I know it’s a lame play on words, but the title’s homonyms help me remember what I must — about pride in its different manifestations. Could we put them in two simple categories: “Pride in the Peaks” and “Pride in the Piques”? I think so.
Pride in the Peaks:
Dinner cleared away, we haul out our Bibles — dragging a little — to look some more into Ezekiel.
It’s one ponderous, mysterious book, and long…
We’ve made it to Ezekiel 28:1-19, where Tyre’s king morphs into Satan. Here God’s light penetrates with such strength, we can’t miss the hideous face of Pride hiding behind its veil of beauty.
Inner ugliness fills both the earthly king and the fallen angel. Oh, outwardly they’re splendorific, both. Gorgeous! But inside, ew! “…filled with violence… corrupted… defiled… multitude of… iniquities…”
In both cases, the root of all this gross diseased filth — pride — has budded and grown by feeding on several blessed gifts, which these two creatures did not form in themselves, but received from… guess Whom?
1) the high state of “perfection” with which their Creator endowed them
2) their beauty (bestowed by their Designer)
3) their wisdom, which the All-Wise gave them, but which they perverted to advance and glorify themselves.
4) the abundance of their trading: high end possessions, “personal” wealth. But Who really owns all the silver, gold, seas, lands, and animals? Both made personal boast in the gracious bounty God provided!
5) their prestige (the high place in which the Ruler of all had placed them, which led each to think of himself as a god)
These characters deserved all the contempt God could load on them. But what about me? Us?
Do I get smitten with my “own” occasional good appearance, achievement, ability, or abundance?
How can I know when I do?
The best way I know is to test this in the moments rather than in vague generalizations. Here the idea of “peak” helps me, with a simple question:
How high do I inwardly soar in a split second at someone’s flattery, or “honest compliment”? (It doesn’t matter which. The important issue is my response.)
That quick rise to the peak is one big red-flag signal, cluing me in to pride inside.
Then there’s “Pride in the Piques”…
that sudden inner (even if hidden) anger that shoots up like an instant fever when someone has the nerve to…
evaluate me negatively
order me around, telling me how I ought to behave
nab a prize or opportunity (s)he “doesn’t deserve” but “I do”Dear God, Keep me sensitive to these sudden surges Make me horrified right in the moment of peak or pique. Reveal the pride at their root for what it is. And work in me to slap it down to the ground like lightning! Give me the healthy fear that otherwise I may become thick-skinned, insensitive to the infectious character of those surges that suddenly place me way too high in my own estimation, and rightly beneath contempt in Yours! Amen.
…Do you ever experience either the peaks or piques of pride? How do you deal with either?
8 thoughts on “A Peek at the Peaks and Piques of Pride”
(Ezekiel – one of my favorite books!) So much truth here – pride comes in so many different ways, such a wrong yet tempting response to have, and we have no hope of conquering it on our own. Thank you for sharing this – great insight!
Good point, Mary, that we have no hope of conquering pride on our own. We need to confess it, renounce it, call on Him to cleanse it away, and to grow us out of it, and then rely on and cooperate with Him.
BTW, Ezekiel, one of your favs? Wow! I find it daunting! BUT one part I especially love, which is along our line of thought: When God told Ezekiel to stand on his feet, while he was totally collapsed on the ground, scared weak to jelly-knees. How could he? But then, it says, God’s Spirit entered him and stood Him on his feet. Love it! Isn’t that just how we are able (the only way we’re able) to carry out His commands? Wowing!
Oh, Sylvia, I had to chuckle a bit this morning as your comment to me yesterday was about tackling a hard-hitting issue. You really trumped me today. This is my ONE single issue. If I could put this one to rest, I think I would have it. Death to self eludes me. I know because none of the things you write about here, either in the peaks or piques, would resonant within me if I were dead…and they do resonate.
O wretched woman that I am who will save me from this body of death? Only Jesus.
Thanks, for this (I think),
Oh, Dawn, I chuckled at your “thanks for this (I think)”! You think I don’t squirm under my own words here? But yes, you’ve got it! It’s Christ that brings these ugly pride things down to death. There it is, in my response to Mary. We just have to keep calling on Him for forgiveness and help — and everything we need. The more I come to see in Him all I need for life and godliness, deep joy and satisfaction, the less there is “need” for my foolish pride.
God bless you, sister!
Thought Provoking post indeed!
I’ve learned the minute I think I don’t have any pride is the moment I need to be on my knees the most in prayer to remove it…for like my grandma says — it’s the one common thing before anyone falls. and we know who said it before my Grandmother.
the thing I dislike most about it is how it masks itself as confidence. which is why I love how you started off your prayer with “keep me sensitive.” prayed with you…
Thank you for making me think about my peeks or piques!
O boy, Nikki, it is interesting how God gives me a live-out of a blog post or study lesson principle either before or after I post or “teach” it — or both. Well, He did it today. I lived the above lesson, but I really was grateful that He answered that prayer, and when the “peak” (actually a few days ago) and the “piques” twice today happened in that little quick flash, the sensitivity He gave me set off the alarm pronto — so I could draw aside to Him and His Spirit could help me squelch the flesh! He’s so good, even when we’re so prone to fall prey to it.
Great insightful comment. Thank you for it. And God bless! 🙂
Discussion at my place, today, has focused on the need for humility.
You’ve discussed the inverse…avoiding pride.
Seems the answer, as you’ve noted, is to focus on the greatness of God and thankfulness for His provision.
Yes, Joe, I do think so. We get way too self-focused, so often, don’t we? Or people-focused. My (probably) next post is about cultivating that better, higher focus. It must have subconsciously grown out of this.
I popped over and read your post dealing with pride. Yep. The more you know the more you realize how little you know! Gotta leave a comment there sometime later (busy times here). Thanks for the visit and comment here.
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