7 Godly Sins? – the Pride of God
If God expects His followers to dedicate their lives to worshipping and praying to Him, is it Pride?
The Resurrection of Christ
Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you have come to believe in vain.
For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them—though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.
Egos are perhaps the hungriest, neediest things in existence, psychologically speaking. Or perhaps more accurately it is the “id” that is the hungry entity and the ego struggling to feed it. There are two kinds of pride: (1) The kind that needs to have active attention to feel worthy, and (2) The kind that needs the passive attention of being needed by another – often supporting someone actively in the spotlight. We probably all fall into one of these two categories at one time or another, and this pride finds itself at the root of much suffering that goes on in the world.
Pride may not be the thing that pushes us to murder, rape, robbery, or other very visible crimes, but these things do not usually happen overnight, and it is often pride that keeps us from asking for help when we need it. Whether we are struggling with some other kind of temptation or sin ourselves or being held back by the need to help someone else without asking for help ourselves. This problem of codependency is another form of pride working its way into our life.
Let us look at God then, to determine whether or not He has a problem with pride.
Does God need all the attention? In the Old Testament, and in Genesis in particular, God did not have a temple or priests. In fact, after Adam and Eve, (who may have lived 900 years of the scripture is read literally there) 4 generations passed before people even began to “call upon the name of the Lord.2 So, for at least the first century of humanity , God did not seem to have a pride problem or a need to be involved.
If we survey the years between then and Abraham, we see God judging the earth and punishing creation with a great flood, saving only Nosh and his family, but they are not judged for not following Him. Indeed, they were all invited into that salvation. The world was judged because of the violence that fallen humanity had brought into it. By the time we get to Abraham, where much of that violence had reawakened, in a world where kings were worshipped as gods, it makes me wonder why God only picked one small family to worship Him instead of a whole nation or the whole world. Even then, the only real practice of worship that He asked of them was a few one-time sacrifices, the greatest of which was the sacrifice of Abraham’s own son Isaac which God called off a the last minute.
God does not need to be the center of attention all the time, nor does He ask for that. In the 10 commandments, He asked for one day out of seven, not every day for our attention and affection. Many of His commands were not for His benefit, but for the benefit of the poor, the orphans, the foreigners, and the widows. When we take into consideration these laws and compare them with the New Testament, where God comes to earth in the flesh as Jesus Christ, it reveals something else about Him. The Almighty, who could command obedience from the entire world, but chooses to ask it only of those willing to follow Him. However, He does not try to save the world by Himself either. He always, from the very beginning, invites others to partner with Him in the work of caring for creation.
So God is neither prideful, nor codependent in His work in the world. What is more, the effect He has on others is such that it does not make them prideful or codependent either. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he took no credit for Himself, but gave God the credit He was due – not because God demanded it from Him, but because Paul gave it gratefully in response to the work God had done in his life. God’s humility is contagious and spreads to those around Him.