In the last two Facts we have pointed out that pride is manifested in our expressions of self-exaltation, self-sufficiency, contempt for others, and in our intellectual and social snobbery. It is also manifested in:
A spirit of rivalry: The name of the game in the market place is to win at all cost. Annihilate the enemy (e.g. the competition). The end justifies the means. Only losers come in second. Winners embrace Machiavellis philosophy which is centered on expediency: Use all means pain or foul, iron or poison – for achieving the desired end.
Conversely, Paul instructed us: Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping handLive in harmony with one another; do not be haughty (snobbish, high-minded, exclusive), but readily adjust yourself to [people, things] and give yourselves to humble tasks. Never overestimate yourself or be wise in your own conceits (Phil. 2:3,4; Rom. 12:16 Amp.). (See Matt. 18:1-7; 20:20-28; Mk. 9:30-36; I Cor. 1:10-13; 3:1-10; Gal. 5:19,20)
An insatiable desire for flattery: Jesus reminds us that "everything [the Pharisees] do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi' (Matt. 23:5-7). (See Matt. 6:1, 2)
Job, Solomon and Paul understood the diabolical nature of flattery in stating, You can see that I am not trying to please you by sweet talk and flattery; no, I am trying to please God Flattery is a trap; evil men are caught in it, but good men stay away Flattery is a form of hatred and wounds cruellyNever once did we try to win you with flattery, as you very well know, and God knows we were not just pretending to be your friends so that you would give us money! (Job 32:22; Prov. 29:5; 26:28; I Thess. 2:5 TLB).
This week may you experience His grace, peace and protection.
R. Dwight Hill