Pride Consumes

SDA JournalDevotional


Scripture: (2 Chr 32:24-26 NKJV)  In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death, and he prayed to the LORD; and He spoke to him and gave him a sign. {25} But Hezekiah did not repay according to the favor shown him, for his heart was lifted up; therefore wrath was looming over him and over Judah and Jerusalem. {26} Then Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah.

Observation: Hezekiah did many good things in reestablishing the worship of God and His law, but he was by no means perfect in what he did.  When he was sick, he asked for healing and his prayer was answered, but as a result his heart became proud, which caused him to make mistakes that cost him and Jerusalem a great deal.  Fortunately, the last we hear about Hezekiah was that he humbled himself again before God.

Application: The Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote that “Pride grows in the human heart like lard on a pig.”  To which Dennis Raney added, “Pride is one of the few things that can grow in the human heart without any outside sustenance.  The human race is prone to be proud.”
     I’ve often wondered about this thing we call pride, and it seems to me that there is a certain amount of joy we as parents have for our children which can be considered “healthy” pride, but there is a point at which this healthy pride becomes unhealthy and it brings about painful consequences.  When our children do well in school and when they are kind and polite, something good moves in our hearts.  When someone makes a nice comment about our children, something good stirs inside us and gives us a warm feeling.  Would that be “healthy” pride?  Could we honestly say we are “proud of our children?”  But when we become obsessed with our children’s accomplishments, when we want to display bumper stickers every time our children win an award or get good grades or their name appears on the dean’s list, has it or can it become unhealthy pride?  Are we using our children as pawns to tell the whole world how good we are as parents and to indirectly put down every other parent and their children?
     When we display pride for our children only when the accomplish something big or because of their accomplishments, we may be sending them the signal that their worth is tied to those accomplishments.  Some parents live their dreams through their children and thus are very happy when their children succeed and very disappointed in them when they don’t do as they would wish them to do.
     So, let’s rejoice with our children in their accomplishments, but don’t make them the goal or end of their lives.  And let us not use our children to fulfill our dreams or as pawns against others so we can be exalted in our own eyes.  It’s best to be humble than to be humbled.

A Prayer You May Say: Father, teach us to be humble, even when our hearts burst with “healthy” pride.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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