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  • Steve Derenge

Crushing Pride

Updated: Mar 17, 2019


Crushing Pride:

How Will Smith Saved the World from a Zombie Apocalypse

Imagine you are at a doctor’s appointment. After concluding various tests, the doctor soberly tells you the diagnosis. He says, “I have bad news and good news. The bad news is that you have a deadly virus and there is only one cure.”

At this point, however, you interrupt him as you are taken aback by this horrifying, devastating news. You exclaim, “Why do you hate me? Are you afraid of me? How dare you condemn me by saying that I’m going to die. And who do you think you are to say that there is only one cure? There are many ways for me to live my life on to the fullest. How intolerant and bigoted can you get to infer that there is only one solution? I’m leaving!!” You block out the rest of his words as you leave the office.

However, had you remained at the office to let him continue the conversation, your doctor would have said the following:

Nevertheless, as I was saying, there is good news. There is a cure. In Gotham City, a man named Will Smith dedicated his life to find the cure for this deadly virus. The virus spread throughout the entire city, and Will Smith alone remained healthy and free from the virus. One day, Will Smith finally procured the antidote to the virus.

At that time, a few visitors from outside the city came to stay at his house for protection. The entire city came to his laboratory door to defile his visitors with the virus. They began to break down the door. “No, wait! I can save you!,” Will Smith pleaded. However, the city inhabitants wouldn’t listen. “You intolerant bigot! We don’t need a cure! You’re so full of hate that now we’re going to break in and kill you!,” they screamed. As they busted out some guns, a leader of the zombie gang shouted to his comrades, “Fire at Will!”

Will Smith didn’t really hate the citizens. Deep down inside, he actually loved them. However, the effects of the virus prevented them from understanding him. In the end, the antidote for the virus was smuggled out of the lab so that it could be administered on a mass scale to the human race. Tragically, the city inhabitants broke into the laboratory to kill the man who gave his life to save them from the virus. However, the cure for the virus could then do its healing and saving work, setting humanity free and restoring them to the sound mind they were born to have.

Now you can have the antidote for the virus for free, for it is covered by a generous grant from the Will Smith Foundation. You just have to willingly receive it and intake it per the instructions on the bottle. (1)

What is this virus that caused the people to act like that and kill Will Smith? It is called pride. What are the characteristics of pride? Pride refuses to take correction. It deceives its host into assuming that it has all the answers, and that any other perspective that disagrees with it is hateful, bigoted, backwards, wrong, and/or unloving. Some religious leaders had this virus, so they falsely accused and murdered a perfect Man who gave his life to save them. This virus of pride affects both religious and irreligious alike. Pride opens the door to a host of other toxic thinking patterns or mindsets. (2)

How do we get rid of pride? The opposite of pride is called humility. Humility opens up the door to a host of intelligent, healthy thinking patterns. Humility and wisdom (the correct application of knowledge) are inextricably connected. How do we get humility? (3)

The following four principles summarize how to get rid of pride by replacing it with humility: (4)

1. God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life--a plan that can be fulfilled through an authentic personal relationship with Him. The door and key to that relationship is humility.

“What is the cause of your conflicts and quarrels with each other? Doesn’t the battle begin inside of you as you fight to have your own way and fulfill your own desires? 2 You jealously want what others have so you begin to see yourself as better than others. You scheme with envy and harm others to selfishly obtain what you crave—that’s why you quarrel and fight. And all the time you don’t obtain what you want because you won’t ask God for it!”

--James 4:1-2 TPT (The Passion Translation)

2. Because of our pride, God opposes us. We are at enmity with God because we have rejected Him and His ways, thinking that we know better than God Himself. This prideful attitude is evidenced by the ways we don’t listen to Him nor do what He instructs. Consequently, we are spiritually separated from God and cannot experience His love and plan for our lives.

“And if you ask, you won’t receive it for you’re asking with corrupt motives, seeking only to fulfill your own selfish desires. 4 You have become spiritual adulterers who are having an affair, an unholy relationship with the world. Don’t you know that flirting with the world’s values places you at odds with God? Whoever chooses to be the world’s friend makes himself God’s enemy!”

--James 4:3-4 TPT

3. Jesus Christ came as a Man (as us, humans) in order to destroy and uproot pride from our lives. He was never proud, but always demonstrated perfect humility, for he loved God with all his energy, emotions, intellect, and activities. Since he defeated pride thoroughly through his life, death on the cross, and powerful resurrection from the dead, through Jesus alone we can share his victory over pride and be filled with His same spirit of humility.

“Does the Scripture mean nothing to you that says, ‘The Spirit that God breathed into our hearts is a jealous Lover who intensely desires to have more and more of us’?

6 But he continues to pour out more and more grace upon us. For it says, ‘God resists you when you are proud but continually pours out grace when you are humble.’” --James 4:5-6 TPT

4. It is not just enough to know these truths. We must receive Jesus Christ as Savior (the only One with the power to rescue us from pride) and Lord (the only God with the rightful authority to teach us how to live a lifestyle of love and humility). Only then can we receive his same spirit of love and humility, so that we can experience connection with God and His love and plan for our lives.

“So then, surrender to God. Stand up to the devil and resist him and he will turn and run away from you. 8 Move your heart closer and closer to God, and he will come even closer to you. But make sure you cleanse your life, you sinners, and keep your heart pure and stop doubting.9 Feel the pain of your sin, be sorrowful and weep! Let your joking around be turned into mourning and your joy into deep humiliation. 10 Be willing to be made low before the Lord and he will exalt you!” --James 4:7-10 TPT

If you are interested, the following is a sample prayer to receive Christ into our lives. Saying it aloud is like saying one’s wedding vows of eternal commitment to God and His ways. Due to its serious, eternity-long-term implications, consider such a prayer carefully:

God,

I want to know you personally. I acknowledge that You oppose the proud but give your undeserved favor and supernatural empowerment to the humble. I confess that I have been proud, thinking that I know better than You or don’t need You. This has left me disappointed, as my arrogant attitude has left many destroyed relationships in its wake. So now I humble myself before You by confessing that I need You to take Your rightful place in my life. Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus the Messiah, to live the life of humility that I was meant to live. I acknowledge that Jesus Christ died on the cross because of my arrogant pride; Jesus died to destroy pride so that I could be free from pride and brought back into right relationship with You. I believe that because Jesus was separated from Your love when he took my place on the cross, he paid the full price by which we could be reunited in relationship with all my pride stripped away and my rebellion against You forgiven. I believe with my entire being that You raised Jesus from the dead, proving that You will fill me with that same Spirit of holiness and of humility that raised Jesus from the dead. Thank You for forgiving me of all my prideful attitudes and actions and for bringing me into an eternal, personal relationship with You. As I commit to loving You with every part of my being for my entire life, thank You for making me who You want me to be.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen (So be it!)

If you just received Christ into your life, then welcome to God’s honored family! This Bible passage from James 4 concludes with yet more key principles about humility in our relationships with God and others. Mulling passages such as this over in our minds on a daily basis is how we are regularly transformed in our relationships with God (see Romans 12:1-2 and John 15). Personally, I suggest starting to read about Jesus’ life and teaching in the first four books (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) of the New Testament (the second part of the Bible).

Conclusion:

“Dear friends, as part of God’s family, never speak against another family member, for when you slander a brother or sister you violate God’s law of love. And your duty is not to make yourself a judge of the law of love by saying that it doesn’t apply to you, but your duty is to obey it! 12 There is only one true Lawgiver and Judge, the One who has the power to save and destroy—so who do you think you are to judge your neighbor?

13 Listen, those of you who are boasting, ‘Today or tomorrow we’ll go to another city and spend some time and go into business and make heaps of profit!’ 14 But you don’t have a clue what tomorrow may bring. For your fleeting life is but a warm breath of air that is visible in the cold only for a moment and then vanishes! 15 Instead you should say, ‘Our tomorrows are in the Lord’s hands and if he is willing we will live life to its fullest and do this or that.’ 16 But here you are, boasting in your ignorance, for to be presumptuous about what you’ll do tomorrow is evil!

17 So if you know of an opportunity to do the right thing today, yet you refrain from doing it, you’re guilty of sin.”

--James 4:11-17 TPT

  1. Analogy based on the movie I am Legend (2007) and on Genesis 18:22-19:29.

  2. See Proverbs 12:1; 8:13; 11:2; 16:18; 21:4,24; 29:23; Romans 1:18-32; Mark 7:20-23; 2 Timothy 3:2-5.

  3. See Proverbs 15:33; 18:12; 22:4; Philippians 2:3ff; Isaiah 11:2. I enjoyed hearing some insights about pride from “Apostle John Eckhardt- Teaching and Deliverance from Spirit of Leviathan

  4. Format of these four principles based on Would You Like to Know God Personally? A version of the Four Spiritual Laws, written by Bill Bright.



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