PRIDE AND CONTENTION

The Wrecking Ball for Christians, Relationships and Assemblies

The Presentation of Pride

Pride on the inside soon presents itself as arrogance, insolence and boasting on the outside.

God’s Word on Pride:

proud OR pride OR arrogant OR haughty OR “puffed up” (matching all word forms) are found 131 times in The KJV and 200 times in the CSB version. PRIDE IS A FACT!

25 times in the Psalms of which about half were written by David, “A man after God’s own Heart”

18 times in Proverbs, compiled by Solomon, to whom God said “Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee”

15 times in the New Testament, always negative. We see love and pride are mutually exclusive in 1 Corinthians 13:4

1 Corinthians 13:4 (KJV 1900) — 4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

If I want one, I will have to let go of the other! If I want to keep my pride, I may as well tear 1 Corinthians 13 from my Bible!

How proud was I the day God saved me? Like the publican or tax collector I cried “God be merciful to me a sinner!” Have I since managed to gather up more pride? [Nebuchadnezzar –  pride repeated]

Or now, should I not cry with Paul “O wretched man that I am!”

Could we find an example of pride mentioned in a positive light? I did not. It is generally shown as causing problems, such as shame, contention or the proud oppressing others.

Romans 12:16 (KJV 1900) — 16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

The Producers of Pride:

Knowledge

1 Corinthians 8:1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.  (again… mutually exclusive!) [Assemblies – Ruined by degrees!]

Like exercise, worldly education and knowledge profits for a limited time. Having a university level knowledge of God’s Word will profit eternally.

1 Timothy 4:8 (KJV 1900) — 8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

Position

1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

1 Timothy 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. [“I will X 5 – Isaiah 14:12-15 – thou shalt]

Pride turned angels into demons, and Lucifer into Satan, the Devil

Beauty [And position]

Ezekiel 28:17 (KJV 1900) — 17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.

Riches

Jeremiah 9:23 Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Neither let the mighty man glory in his might, Let not the rich man glory in his riches:  [in The LORD – Jer 9:24;1 Cor 1:31;2 Cor 10:17]

James 2:6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?

The People of Pride:

Satan, Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Diotrephes, Pharisees and the Nicolaitans place themselves “OVER” others. Are there to be elite in an assembly of God’s people? Are there to be second-class citizens in an assembly of God’s people?

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

1 Corinthians 4:6–7 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. 7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

1 Corinthians 3:21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;

2 Corinthians 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

How many times are “partiality”, or “respect of persons” spoken against? We must not let pride cause us to think we or anyone else should be on a pedestal!

(2 Chron 19:7;Prov 24:23;Prov 28:21;Acts10:34;Rom 2:11;Eph 6:9;Col 3:25;1 Pet 1:17;James 2:1-4;James 3:17;Mal 2:9;1 Tim 5:21)

The Problem of Pride:

In Proverbs 6:16-19 The list of things God hates is topped by “A proud look” (KJV); “haughty eyes” (ESV); “arrogant eyes” (CSB)

Proverbs 21:4 An high look, and a proud heart, And the plowing of the wicked, is sin.

Prov 16:5 Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: Though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.

Prov 13:10 Only by pride cometh contention: But with the well advised is wisdom.

Prov 28:25 He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: But he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.

What happens once contention or strife is started?

Proverbs 17:14 The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: Therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.

Proverbs 17:14 (HCSB) — 14 To start a conflict is to release a flood; stop the dispute before it breaks out.  (finger in the dyke)

Prov 29:23 A man’s pride shall bring him low: But honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

Prov 11:2 When pride cometh, then cometh shame: But with the lowly is wisdom.

In Mark 7:20-23 pride in the heart comes out to defile a person

In 1 Tim 6:3-4 he is proud who teaches false doctrine, and does not accept the wholesome words of our Lord [Teaching false doctrine may required rejecting correct doctrine]

In 2 Timothy 3:1 Perilous times come. One of the causes of that is pride

In James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5 “God resisteth the proud”

The Opposite of Pride:

Are the elders or overseers “rulers” or “bosses?” The word rule applied to elders is actually “guide”. They learn the way from scripture.  They travel the way themselves. They show the way to others and guide them in the way. They are “NOT OVER”, they are to be “AMONG” the flock. They should be men with a shepherd’s heart. They are to “LEAD” sheep, not “DRIVE” cattle! They cannot be good leaders if they are not good servants!

Acts 20:28 (KJV 1900) — 28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

“over” is “in or among” Same word in 1 Peter 5:1

1 Peter 5:1–6 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Feed [shepherd] the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. 5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

We are told in Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; [Proud folk do not put others before themselves.]

Humility is gentle and patient; Pride is pushy and oppressive

2 Timothy 2:24–25 (HCSB) — 24 The Lord’s slave must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach, and patient, 25 instructing his opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth.

How often did our Lord act in pride?

2 Samuel 17:23 And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father.

Ahithophel hanged himself for vexation that his counsel was not followed.

“That will break a proud man’s heart which will not break a humble man’s sleep.[1]

Shoot the messenger?

When someone brings the word of God to bear upon a circumstance and it bothers you, it is up to you to determine why it bothers you.

Is it the person who spoke the word of God?

Is it the way they spoke… the attitude of the speaker?

Is it the life of the speaker not agreeing with the message?

Is the mind of God being misrepresented in your opinion?

Or are you just on the wrong side of the scripture; are you being disobedient to God?

Weigh these things carefully before discounting the message or shooting the messenger!

If the shoe (scripture) fits, wear (follow/obey) it

The scripture is a mirror into our lives that can be annoying if it shows some ugliness before God. But scripture is meant to be followed, not avoided or challenged.

Not a Country Club

If this was a club, we could make our own rules and the punishment for breaking them. But if anything is “cast in stone” it is God’s Word.

He has made the rules, and the consequences for not following them.

Are we just playing at religion?

If so we can stay in our comfort zone… sacrifice little as we please BUT!

THIS IS WAR! WE MUST!

Know our God (our superior) and His objectives,

We need a knowledge of God; the kind Paul sought:

Philippians 3:10 (HCSB) — 10 My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

and at least in a measure, found:

2 Timothy 1:12 (HCSB) — 12 and that is why I suffer these things. But I am not ashamed, because I know the One I have believed in and am persuaded that He is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.

Know our enemies

The World:

James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

The Flesh:

1 Corinthians 9:27 (KJV 1900) — 27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Romans 7:22–25 (KJV 1900) — 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Jeremiah 17:9 (HCSB) — 9 The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—who can understand it?

The Devil or Satan:

2 Corinthians 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

2 Corinthians 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Paul & Barnabas split – Divide & conquer

Acts 15:39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;

Enemy flattery  or true friendship?

Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend;

Know who is NOT our enemy

But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

Gentlemen! The enemy is over there!

Know ourselves, our capabilities (gifts) and limitations,

Know our fellow-soldiers (the saints), where do we/they fit in the body.

2 Timothy 2:3–4 – 3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

Consider Christ

Luke 2:49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?

Luke 9:51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,

John 6:39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

What are you saying?     How are you saying it

Are you doing the right thing the wrong way?

2 Timothy 2:24–25 (KJV 1900)

24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

Gentlemen! The enemy is over there!

Know your enemy

Proverbs 13:10 Only by pride cometh contention: But with the well advised is wisdom.

Philippians 4:2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.

Where is contention from? Proverbs 13:10

10  Only by pride cometh contention:

But with the well advised is wisdom.

Hard tongue Proverbs 12:18 rash (Haste, Lack of consideration) Wise/healing

Proverbs 12:18

18 There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword:

But the tongue of the wise is health.

Proverbs 15:1

A soft answer turneth away wrath:

But grievous words stir up anger.

Proverbs 25:15

15 By long forbearing is a prince persuaded,

And a soft tongue breaketh the bone.

examine OR consider

Matt 6:28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

Luke 12:24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?

Luke 12:27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

John 11:50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.

Acts 15:6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.

1 Cor 9:3 Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,

1 Cor 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

2 Cor 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

2 Tim 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

Heb 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

Heb 7:4 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.

Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

Heb 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

Who gets the “WELL DONE!”

[1] Henry, M., & Scott, T. (1997). Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary (2 Sa 17:22). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.

PRIDE AND CONTENTION

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