Hi everyone, it’s Stephanie Burdick, Timothy’s wife and the administrator for this blog. Usually I’m very good at posting on Saturdays, but we’ve had a few busy weeks, and I apologize for missing posts these last few Saturdays. So to make up for that, I’ll be posting a 2-part blog today! Thanks so much for reading our blogs, and God bless you!

Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.”
Proverbs 18:12

On half-price day, you will often see my wife and I down at the thrift store. My wife is the one who likes to shop. While I don’t, I do like the prices. If you shop in thrift stores, you know what I mean.
One day we thought we’d found just what we were looking for. We had come in trying to find a treadmill, and there it was. The lady that showed it to us said that it looked great, and we were excited, ready to plunk our money down. On closer inspection, however, we found that the key which started the machine was missing. The great treadmill we wanted so badly wouldn’t work.
Many times, things that we think are a good deal at these sales really aren’t, and it’s the same way in our spiritual lives. For we are courting disaster when we don’t ask God for wisdom, and by the same token, when we run ahead of God we are playing with fire. Pride begins to creep into our lives. We leave God out of our plans more and more often, and this only fosters a downward spiral.
Peter Ditzel said about this subject, “All human beings naturally have pride.” Since it can be very dangerous, we are going to examine pride with a fine-toothed comb.
While some people have trouble with the concept, the Bible actually speaks about both a godly and an ungodly form of pride. It’s easy to have healthy pride in many things. They may include children, other family members, or a job well done. As you will soon see, the main difference between healthy and ungodly pride is selfishness.
According to Wayne Blank, “selfish pride can be defined as excessive confidence or glorification in one’s self, possessions or nation.” The pride that shakes its fist in the face of God is a deadly sin that we gloss over far too many times. Ungodly pride may look harmless at first, and we may think it has little or no cost, but that is not true. Indeed, it may cost us everything. Satan, the enemy of our souls, tempts us by showing us only the supposed benefits of pride, blinding our eyes to its true price. Please look at Genesis 3 (NKJV) with me, to see an example of this deception.
The first thing we need to examine in our text is that Satan is “more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.” In our own strength, we are no match for him. Many people either minimize or maximize their view of Satan, giving him too much or too little power.
satan is not the opposite of God, since he is one of God’s own angels. On the other hand we need to take him seriously, because he still appeals to us in the same way he lied to Eve in the next verse:
“And he said to the woman, �Has God indeed said, �You shall not eat of every tree of the garden�?�
Before we go on, think about the question that Satan is asking here. We see him speaking deceptively, trying to plant a seed of doubt in the woman’s mind concerning God’s word. Please pay attention to this question, for it is very important. Satan tries to do the same thing today. If you think that isn’t true, think about what Jesus said in John 10:10:
Now, look at the woman’s response to Satan’s question:
“And the woman said to the serpent, �We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, �You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.��
There are two important lessons we should learn here, as pride starts to slither in like a serpent. First, as Eve began to dialogue with Satan, she grew weaker. Sadly, we often choose to fight life’s battles by conversing with the enemy. In our own strength, we will also grow weaker and ultimately fall. Instead of running to Christ for strength, we insist upon doing things on our own.
Secondly, examine the text with me closely. God never told His first man and woman not to touch the fruit, but Eve added her own self-righteous rules. So, while extra boundaries may look good, we often add things to God’s word in our own pride, when he specifically told us not to.
In the next two verses of our text, Satan says two things to Eve. First, he contradicts God’s word by telling her the consequences God spoke about won’t happen. Second, he claims that God is withholding a wonderful blessing from both of them. Look at the text with me please:
Then the serpent said to the woman, �You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.�
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.”
Because she stood in her own strength, Eve weakened and both she and her husband fell. Like Eve, we can be slowly lured away by ungodly pride, just as we are enticed by half-price sales in stores. You’ve heard the old addage, “All that glitters is not gold.” If we are not careful, and we allow our hearts to remain in this vacuum-like state, we too can be drawn away from God and towards the glitter and glamour of the world by the slow entrance of pride.
Ultimately, pride creates spiritual erosion in our lives. Just as water gradually erodes a canyon over time, an empty void slowly begins to form. God and His word once reigned supreme, but he is slowly being asked to abdicate his throne as self takes over. We tend to become more and more vulnerable, as we open the door to our own will just a crack wider. Instead of seeking God first, our hearts become hardened and cold. When we wake up, it may be too late. You may think you aren’t susceptible to this, but be on guard, for that is when you are most likely to fall.
Now that you know the definition and the cost of unhealthy pride, please check back next week to find out how you can protect yourself by drawing closer to God.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.mynvm.com and click on the PayPal button. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Tuesday night Bible study. These studies are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 313-209-8800. Our PIN is 8699032. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.