~ This blog post is an adapted excerpt from a sermon by Brad Ettore. You can hear the whole sermon, The Role of Humility in Our Lives (part 3), from Agathos Church – a non-denominational Christian Church in Columbus, Ohio by clicking here.
This post will be based on James 3:6-18, so start by giving it a read:
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist,confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
In his last message, Pastor Brad said “every time we speak out of pride, it is literally a satanic event.” Look at how James 3 speaks very similarly. In verse 6, it says our tongue can be “set on fire by hell.” It also continues in verse 13 to say “Who is wise and understanding among you” . . . show it by “the meekness of wisdom.” That sounds like humility! We are wise to be humble!
Look at verse 14 “if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.” Pride is about bitter envy and self-seeking. Pride is envious of others. It wants personal success more than the success of others. Verse 14 effectively says, “if you have pride in your hearts, you are boasting against the truth.” Why? Because pride is pure deception! It believes that this world is all about ME! Did you not know that the whole universe revolves around MEEEEEEE?!?! Pride is the most moronic mindset a human being is capable of. In a moment of pride, we are literally acting as dumb as humanly possible, because we are operating under the influence of pure deception. We are deceiving ourselves. Humility, on the other hand is exactly the opposite, it is literally the wisest state of mind – because it is completely accurate!
Having wisdom from the place of pride is not having wisdom at all. Look at verse 15: “This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.” Prideful “wisdom” is demonic in origin! In other words, “every time we speak out of pride, it is literally a satanic event.”
We often massage the reality of pride. Don’t play with pride. It was satanic, demonic. Don’t sugarcoat it. A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down, but we don’t want to receive pride – because we know where it comes from. In fact, there may not be another thing God hates more than pride. Take one more look at God’s attitude towards pride in these three verses:
“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.” (Prov 8:13)
“These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood . . .” (Prov 6:16-17)
“Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; though they join forces, none will go unpunished.” (Prov 16:5)
More to come on pride and humility.