servants come to Naaman’s rescue. Naaman, if Elisha had told you to do some great thing, you would have done it. Do this simple thing, Naaman!
In other words, Naaman, the man of God told you just to wash and be clean. Swallow your pride and do it!
Naaman almost let his pride kill him. Do we ever let our pride end up hurting us or others?
Have you ever let pride keep you from apologizing first, or at all?
Have you ever let pride get in the way of asking for help before a problem got bigger?
Have you ever let your pride get in the way of listening to someone’s else perspective?
Have you ever let your pride keep you from admitting, even to yourself, that you were wrong about something?
Perhaps the biggest problem with pride is our pride keeps us from seeing it in ourselves.
Counselor Julie Ganschow writes, “Pride is a heart-attitude sin that overflows into a person’s motivation, decision-making, and activities. Pride is at the root of nearly every problem we struggle with in counseling!”
I agree with many Christian teachers who believe pride is the worst sin. Why? Because pride is at the root of most if not all sin. It is thinking we know more than others. It is thinking we are better than others. From a Christian perspective it is thinking, even if we won’t admit it or even see it, that we know better than God. I am convinced most of the problems we see in our world are rooted in pride, whether they be political, business, or family issues.
The solution to our pride problem is not false modesty!! It is not beating ourselves up.
The biggest danger with self-pride? It keeps us from humbling ourselves and receiving the love and forgiveness of God. It keeps us from receiving the love and forgiveness, and yes, help from others as well.
Let’s not let our pride kills us! Let’s not let our pride hurt others either.