Pride comes before a fall! The statement you have just read is a really rich many sided statement, it’s also a statement of fact. A quick glance at the history of falls, and you’ll see the manifestations of pride. Pride is a dangerous virtue to have, it quietly creeps on us, it’s so subtle that once you have it, you are not likely to notice it. It is a terrible disease that first blinds you from it’s existence – pride is one of such diseases. This is why from time to time, we must take an internal look, measure ourselves by the manifestations of pride and abase or humble ourselves as the opportunity presents itself. Great people don’t fall without hint, pride always shows up a few weeks before the fall.
Are you bracing yourself for a fall? Or is pride confronted and conquered. Being proud is not being loud, it has nothing to do with the more extroverted temperaments, it’s a sin that besets all. It’s a chemistry of the flesh that needs to be deactivated and uninstall-ed. Pride is a dangerous virus, once it’s loaded on your system, it sets up the major powers of the universe against you. God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. There is nothing quite devastating like setting yourself up as God’s opposition. It’s a serious question to ask, “Am I proud?” How do I know, and what do I do, to take away this harbinger of destruction.
I’m going to share a few thoughts here on what I call, the Manifestations of Pride. Measure yourself by these manifestations, and adjust your life. Where you are, is smaller than what lies on your inside. Don’t let pride, no matter how little, truncate your journey.
1. The Turning Point Concept
If you remember a typical sine graph or the representation of a wave, you’ll realize that at the turning point or peak, the rate of change reduces till it gets to zero before it begins to turn. For the not so scientific minds, imagine throwing a ball up, the ball will gradually come to a stop at a particular height, then it begins to fall freely under the force created by gravity. Things stop before they begin to fall, and that reduction in pace or process is a clear sign of the presence of pride.
Let me break it down for you. Today you drive a good car, you have a good job, things are easy for you and you are not as driven as you were 10yrs ago, when all that connected you to where you are now was a dream and a desire. Back in the days, you were a hunter for opportunity, you slept late, and woke up early and made many friends. You were a digger for knowledge, your pocket was regularly emptied to fill your head, knowing that your head will fill your pockets. You didn’t have much, but it didn’t matter, you had a vision and that was more than any television. You spent quality time in prayer, invested in building a relationship with your maker. You were hungry for change, desperate for a new level. You worked real hard and propelled yourself fast into relevance, but somewhere along the line, the music you were dancing to changed. The pace slowed down, and the lights were dimmed. You hear about new ventures, the type that kept you alive back in the days, but you have become a lazy cat. You stopped doing the things that took you up, and expect to stay up by auto-cruise. Mark my words, you are a few days away from the fall.
Just as pride comes ahead of the fall, slowing down comes ahead of the free fall. The rate of change approaches zero as you approach a turning point!
2. The Solo Code
I’m sure you have heard of the term isolate and conquer. The moment the counsel of your friends and mentors don’t matter much anymore you are beginning to step into dangerous territory. My people say that the dog that will get lost will not hear the hunters whistle and if it does, it will refuse to hearken. One of the vital organ pride first damages is the ear. Once people don’t count for much, there is a problem.
I’m sure you have heard this carefully disguised statements, “I don’t like talking to people”, “I prefer something I can do on my own”, “I hate to have to depend on someone else”. Or a few of the more direct ones, “I don’t do those type of things”, “I’m very choosy who I hang out with”, I can’t come there? e.t.c. Inflamed Self sufficiency has many manifestation, but the ultimate is a fall.
If you were proud today, who do you have, that knows you enough to tell you to your face that you are missing it?
One of the key areas where pride is manifested is one’s concept and perception of God. Pride is assuming that without God we are valuable. It’s existing in a frame of mind where God doesn’t matter. God however resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble. Don’t join the company of those that celebrate their lives without God.
Refusing to acknowledge God and offering him preeminence is a sign of pride.