Friday, July 2, 2010

Spiritual Pride Smells of Hell

“Spiritual pride is the main door by which the devil comes into the hearts of those who are zealous for the advancement of Christianity. It is the chief inlet of smoke from the bottomless pit, to darken the mind and mislead the judgment. It is the main source of all the mischief the devil introduces, to clog and hinder a work of God.

Spiritual pride tends to speak of other persons’ sins with bitterness or with laughter and levity and an air of contempt. But pure Christian humility rather tends either to be silent about these problems or to speak of them with grief and pity. Spiritual pride is very apt to suspect others, but a humble Christian is most guarded about himself. He is as suspicious of nothing in the world as he is of his own heart. The proud person is apt to find fault with other believers, that they are low in grace, and to be much in observing how cold and dead they are and to be quick to note their deficiencies. But the humble Christian has so much to do at home and sees so much evil in his own heart and is so concerned about it that he is not apt to be very busy with other hearts. He is apt to esteem others better than himself."

-- Jonathan Edwards

HT: Ray Ortlund, Jr.


Zach said...

Thank you Jonathan Edwards and thank you again, Pastor Jared

childofprussia said...

Excellent, Biblical quote. Thanks for sharing!

One piece about it that troubled me briefly was this: "But pure Christian humility rather tends either to be silent about these problems" -- This idea could be used (as I've seen many times) by church bullies and more serious oppressors (e.g. child molesters at Christian boarding schools) to keep their own sins hidden and their agenda in tact. If believers are encouraged to stay quiet about sins they observe in fellow Christians, Scripture needs to be brought in to clearly support the "When" and the "Why" of doing so. (I know this seems self-evident, but whole evangelical denominations are to this day resisting accountability and justice regarding serious misconduct of their ministers, so it bears re-repeating.)

But yes, I agree - genuine humility and compassion are needed when talking about sin with one another, and (unless the situation involves illegal activity) our own sin needs to be dealt with before we talk about someone else's.