Price Of Pride


This is the  season of pride. We exhibit everything we have, we pretend to be a different person, we try to  conquer the heights of forbidden mountains and wave our hands in  jubilation  for little momentary pleasures thinking that they will make our lives more enjoyable. Pride is at its root.  Pride directs us through a  different  path which unfortunately leads to perdition.

What is the price of  pride? Jeremiah says it is nothing  less than the loss of God’s favor. ‘I am against you, O arrogant one, says the  Lord God of hosts’ (Jer. 50:31). As long as  we are led by  pride, we cannot enjoy the   protection of grace. Divine grace flows towards the lowly. This is the  experience of every person who found favor in the presence of  God. Mary, who was ‘full of grace’  became entitled to this  great privilege because of her  humility.’For he has looked with favor on the  lowliness of his servant’ (Lk 1:48).

Isaiah also testifies; ‘This is the one whom I will look,  to the humble and contrite in spirit, who trembles at  my word’ (Isa 66:2). Pride is the opposite of  humility. Pride is another name   given for exalting  oneself. Jesus Christ has told that  those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be  exalted (Lk 18:14) in  God’s eyes.

Isaiah describes the  fate of one person  who tried to exalt himself above God. ‘You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit on the mount of assembly on the heights of Zaphone; I will ascend to the tops of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High” (Isa 14:13-14). But  God revealed to the  prophet that this  person was  ‘brought down to  Sheol, to the depths of the pit’ (Isa 14:15).

John the  Evangelist  also tells about  three persons who, having  failed in their attempt to  spread their tents above the throne of  the Most High being thrown into the depths of  a bottomless pit. ‘And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the  lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented  day and night forever and ever’ (Rev 20:10). Daniel also tells about  someone who  ‘exalt himself and consider himself greater than any god, and shall speak horrendous things against the God of gods’( Dan 11:36). His fate was also  no different. 

Pride is a sin against God. The spirit that  controls   persons with pride is the same spirit that  works against God.This spirit has been active  from the very beginning and is   predicted to  become increasingly  powerful in the end times. We should not  forget that the Church, while teaching about the  Antichrist, does so  in relation to the sin of  pride. ‘The supreme religious  deception  is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh’ (CCC 675).  This single sentence is enough to  stress the  extent to which the sin of pride distances us from God and  thereby  jeopardizes our salvation.

Glorifying oneself in the place of God is the  extreme of pride. Paul the Apostle gives  his teachings about  end times by referring to  a man who in his pride would challenge even God. He is  introduced as ‘the lawless one who is destined for  destruction’. According to Paul this person ‘opposes and  exalts himself above every so called god  or   object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, declaring  himself to be God’ (2 Thes. 2:4). It is  doubtful whether we are  able to understand   the  gravity of this prophecy, that   the spirit of  pride and blasphemy  will take its place in the   temple of God!  

God never accepts the  prayer of the  proud and arrogant. Then whose  prayer is the  one  that  reaches heaven and when does it  reach there? Daniel writes: ‘From the  first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to  humble yourself before your God, your words have been heard’ (Dan 10:12). And the promise of the  Lord to those who   humble themselves and then  pray to him is  this; ‘If you abide in me, and  my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you’ (Jn 15:7). This was the  way the Centurion and the  Canaanite woman  prayed and we  know that their prayers were heard.

We have to pay dearly for satisfying  our pride. Be practical and go for humility that is   totally free.   More importantly, its rewards are long lasting.

Let us pray: O Lord, give us the grace to humble ourselves before you. May our wishes be according to your will and may they be  granted to us. Amen.



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