this is another chapter in jerry bridges book, respectable sins. he does a pretty good job of talking about a few aspects of pride, but he for sure cannot cover them all. in fact, if he did, it would be a book. i tend to define pride, not just as arrogance or thinking highly of yourself, but as any time you do not acknowledge god. so really all of these sins that bridges addresses, stem from pride or as he calls it, ungodliness. but here is a recap of the chapter.
bridges addresses pride in 4 areas. all of which i can see active in my life.
this form of pride "expresses itself in a feeling of moral superiority with respect to other people."
"because we don't commit those sins, we tend to feel morally superior and look with a certain amount of disdain or contempt on those who do."
"But though it is so prevelant amoung us, it is difficult to recognize because we all practice it to some degree. in fact, we seem to get a perverse enjoyment out of discussing how awful society around us is becoming. when we engage in this kind of thinking or conversation, we are guilty os the pride of moral superiority."some where inside of us we think we are stronger than those sinners. if they only were like us, and could get it together. but we forget that where we are has NOTHING to do with us. but for the grace of god!! i am always 2 seconds away from committing the most heinous sins without god. a good assessment of this is to look at paul. can we like paul say and believe that we are the worst of sinners? if not, we think we are morally superior and we have forgotten the cross and grace. until we understand the depth of our sin and what christ did for us, we will ALWAYS think we are better than someone else.
pride of correct doctrine
this is "the assumption that whatever my doctrinal beliefs are , they are correct, and anyone who holds another belief is theologically inferior."
we must be careful that our knowledge does not puff up, but rather we use our doctrine and theology to sustain us in our calling. to equip us in our kingdom work. if we are just storing up our knowledge, we will do damage to the body rather than strengthen it. [good sermon on that here]. those with this attitude often teach and speak with selfish motives and actually rarely care about others, we just want them to think we are right.
pride of achievement
these quotes pretty much sum it up:
"paul wrote, 'who sees anything different in you? what do you have that you did not receive? if you then received it, why do you boast s if you did not receive it?' (1 corinthians 4:7). so what do you have that you did not receive? nothing. you have nothing that did not come to you as a gift from god. our intellect, our natural skills and talents, our health, and our opporunties to succeed all come from god. we have nothing that will enable us to achieve success that we did not receive from god."
"another aspect of pride is the inordinate desire for recognition. all of us appreciate commendation for a job well done or for many years of faithful service on the job or at church. but what is our attitude when we do a specific job well and don't receive recognition? are we willing to labor in obscurity, doing our jobs as unto the lord, or do we become disgruntled over the lack of recognition."
"luke 17:10, 'so you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, 'we are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.' when we have done a job well or served faithfully over a long time, our attitude should be, 'i have only done my duty.'"an independent spirit
bridges is talking about those who show a resistance to authority, especially spiritual authority, and an unteachable attitude.
how do we respond to authority? are we eager to soak up wisdom from others are always thinking about how much we have to offer. or even worse, how they are disqualified from teaching us anything because of such and such... (yikes, i do this.)
so there is a recap of this chapter. i only wish he gave some practicals to battling these sins. like i have mentioned before, piper's book battling unbelief is a great resource for this and so is beth moore's book, praying god's word.