The Remedy for Pride

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Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. (James 4:13–16)

When you take three categories of temptation to self-reliance — wisdom, might, and riches — they form a powerful inducement toward the ultimate form of pride, namely, atheism. The safest way to stay supreme in our own estimation is to deny anything above us.

This is why the proud preoccupy themselves with looking down on others. “A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you” (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity).

But to preserve pride, it may be simpler to proclaim that there is nothing above to look at. “In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 10:4). Ultimately, the proud must persuade themselves that there is no God.

One reason for this is that God’s reality is overwhelmingly intrusive in all the details of life. Pride cannot tolerate the intimate involvement of God in running even the ordinary affairs of life.

Read more at Desiring God

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