Spiritual Pride and Self Love: the Evil Twins

Self love is at the root of pride, including spiritual pride….. and pride is bound up in the ego and self-ishness of mankind. 

The Lord Jesus knows our hearts, and this is just one of the many blessed words our Lord had to say about spiritual pride. I hope you will take the time to watch the video, it is a true blessing. 

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed[a] thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:9-14

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Spiritual High Horses and Sacred Cows

sacred cow barbeque

Let’s have a Sacred Cow Barbeque!

Christians riding on a high horse of pride are religious narcissists. And you know what the bible says about pride. Falling off such a prideful high horse is going to be mighty painful in the end if not dealt with. I would venture to say that the Christian leadership of “Big Box Preachers” in today’s mainstream church is the most obvious example of ego’s on steroids, having exalted themselves far above, and too often apart from the common folks sitting in the pews hanging on their every word.

I remember a few years ago, when a certain rock star preacher had come into town and was hyping his latest best selling block buster book at a local church, a neighbor of mine who followed all the latest preachers du jour told me that she and a friend had gotten a front row seat at this meeting. All starry eyed, she excitedly exclaimed, “Just imagine…there we were, sitting just THAT CLOSE to Mr. Super Saint, (not his real name of course). OK, so….here we have a woman holding a sacred cow, “Mr. Super Saint, in total mind boggling adoration. Hey, this was just a MAN.  And so, he had written a best selling “Christian” book, not the Ten Commandments. In any case, from what I was able to discern, Mr.Super Saint himself was riding high on his own high horse, getting lots of attention and speaking engagements, TV time, and of course….lots of money. And by the way, although his book was a best seller in popular Christian circles, it was loaded with false teachings. just as many of the latest Christian fads seem to be….and Christians do seem to develop fads for some mysterious reason…following after the latest self help book or doctrine. This seems to be a pretty common tell tale sign of having the “itching ears”syndrome. Can’t sit still until some new doctrine or teaching comes along. The only cure for this disease is repentance and getting back into Bible study, prayer and walking the walk. 

Oh, and Mr.Super Saint’s books and doctrines are now being denounced by the very AOG and Southern Baptist denominations that promoted them, and him, in the first place. Don’t Christians read their bibles anymore? Enough to stop following these Sacred Cows on high horses? OH, maybe if we barbequed our own Sacred Cows and spiritual idolatry, pride, ego and self, we would be able to have eyes that see and ears that hear more clearly. At least, we should deal with any spiritual pride that clouds our judgment to the extent that we begin to feel we can’t be led astray and deceived by those who seem to be somebody in the Christian realm. Just because someone is a big shot preacher with a lot of followers means very little. We need to “let them decrease, and allow Christ to increase”. There is no bigger, grander, more powerful or truthful, greater or more magnificent teacher than Christ.

A little teaching on the spiritual narcissism of pride:

Undetected Spiritual Pride
One Cause of Failure in Times of Great Revival

by Jonathan Edwards
The first and worst cause of errors that abound in our day and age is spiritual pride.  This is the main door by which the devil comes into the hearts of those who are zealous for the advancement of Christ.  It is the chief inlet of smoke from the bottomless pit to darken the mind and mislead the judgement.

Pride is the main handle by which he has hold of Christian persons and the chief source of all the mischief that he introduces to clog and hinder a work of God.  Spiritual pride is the main spring or at least the main support of all other errors.  Until this disease is cured, medicines are applied in vain to heal all other diseases.

It is by spiritual pride that the mind defends and justifies itself in other errors and defends itself against light by which it might be corrected and reclaimed.  The spiritually proud man thinks he is full of light already and feels that he does not need instruction, so he is ready to ignore the offer of it.

On the other hand, the humble person is like a little child who easily receives instruction.  He is cautious in his estimate of himself, sensitive as to how liable he is to go astray.  If it is suggested to him that he is going astray, he is most ready to check into the matter.

Nothing sets a Christian so much out of the devil s reach than humility and so prepares the mind for divine light without darkness.  Humility clears the eye to look at things as they truly are.  Psalm 25:9—He leads the humble in justice, and He teaches the humble His way.

If spiritual pride is healed, other things are easily corrected.  Our first care should be to correct the heart and pull the beam of pride out of our eye and then we shall see clearly.

Growing Christians Beware!

Those who are most zealous in the cause of God are the most likely to be targeted as being filled with pride.  When any person appears, in any respect, to be noticeably excelling others in his Christian walk, odds are ten to one that it will immediately awaken the jealousy of those about him.

They will suspect (whether they have good reason or not) that he is very proud of his goodness and that he probably thinks no one as good as he is, so that everything he says and does is observed with this prejudice.

Those who are themselves cold and dead, and especially those who have never had any experience of the power of godliness on their own hearts, will easily entertain such thoughts of the best Christians.  This arises from nothing less than a secret hostility against essential and fervent holiness.

But the zealous Christian should take heed that this does not prove a snare to him, and the devil take advantage of it to blind his eyes from beholding the true nature of his heart and to think that because he is charged with pride wrongfully and with an unkind spirit, that such charges are not sometimes valid.

Alas, how much pride the best have in their hearts!  It is the worst part of the body of sin and death; the first sin that ever entered into the universe and the last that is rooted out.  It is God s most stubborn enemy!

Pride: a Secret Enemy

Pride is much more difficult to be discerned than any other corruption because of its very nature.  That is, pride is a person having too high an opinion of himself.  Is it any surprise, then, that a person who has too high an opinion of himself is unaware of it?  His thinking is that he thinks that the opinion he has of himself has just grounds and therefore is not too high.  If the grounds of the opinion of himself crumbled, he would cease to have such an opinion.

But, because of the nature of spiritual pride, it is the most secret of all sins.  There is no other matter in which the heart is more deceitful and unsearchable and there is no other sin in the world that men are so confident in. The very nature of it is to work self-confidence and drive away any suspicion of any evil of that kind.  There is no sin so much like the devil as this for secrecy and subtlety, and appearing in great many shapes that are undetected and unsuspected.

Spiritual pride takes many forms and shapes, one under another, and encompasses the heart like the layers of an onion: when you pull off one, there is another underneath.  Therefore, we have need to have the greatest watch imaginable over our hearts with respect to this matter and to cry most earnestly to the great Searcher of hearts for His help.  He that trusts his own heart is a fool.

Since spiritual pride in its own nature is so secret, it cannot be so well discerned by immediate intuition on the thing itself.  It is best identified by its fruits and effects, some of which I will make mention of below together with the contrary fruits of Christian humility.

Pride: the Great Fault-finder

Spiritual pride causes one to speak of other persons  sins, their enmity against God and His people, or with laughter and levity and an air of contempt, while pure Christian humility disposes either to be silent about them or to speak of them with grief or pity.

The spiritually proud person shows it in his finding fault with other saints, that they are low in grace and how cold and dead they are, and are quick to discern and take notice of their deficiencies.  The eminently humble Christian has so much to do at home and sees so much evil in his own that he is not apt to be very busy with other hearts.

He complains most of himself and complains most of his own coldness and lowness in grace.  He is apt to esteem others as better than himself and is ready to hope that most everybody has more love and thankfulness to God than he, and cannot bear to think that others should bring forth no more fruit to God s honor than he.

Some who have spiritual pride mixed with great learning and joy, earnestly speaking to others about them, are likely to be calling upon other Christians to emulate them and sharply reprove them for their being so cold and lifeless.

There are others who are overwhelmed with their own vileness, and when they have extraordinary discoveries of God’s glory, they are taken up by their own sinfulness.  Though they are disposed to speak much and very earnestly, yet it is very much in blaming themselves and exhorting fellow Christians, but in a loving and humble manner.

Pure Christian humility causes a person to take notice of everything that is good in others, to make the best of it and to diminish their failings; however, he turns his eye chiefly on those things that are bad in himself and to take much notice of everything that aggravates them.

Pride: Ministering in a Harsh Spirit

It has been the manner of spiritually proud persons to speak of almost everything they see in others in the most harsh, severe language.  It is frequent with them to say of other’s opinion, conduct, advice, coldness, silence, caution, moderation, prudence, etc. that they are from the devil or from hell.

Such kind of language they will commonly use, not only towards wicked men, but towards those who are true children of God and also towards ministers of the gospel and others who are very much their superiors.  Christians who are but fellow-worms ought at least to treat one another with as much humility and gentleness as Christ treats them.

Pride: Putting on Pretenses

Spiritual pride often causes persons to act different in external appearance, to effect a different way of speaking, to use a different sort of dialect from others, or to be different in voice, countenance or behavior.  But he that is an eminently humble Christian, though he will be firm in his duty, however different — going the way of heaven alone, though all the world forsake him — yet he does not delight in being different for difference s sake.

He does not try to set himself up to be viewed and observed as one distinguished, as desiring to be accounted better than others — despising their company or conformity to them — but on the contrary, desires to become all things to all men, to yield to others and conform to them and please them in all but sin.

Pride: Takes Offense Easily

Spiritual pride takes great notice of opposition and injuries that are received and is prone to be often speaking of them and to be much in taking notice of their aggravation, either with an air of bitterness or contempt.

Pure and unmixed Christian humility, on the other hand, causes a person to be more like his blessed Lord when reviled: quiet, not opening his mouth, but committing himself in silence to Him who judges righteously.  For the humble Christian, the more the world is against him, the more silent and still he will be, unless it is in his prayer closet, and there he will not be still.

Pride: Presumption Before God and Man

Another effect of spiritual pride is a certain self-confident boldness before God and men.  Some, in their great rejoicing before God, have not paid sufficient regard to that rule in Psalm 2:11 — Worship the Lord with reverence, and rejoice with trembling.

They have not rejoiced with a reverential trembling, in a proper sense of the awful majesty of God and the awful distance between Him and them.  There has also been an improper boldness before men that has been encouraged and defended by a misapplication of Proverbs 29:25 — The fear of man brings a snare…  It is as though it became all persons, high and low, men, women and children in all Christian conversation to wholly abandon all manner of modesty or reverence toward man.

Not that any should refrain from Christian conversation, but with such humility as in I Peter 3:15—But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.

Pride: Hungry for Attention

Another effect of spiritual pride is to make the subject of it want attention.  People often tend to act in a special manner as though others ought to take great notice and regard of them.  It is very natural to a person that is very much under the influence of spiritual pride to take all the respect that is paid to him.

If others show a disposition to submit to him and yield in deference to him, he is open to it and freely receives it.  It becomes natural for him to expect such treatment and to take much notice if a person fails to do so, and to have an ill opinion of those who do not give him that which he feels he deserves.

One under the influence of spiritual pride is more apt to instruct others than to inquire for himself and so naturally puts on the airs of control.  The eminently humble Christian thinks he needs help from everybody, whereas he that is spiritually proud thinks everybody needs his help.  Christian humility, under a sense of other’s misery, entreats and beseeches, but spiritual pride tries to command and warn with authority.

Pride: Neglecting Others

As spiritual pride causes persons to assume much to themselves, so it treats others with neglect.   On the contrary, pure Christian humility disposes persons to honor all men as from I Peter 2:17. To enter into disputes about Christianity is sometimes unseasonable, such as in meeting for Christian conference or for exercises of worship.

Yet, we ought to be very careful that we do not refuse to converse with carnal men, as though we counted them not worthy to be regarded.  On the contrary, we should condescend to carnal men as Christ has condescended to us, to bear with our unteachableness and stupidity.

 

 

http://grace-abounding.com/Articles/Sin/Pride_Edwards.htm

 

 

Unforgiveness and the Chastening of the Father

Unforgiveness and the Chastening of the Father.

You are the Problem….Crucify the Flesh or Perish

OK, this is a real street preacher. Maybe you don’t like him, but listen to his words because he’s telling the truth. Jesus means business.
This is on my heart today…”Unforgiveness and the Chastening of the Father”
Have you ever been chastened by the Lord? I have, and let me tell you, when the Father chastens you, you will certainly not enjoy it. But Jesus chastens his true children in love just as His Holy scriptures say.

Have you ever held unforgiveness in your heart toward someone for a perceived offense, or even for a real one? Be honest now. Have you? I have. It takes a searching of the heart where sometimes these sins are deeply hidden, even from ourselves. And we may try to deny it, but Jesus searches the deep things of the heart and spirit. If you are truly his child, you will deal with this unforgiveness and allow the Lord to cleanse you of it. This takes judging ourselves honestly before the Lord. Nothing is hidden from Him.

Have you ever held a grudge, bitterness or resentment against someone for something they said or did to hurt you? Or have you ever listened to and believed a story someone told you about someone else that later proved to be untrue? Be honest now, because God knows the truth, and we can’t hide our sins from Him. I have done these things at times, even since my baptism in the Spirit. Can we be men or women enough to admit to these things and grieve over them and repent? Believe me, there is nothing worse than the chastening of the Lord who comes with a rod of conviction.

Maya Angelo said, “It’s not what you did, it’s not what you said, it’s how you made me feel”.

Have you ever said something about someone, or to someone, even a precious friend that you had a disagreement with and they hurt you and you lashed back in anger and said words that cut them? Be honest now. Jesus is watching, who knows every thought from the time we get up until we go to bed. I have done this at times, even as a Christian. Jesus said we are judged by our words, because words come out of our mouth, but they begin in our hearts and spirits. What happens then, when the Lord shows us our sin, flat out, and we feel conviction? To me, it’s like Peter must have felt when the Lord looked toward him after the cock crowed three times. Crushed and broken to the very depth of my being, knowing that I had said or done something to hurt someone in anger.

Did the Apostles get into a contention with one another? Scripture indicates they did…but, it was short lived. I can only imagine what was said that was NOT INCLUDED in Holy writ.
http://www.ecclesia.org/truth/apostles.html

Let’s face it, Christians just don’t walk on water. They mess up, and sometimes they really mess up. But…if they are truly the Lord’s children they are going to be willing to confess it, and own up to it, and repent. The repentance needs to of such that one is willing to honestly stop doing whatever it was that hurt the other person, (or persons). To grieve over our sins. A broken and contrite spirit God is pleased with and will not turn away from such brokeness. Pride, and haughtiness on the other hand is not pleasng to our Lord, and keeps those in bondage who commit these sins.

Spiritual pride is a dangerous thing. When Christians think “they are pure and holy” by their own estimation of themselves, they are in great danger of becoming a Pharisee who refuses to deny self and carry his or her own cross. Jesus walked in meekness and humility. We need to try and emulate Him.

What happens if we hold bitterness, or unforgiveness in our hearts? Our walk with the Lord will be stunted and we will not grow in grace and sanctification. And…..if we don’t repent, we won’t be forgiven. What’s more important to us? Holding on to an offense? Or our salvation? The Lord has shown me that if we even vaguely understood how damaging unforgiveness is to ourselves, we would stop it immediately!

That said, I’ve heard Christians absolutely demand that others forgive them. Yet, they wouldn’t extend the same forgiveness to others. Go figure!

There is truly something lacking in today’s FaceBook Christianity. And it’s going to take God, or some severe judgment to wake people up I guess.