Was Pride the Chief Sin Committed Against God?

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Was pride the chief sin committed against God?

Aug 5, 2019

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: My mother used to tell me that pride was probably the chief sin committed against God. Does the Bible support this theory? — E.P.

A: Pride is associated with failure, not success. The Bible says: “For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world” (1 John 2:16). No wonder we find the “i” at the center of this word that carries with it an emptiness aching to be filled with something more than ourselves.

Pride consists not in wanting to be rich, but in wanting to be richer than our neighbor. It is not in wanting to be noticed but in wanting to be the most noticed. It is not in wanting to have things but in wanting more things than others. We must never build ourselves up at the expense of others.

A famous Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst once said that “the central neurosis of our time is emptiness.” It is still the same today. Everywhere people are searching for something that makes them feel good about themselves. We want to save ourselves from whatever besets us and we want to do life our way and in our power, for this feeds our egos and our pride. It nourishes our self-esteem to believe that we can manage independently of God. “In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God” (Psalm 10:4, NIV).

Like Lucifer (Satan), we find ourselves saying, “I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:14). Pride is a destructive power. Because of this inherent fault in our nature, which is sin, man’s bias is on the side of error.

How do we counter pride? Humble ourselves before God and submit wholly to Him (James 4:6-10).


(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)


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