A lot of times people flatter themselves and think that they can contain sin, pride in particular. They think that rather than sin mastering them they can master it. This type of thinking demonstrates a disaster waiting to happen.
Pride is not something to be handled. It is not for you. It opposes and destroys.
There was a disturbing story here in the Omaha area. A 34 year-old man used to walk up and down his neighborhood and show off his 6′ boa constrictor to neighbors. He often would let the snake wrap around the children and slide on their trampolines. He liked to show off his snake.
On one such occasion last June the snake constricted around his neck. Within minutes he was out of breath, on the floor, and soon after, dead. His ‘pet’ became his ‘killer’ in a matter of seconds. This man had overestimated his ability to master the snake while underestimating the snake’s desire to master him.
So often, this is the way it is with the sin of pride.
The subtle seeds of pride grow an oak of self-worship in the heart. Nebuchadnezzar did not build a 40′ statue demanding worship of him on the first day of office, but in due time it made sense for him to do this. It was the incremental footpath of pride.
Solomon didn’t allow in the worship of false gods on day one. However, it was the slow leak of idolatry and pride as his heart fastened itself to foreign women and fame that changed the temperature of Israel’s worship, leading them to a divided kingdom.
Even Judas didn’t envision the full ramifications of his desire for money and freedom. We know this when his plan finally materialized and boa constrictor of guilt tightened upon him. He was overwhelmed and undone.
It was pride that emboldened Satan in the garden and induced Eve to sin. It is pride that subtly elevates self against God. It is pride that hatched and accomplished the death of Jesus.
Pride is not something to take lightly. It is something to be identified and mortified. That is, we as Christians are to be aware of our susceptibility to it, search our hearts for it, and actively work to remove it through repentance and faith in Christ.