A vile, creeping, insinuating thing, which will twist itself like a serpent into our hearts!
(Charles Spurgeon, "Words of Wisdom")
"I hate pride and arrogance!" Proverbs 8:13
There is nothing into which the heart of man so easily falls, as PRIDE — and there is no vice which is more frequently and more emphatically condemned in Scripture!
Pride is a groundless thing. It stands on bubbles, which soon must burst beneath its feet! We have reasons for almost everything — but we have no reasons for pride. Pride is a thing which should be unnatural to us — for we have nothing to be proud of!
Pride is a foolish thing, for it brings no profit with it. There is no wisdom in a self-exaltation. Other vices have some excuse — for men seem to gain by them: avarice, pleasure, lust, have some plea; but the man who is proud, sells his soul cheaply! For one puff of empty wind, one word of sweet applause — the soul is gone!
Pride wins no crown; men never honor it, not even the menial slaves of earth; for all men look down on the proud man, and think him less than themselves.
Pride is the maddest thing that can exist; it feeds upon its own vitals; it will take away its own life; it saps and undermines its own house, that it may build its pinnacles a little higher — and then the whole structure tumbles down! Nothing proves men so mad, as pride.
Pride is a protean thing; it changes its shape and forms; you may find it in any fashion you may choose. You may see it in the beggar's rags — as well as in the rich man's garments. It dwells with the rich — and with the poor. The man without a shoe for his foot — may be as proud as if he were riding in a fine chariot! Pride is found in every rank of society — among all classes of men.
Pride can profess any form of religion; it attends all kinds of chapels and churches; go where you will — you will see pride. It comes with us — to the house of God; it goes with us — to our houses; it is found on the mart and the exchange, in the streets, and everywhere!
Pride has ten thousand shapes! It is not always that stiff and starched gentleman whom you picture; it is a vile, creeping, insinuating thing, which will twist itself like a serpent into our hearts! It will talk of humility, and prate about being dust and ashes. I have known men talk about their corruption most marvelously, pretending to be all humility — while at the same time they were the proudest wretches that could be found this side Hell.
O my friends! you cannot tell how many shapes pride will assume. Look sharply about you — or you will be deceived by it, and when you think you are entertaining angels, you will find you have been receiving devils unawares!
The true throne of pride, is the heart of man. If we desire, by God's grace, to put down pride — the only way is to begin with the heart. Let us seek that He would purify our hearts from pride — and then assuredly, our life also shall be humble. Make the tree good — and then the fruit shall be good; make the fountain pure — and the stream shall be sweet.