AWRIGHT DEN!: A familiar stranger
I THINK ONE OF THE hardest or most hurtful things a person can go through is for them to watch someone they love and care for become someone they can barely recognise.
I watched how alcohol destroyed my father’s life and turned him into someone we could hardly recognise in comparison to who he was. He literally became a familiar stranger; I knew it was him, but still wasn’t him.
Ask anyone how it made them feel when they witnessed a friend, family member, spouse or sibling transform into someone they barely recognised because of drugs. I am sure hurt, pain, sadness and disappointment are some of the words they would use. What is also hurtful is how the change in that person’s life also affects the whole family.
Drugs can set you back many years, cause you to lose your career, result in loss of friends, and destroy relationships and all that you have created or built. The negative effects of drugs also lead to rebellion.
What if I told you that pride in a person’s life can do the same thing and have the same effects. We underestimate pride, what it can lead to and how much God hates it. I remember how pride was destroying my life years ago and now it is painful to watch how it is destroying someone I loved so much; changing them into a familiar stranger.
Did you know that Adam’s disobedience was not the first ever committed sin? Actually, before Adam disobeyed God, pride had entered his heart and that is what led to his disobedience. But even before Adam was created, Lucifer was cast out of Heaven because of pride. Ezekiel 28:17 states: “Your heart was filled with pride because of all your beauty. Your wisdom was corrupted by your love of splendour. So I threw you to the ground and exposed you to the curious gaze of kings.” You can also read Isaiah 14:12-15.
Pride will always lead to rebellion against God. Satan wanted to be God; he wasn’t content with how God created him or what He had given him. What and where he desired to be would mean he wouldn’t need God. This is what Satan tempted Adam and Eve with (“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God . . . .”).
What caused Lucifer to be cast out of Heaven is the same thing that caused Adam and Eve to be cast out of the Garden of Eden. Today, pride is causing us to be cast out of God’s grace. If Lucifer had not sinned, Adam and Eve would have never been tempted. Pride will always lead to rebellion.
God hates all sin but pride is right up there with idolatry and sexual immorality. If you search the scriptures, you would see how serious God is when it comes to pride, arrogance or a haughty spirit. James 4:6 – God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Psalm 138:3 – Though the Lord is exalted, He looks kindly on the humble, but the proud He knoweth afar off. Proverbs 16:5 – Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Assuredly, they will not go unpunished. Proverbs 21:4 – Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin. Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
God encourages us in his Word to humble ourselves; it is our duty to do this. If God has to humble us, I guarantee you that we won’t like the effects of the reprimand and more likely than not, it will be embarrassing.
We live in a world that glorifies self and pride. We seek to exalt ourselves, think we know everything, have an unteachable spirit, are never wrong and it’s all about us. Pride destroyed the most beautiful angel. Pride caused a perfectly created earth to become shapeless, covered in darkness and empty. Pride caused Adam and Eve to destroy their relationship with God and be cast out. Pride keeps God far from us.
Let’s look within our lives for any areas of pride and seek God’s forgiveness. Let us make it a priority to walk in humility daily. Oh, false humility is also pride.
Corey Worrell, a former Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, is director of C2J Foundation Inc., a project-based NGO focusing on social development. Email [email protected]