Not all pride is sin, and humility is not self-abasement, said Rev. Don Brash, who preached on “pride vs humility” in the Marathon sermon series on January 26.
If sin is the act of disobeying God, he said, don’t fail to notice what comes before and what happens afterward. Consider the state of the heart.
In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve wanted to be like God. Equality with God was something to be grasped. What began in imagination and desire was the disruption of relationships.
Prideful desire plus disobedience led to self alienation in form of guilt and shame — blaming each other and the serpent.
Sin is an act that leads to disruption of true community. With its alienation, pride is the worst of the deadly sins. Insecurity results from alienation to the detriment of others.
Four kinds of sinful pride:
- Intellectual: the wry satisfaction from being the one who knows.
- Moral: not committing the sin another is doing, not removing the plank in our own eye
- Collective: justifying sinful behavior, as did the Nazis, for the sake of the nation
- Spiritual: leading to self righteousness, as when a preacher thinks he can speak for God
Healthy pride, in contrast, values self enough to care for oneself, according to C.S. Lewis. We can celebrate our victories but value the other team. Healthy pride builds community, but sinful pride alienates community.
Christ is our model for healthy pride, as in Philippians 3:2-11
Walk with Christ.
Don’t look for equality with God.
Make a choice to make a sacrifice for the other.
Learn to love the other voice and the result will be harmony.