The Sunday Conversation | with Pastor Luke Okoro
Proverbs 3:34.; 16:18. 1Peter 5:5. James 4:6-10.
Even when we are all aware of the dangers and evil impact of Pride, the question is: Why are people proud?
Sometimes people who are plain and live without airs around them may find it difficult to reason it out why people are usually proud. Particularly for believers who know and who understand the nature of man and the fact that he is vanity and dust — soon to fade away — find it inexplicable that man should be proud.
But then, mortals, mere human beings have several reasons to be proud and to justify same before those who care to know. Such people take delight in their : background and mobility; education, training and expertise travels, position, power and privilege as well as influence, beauty, ethnic origin, nationality, race, color, class.
and religion among some other considerations. Sometimes the cause of pride could be so bizarre as asking somebody not to wear your cultural attire because doing so would vitiate or devalue it’s worth, its purity and its sanctity, thereby, demystify its myth?
Yet, if one takes some rigor to run through these elements of human pride, almost none comes as a result of anybody’s superiority, better wisdom or harder labor
Even education and it’s associated privileges are products of God’s grace and favor because the battle is not always for the strong or the swift to win. Indeed, all that make human beings proud are God -given — because the earth is the LORD’S and the fullness thereof. So, why does anybody need to be proud when we owe everything to God?
The book of Esther has a number of scenarios that exemplify the prideful nature of human beings. In Esther 1, King Ahasuerus was obsessed with his kingdom of 127 nations or provinces which included present day India and Ethiopia. So he organized a party for 180 days, representing half of the year in the Jewish calendar just for merry making.
The party was to show off the riches and glory of his kingdom. No doubt kings pride themselves in the massive population of their kingdoms and the stretch of their influence. Ahasuerus was too. He was deeply excited about the riches , power , glory , privilege and influence of the kingdom he inherited from his progenitors. Yet, he perished and the Romans over-ran its remnants years later.
Today, how many natural rulers, religious leaders, political office holders and socio cultural leaders among others are not proud of the power, position, privilege and influence associated with their callings ?
The believer who is an earthly potentate must watch it.
Whereas nothing is patently wrong with the occupations of such offices, there is everything wrong with their prideful aura and material acquisitions that make the struggle to engage in them or to occupy them sometimes unduly mischievous if not lethal. For the believer, it calls for sobriety and caution. What would Jesus do? should guide the BELIEVER”S choice and possible action.
The second scenario was the events that happened around Queen Vashti. Under some wine influence, Ahasuerus had requested Vashti to appear before his guests in what looked like modern day beauty parade, But she refused and was dethroned as Queen. Her place was taken over by a captive virgin girl called Esther. Being a Queen in the kingdom, Vashti should have known the implications of her action. But pride has a way it blinds the eyes of its victims. Vashti paid dearly for her arrogant display of Indiscretion. Many people are still victims of arrogance and pride because they are beautiful or handsome.
The third scenario was what happened between Haman and Mordecai. Whereas Haman was promoted by the King, in Chapter 3. , he wouldn’t be happy until Mordecai is hanged in the hangman’s gallows which he had prepared for that purpose. He became blinded by his pride to think that he, Haman was the ONLY person the king could delight to honor. But he was mistaken as most proud people are. They are usually blighted with prejudice.
Their thoughts are darkened by the wicked intents of their hearts. It was not surprising that Haman was asked to accord the honor– he thought was his — to Mordecai who had earlier rescued King Ahasuerus from an insurrection in his kingdom. And to cap it all, Haman’s attempt to beg Queen Esther for his life was misconstrued to be an attempt to sexually harass the Queen. He was subsequently hanged in the gallows he had prepared to hang Mordecai. (Esther 6:4.)
Similarly, the ONE- Talent Servant in Luke 19 , was condemned because of his arrogant utterance against his master. He had accused his master thus:
” For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didn’t sow’.(Luke 19:21). Now hear the Master’s response in verse 22: ” And he said unto him, out of thy mouth will I judge thee thou wicked servant…”
Proud people are unsparing in their language like the one – talent servant who should have humbly labored like others to obtain profit and reward too. Many proud people speak in such uncouth manners especially when their victims can’t do them anything. Our Christian CEOs, MDs, GMDs Company Chairs and others who preside over others who are answerable to them should do a rethink. Even church GOs and Senior Ministers are not left out. Picture yourself as a believer : What is your score card?
Consider also the Pharisee who went into the Temple to pray with a Publican in Luke 18:19-14. Jesus condemned the Pharisee because he didn’t do any praying, rather he castigated the Publican, labelling him an extortioner, unjust and adulterer. He was a prideful religionist as many of us today. In Luke 12 Jesus spoke of a rich farmer who blessed his soul for good harvest. And forgot that it was God who gave him power to make wealth .He was consumed by high looks that disregarded God. And God couldn’t take it. The proud is indeed an opponent of God, hence he was consumed.
In what ways do you show pride in your LIFE? The Bible says that God will destroy the WICKED which captures the pride too.
But there is room for repentance because now is the time for Salvation, tomorrow could be too late. Remember Lot’s wife. .
God bless. Happy Sunday.Kindly share.
(To be continued.)
Pastor Okoro can be reached on: