Has anyone ever stopped and pondered on what the root of every sin is? Fundamentally, I would contend that the root of every sin is pride. As innately sin-prone humans, we do not merely sin for the sake of sinning. Rather, the allure of sin is derived from the deception that we are autonomous beings who foolishly think that we do not need to be accountable to any higher being. We sin out of our own selfish-thinking which postulates that we know what is best for us and that we have somehow evolved past needing God. When we sin, we blatantly transgress and disobey God, essentially telling Him that we are sovereign over our lives. In doing so, we push God away and decide to live selfishly.
Nowadays, the belief that pride is somehow culturally-acceptable is repeatedly impressed upon us regardless of where we look. This should not strike us as surprising, especially considering the stark contrast between the ways of world and the Father. In 1 John 2:15-17, Scriptures warn us of the following:
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
As demonstrated during the Fall within the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3, the enemy loves causing humankind to falsely think that we can become lower-case gods. In fact, this prideful desire was the precise enticement which Satan used to gain a foothold in Eve’s mind. In Genesis 3, the enemy deceivingly tells Eve:
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Amazingly, after this exact moment, Eve succumbed to the temptation in front of her, which subjected humanity into spiritual depravity as we know it today. Many like to argue that if it was them in this situation, then they would not have been so foolish in giving into this sin. The truth is, however, that throughout history we really have not changed much. History is full of extremely powerful political, military, and even religious figures who have been gradually corrupted by the absolute power which they have oppressively wielded over others. This corruption has led to their own destruction and demise, not to mention the enormous number of lives whom were effectually destroyed as well.
On a smaller scale, has anyone ever observed that there was never anyone who needed to teach you on how to be selfish? Even during our early childhood, there is a certain inclining towards selfishness. The fact of the matter is that we have always insisted on doing things on our own, our way, and in our timing. We hate the idea of being held accountable to anyone, particularly God. Our sinful and carnal nature has been something exceedingly easy for us to embrace as opposed to reject. The human heart is hardened and it will suppress all Truth until it meets God through Jesus Christ in His matchless beauty. At this point, His Holy Spirit can then supplant the once stone-cold heart with a new heart of flesh by His power, as seen in Ezekiel 36:26 below:
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
The lies of the world inundate us with false beliefs presupposing that we are lower-case gods and that we do not need God. A commonly propagated deception is that God is holding out on us and that we are missing out by choosing not to conform to the ways of the world. Personally, there are times when I foolishly envy the prosperity of the wicked, falling victim to entertaining the dangerous line of thinking that I may be missing out. As Christians, we need to hold-fast to the promises of Scripture through reminding ourselves that the best is yet to come and that everything will be brought into final deliverance (see Psalm 73) before our Mighty God.
While the central purpose of the Book of Proverbs may not be to necessarily to provide all-the-time truths, the verse from Proverbs 16:18 still provides very helpful wisdom concerning pride. Proverbs 16:18 says:
Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.
While earthly prosperity cannot always be causally linked(BIBLICAL TEACHING ON WEALTH AND POVERTY) to one’s spiritual health/relationship with the Lord, the temporal consequences of pride, even among non-believers, are still profoundly manifested within society. Some examples of byproducts from the sin of pride include: greed and materialism(evidenced by increasing disparity between the rich and the poor); injustices, unfairness, corruption, and inequalities being replete throughout society–whether sociologically, politically, ethnically, militarily and/or religiously; and vanity, resultant from obsession on self regardless of the costs involved (as evidenced within Western Culture).
Two specific and relatable examples of pride’s destructive force are delved into below.
The sky-rocketing divorce rates is a prime example of one of the consequences of selfishness. A cascading effect is seen as children’s growth and development is negatively influenced as they are raised in single (often fatherless)-parent dysfunctional homes. Surely, the full extent of these effects will be realized in the upcoming years as this generation grows up.
In addition, the preponderance of post-modernism teachings within academic institutions is also one of the effects of this form of man-centered/selfish thinking. In large part, this will contribute towards humanity’s own downfall as we blindly make decisions ignorantly assuming that we do not need God.
Already there is an unhealthy degree of widespread arrogance among the youth of the West today. Discouragingly, I would assert that this level of arrogance is one which has never been witnessed before. From an observational standpoint, one only needs to turn on the TV, listen to the radio, or even walk through the corridors of a local school to see that devastating results of when man pridefully rebels against God. Simply put, our society, desiring to suppress and stifle God by whatever means necessary, is beginning to reap what it sows.
The bottom line is that we all need God! We need to accept that we are powerless to change and destined for destruction either in this life or eternally in the life to come. We must humbly surrender to the One who made us and graciously paved the Way to a right relationship with Him through His Son, Christ Jesus!
Gracious and Loving Father,
May You humble all of us under Your Mighty Hand helping us to realize our utter frailty and depravity before You! Remind us of our desperate need for You in every facet of our lives. Please guide us in all our decisions and protect us through Your continued intercession. Establish and purpose our steps as we walk in the Spirit through being obedient to Your inerrant Word! In Jesus’ Name, I pray Amen.