C. S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity, “There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which every one in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else; . . . There is no fault which makes a man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in ourselves. And the more we have it in ourselves the more we dislike it in others.” Can you guess what it is?
Obadiah wrote that God was angry with Edom due to her pride (Obadiah 1:2-3). And, in fact, the people of Edom were proud of many things:
• Their security (Obadiah 1:3). Because of the city’s configuration, it was almost impregnable.
• Their wealth (Obadiah 1:5-6). The major trade routes of the Middle East went through Edom. Consequently Edom could tax all the commerce that came via these routes.
• Their alliances (Obadiah 1:7). Due to its strategic location, all the surrounding nations wanted to establish a good relationship with the Edomites.
• Their wisdom (Obadiah 1:8-9). Because they were on the trade route, they encountered educated men from many different lands.
So Edom was strong, rich, smart, and had good connections. Are we filled with pride for the same reasons? The simplest manifestation of pride is self-sufficiency. We feel that we can do it on our own, and we begin to measure everything and everyone by our own standards.
Be warned. For “God opposes the proud but favors the humble” (James 4:6). Or as one writer stated, “Men who trust in anything short of God are like the man who in a thunderstorm takes shelter under a tree, whose tall branches attract the lightning, which scorches him to ashes.”
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: John 8:1-20
Read Proverbs 16:5 for God’s attitude toward pride, and check out 2 Chronicles 26:16-21 for a clear example of how God deals with it.
What issues with pride are you encountering in your life? How can you keep your pride in check?