CARNAL PRIDE! WILL IT KEEP YOU FROM BEING HEALED?
The Bible has a great deal to say about the wrong kind of
pride. God's word pulls no punches when it comes to those who
will not put away the wrong type of pride. Listen to this:
"Behold the day comes, that shall burn as an oven: and ALL
the PROUD, yes, and ALL that do wickedly, shall be stubble:
and the day that comes shall BURN THEM UP, says the Lord of
hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch"
Those should be very sobering words for anyone reading them.
The wrong kind of pride is nothing to hold on to, it is something
we should all want to put away, get rid of, cast out of our
lives, if we do not want to be burned up one day, and be gone
forever more with no root or branch, nothing of us to live on,
gone for all eternity.
The wrong kind of pride is part of the wrong side of the
human heart. Jesus said this about that wrong side of the heart:
"For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts
.... PRIDE, foolishness.... (Mark 7:21,22).
There are certain sins, certain character traits of the
heart, mind, mouth and actions, that the Lord says are not only
an abomination to Him, but that He says He HATES. "These six
things does the Lord hate: yes, seven are an abomination unto
Him: A PROUD look.... (Prov.6:16,17). Notice it in Prov.8:13,
"PRIDE, and arrogance.... do I hate."
Make no mistake about it the wrong kind of pride God calls
sin: "A high look, and a proud HEART ..... IS sin" (Prov.21:4).
This type of wrong pride does not belong to the heavenly
Father: "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).
God will one day deal with all those who will not turn from
the proudness that He hates and says is sin. Note these verses:
"The Lord shall cut off.... the tongue that speaks proud things"
"Him that has an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer"
"I will cause the arrogance of the proud to cease...." (Isa.
We have seen that God will cause them to cease, if they will
not put away this proudness which is sin, by burning them up on a
day that shall burn as an oven, and actually leave them as ashes
under the sole of the feet of the righteous, as Malachi went
on further to say in verse three of his fourth chapter.
This then is a serious, and a life and death subject. We
need to understand it. We can understand it. The Eternal has
related and recorded in His word, much for us to see about what
constitutes the wrong carnal type of pride that will lead to
death, if we do not repent of it and with the help of the Spirit
of God, cast it away out of our mind-set attitude and way of
life. We shall look at a few examples in the word of the Lord
that will help us to really nail down this sinful pride, so we
can understand exactly what we are dealing with in order to be
able to prevent it from destroying us. Knowing the enemy (how he
works and attacks) is one of the best ways to defeat the enemy.
And one of the best ways to "push out" the enemy is to "push in"
or replace him with his opposite. So first, some "synonyms" for
pride and then the "antonyms" of proudness.
Synonyms: egoism, vanity, vainglory, smugness, ostentation,
pretention, arrogance, haughtiness, pomposity, self-love.
Antonyms: humility, modesty, meekness.
EXAMPLE #1 - THE MAN WHO WANTED HEALING
In some of my own words, but taken from the KJV we read in 2
Kings 5:1-10, "Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of
Syria, was a GREAT man before (margin reading) his master, and
HONORABLE ... he was also a mighty man in VALOR, but he was a
LEPER. And the syrians had gone out by armies, and had brought
away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she
waited on Naaman's wife. And she said unto her mistress, 'Would
to God that my lord was with the prophet that is in Samaria, for
he would heal my lord of his leprosy.' And another went in and
told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the
land of Israel. And the king of syria said, 'Go to, go and I will
send a letter unto the king of Israel.' And Naaman departed ...
And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter,
that he rent his clothes, and said, 'Am I God, to kill and to
make alive, that this man does send unto me a man to be healed of
his leprosy? ... And it was so, when ELISHA the man of God had
heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent
to the king, saying, 'Why have you rent your clothes? Let him
come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.'
So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariots, and stood
at the DOOR of the HOUSE of Elisha. And Elisha SENT A MESSENGER
out unto him, saying, 'Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and
your flesh shall be normal again, and you shall be clean.'"
Oh, do you get the scene? Here was this high up fellow
Naaman in the government of Syria, a great man in the sight of
the king of Syria, an honorable man, and a mighty man in war, a
man of courage and valor. He was all this, but he was a leper. He
come finally to this prophet in Israel, a man he no doubt thought
would appear before him, and do some fancy calling to the God of
Israel, maybe shouting, and dancing around, take about 10 or 15
minutes doing some kind of priestly motions to his God, and then
maybe there would be some mighty heavenly sound or sight of
something and with great fanfare Naaman would feel his body
tingle, see miraculous skin movement spreading all over his body,
and finally see, right before his eyes, new clean pink skin
appearing until slowly his body would be rid of the leprosy. But
what does the great man Naaman get? Why, he does not even get the
courtesy of the prophet in Israel even coming out to say "hello"
to him, never mind some fancy magic show of power and splendor.
He get a messenger from this Elisha prophet sent out to tell him
to go and wash himself in the river Jordan, not just once, but
seven times. He is told to just go to a river of water and wash
himself seven times. Why? Had he not washed himself hundreds of
times in water before and it did absolutely nothing to help
remove his leprosy. Yes, you can understand that he would not
only be a little irritated but darn right mad, and so we read:
"But Naaman was ANGRY, and went away, and said, 'Behold, I
thought he will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the
name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and
heal me from this leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar rivers of
Damascus better than all the waters of Israel? May I not wash in
them and be clean? ' So he turned around and went away in a
The PRIDE of Naaman rose to the surface like a bunch of
killer whales coming up for air. You can just about see the
steaming heat rising from the top of his head. I mean, he was a
great man in Syria, even the king of Syria acknowledge that. He
was a valiant man in war, he had come with horses and chariots,
he had wealth and money, he had come with much physical reward
(verse 5) to give to this prophet if he could heal him of his
leprosy. He was indeed a proud man and to be treated like this,
with not even the respect of having this prophet of Israel come
out of his house and saying hello, was infuriating to say the
So Naaman acted rashly in his anger. He fulfilled the
proverb that is found in Job 32:9, "Great men are not always
wise, neither do the aged understand judgment." Naaman was, to
his way of thinking at this time, wiser than all this disrespect
coming from this prophet, and he fulfilled another proverb, "The
rich man is wise in his own conceit .... (Prov.28:11). Yet,
fortunately for him, he had brought with him a servant that was
going to show much more wisdom than angry Naaman was showing as
he turned around to ride back home to Syria. This servant was
going to be the fulfilment for Naaman of the last half of the
proverb we have just read, which says, ".....but the poor that
has understanding searches him out."
"And his servant came near, and spoke unto him and said,
'My master, if the prophet had bid you to do some great thing,
would you not have done it? How much rather then, how much easier
then for you, when he said to you, wash and be clean?'"
Naaman once more had to think, he had to make a choice as to
words that had reaches his mind. If he continued in his hard
hearted mind-set he would surely have fulfilled a number of
proverbs, such as: "He is in the way of life that keeps
instruction, but he that refuses reproof erreth" (Prov.10:17).
"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes" (Prov.12:15). "See a
man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of
Naaman thought, probably for a while, but he did think, he
did ponder the words of his servant. He was wise enough to not
get angry at his servant for speaking up and trying to give him
some kindly wisdom. Yes Naaman was able to see the light and cool
wisdom amid the burning hot anger he had just felt for the
prophet of Israel and the way he had not greeted him. Naaman was
able to get his act together, he was able to fulfil another
proverb, "Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly,
than to divide the spoil with the proud" (Prov.16:19).
"Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan,
according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came
clean, like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was cleansed
from his leprosy" (verse 14).
What a story, what an example for us of a proud man who was
finally able to put away his proudness, who was able to listen to
the corrective wisdom and to the truth of the matter, even if it
came from a lowly servant, from someone the world would probably
only put on the second rung of the social ladder.
The fact is that if Naaman was going to stand any chance to
be' healed, he was going to have to humble himself before the God
of Israel, in whatever way that God was going to humble him, so
that God could work His work within him.
ANOTHER GREAT MAN FINDS THE TRUE GOD BY GETTING RID OF THE SIN OF
The first world ruling empire was that of Babylon. It was
depicted in the image of Daniel chapter two as that of GOLD. It
was said to have power, and strength and glory (Dan.2:36-38).
Nubuchadnezzar was this empire's first king. One day this great
king is walking in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon, and he
said to himself:
"Is not this great Babylon, that I HAVE BUILT for the house of
the kingdom by the MIGHT OF MY POWER, and for the honor of MY
Even while this king was saying these words of proudness and
vainglory and arrogance, a voice from heaven came saying:
"O king Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken; The kingdom is
departed from you. And they shall drive you from men, and your
dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make
you to eat grass like the oxen, and seven times shall pass over
you, UNTIL you KNOW that the most High rules in the kingdom of
men, and gives it to whomsoever He will" (verses 31,32).
This of course came to pass exactly as foretold. God was
going to deal with the proudness within this man. The Eternal
wanted this man to come to see not only himself with humility,
but to come to see that compared to the most High God of the
universe, he was pretty puny and really just a spec of dust, even
with all the human riches and human accomplishments that any man
could do in this physical life. God wanted him to see that there
was much more to the purpose of why man was created and put on
this earth. The most High wanted this king to come to not only
acknowledge that the most High existed but also to have a
personal relationship with Him, but in order for this to happen,
the vanity of proudness and self-conceit and self-reliance would
have to go.
God will do His part to help people put away the carnality
of pride, the wrong sinful aspect of pride, but it also takes the
active participation of the person whom God is helping, to make
it all come together for the full and complete healing that the
Lord wishes for that individual. Just as Naaman had to do his
part in order for him to be healed. He had to be willing to
listen to the instructions of God, in whatever form it was given,
and then do the will of that God, in order to be healed.
Did the king Nebuchadnezzar pass the test? Did he listen? Was he
willing to humble himself under the mighty hand of God (please
read James 4:5-10)?
"And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up my eyes
unto heaven, and my understanding returned unto me, and I blessed
the most High, and I praised and honored Him that lives for ever
and ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His
kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants
of the earth are reputed as nothing. and He does according to His
will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the
earth, and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What do you?
At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of
my kingdom, my honor and brightness returned unto me; and my
counsellors and my lords sought unto me, and I was established in
my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. Now I
Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all
whose WORKS ARE TRUTH, and His ways JUDGMENT: AND THOSE THAT WALK
IN PRIDE HE IS ABLE TO ABASE" (Dan.4:34-37).
Oh yes indeed, this God of heaven is able to drive out
sinful pride, IF WE will but yield and submit to Him and let Him
work His work in us. He works indifferent ways with different
people to help them drive out carnal pride, just as we have seen
in these two examples. The way He works is up to Him, our part is
to acknowledge that it is His work, that He is speaking to us,
that He is teaching us, that He is doing what He is doing TO HEAL
US, to bring us to Himself, so we can KNOW Him, so we can have
that personal Father and son/daughter relationship with Him.
You will notice, God is not against wealth and riches and fame,
all this was restored to the king when carnal pride had been
removed, and when he was really healed in the most important way
- spiritual healing.
Will you be like a Naaman and a Nebuchadnezzar? I hope we
will all be, for that is the only way to be healed spiritually.
HUMAN TO HUMAN PRIDE MUST GO
Even living and dealing with each other in this world, on an
every day basis, sinful pride must be pushed out and replaced by
the Spirit and the fruits of the Spirit. Paul in writing to the
church at Philippi said: "Let nothing be done through strife or
VAINGLORY (pride); but in LOWLINESS OF MIND let each esteem the
other better than themselves" (Phil.2:3).
Those that may be blessed with physical wealth and riches in
this life time, Paul charged Timothy to tell them, "Charge them
that are rich in this world, that they be not HIGHMINDED (proud
in the wrong way)" (1 Tim.6:17).
It is important to note that those who would be chosen as
spiritual leaders of the flocks of God, were not to be new
converts or new to the word of God', for sinful pride could take
them in the net of the devil (1 Tim.3:6).
SOME FINAL WORDS
Phillip Keller in his book "A Gardener Looks at the Fruits of the
Spirit" has a chapter called "Humility - Meekness and Gentleness"
which are the antonyms of pride. Here are some of his words:
From the hour we begin to take our first feeble, frightened
steps as tiny tots we are exhorted to "stand on your own feet."
We are urged and encouraged to 'make it on your own.' We are told
to 'make your own decisions.' We are stimulated to be aggressive,
self-assertive, and very self-assured. All of these attributes we
are sure will lead to ultimate greatness. In the face of all this
it comes to us as a distinct shock to hear our Lord declare:
"Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child,
the same is great in the kingdom of heaven" (Mat.18:4)..... Does
one adopt the view of Christ who stated without hesitation, "Let
him who would be greatest amongst you be your servant" ?
First Corinthians 13:4,5 states bluntly that charity (love)
"vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself
unseemly, seeketh not her own."
The selfless, self-effacing character of God's love simply
does not permit it to strut and parade itself pompously. It will
have no part of such a performance. It is not proud, arrogant,
puffed up with its own importance....
So it is the generosity of our God, the kindness of Christ,
that patient perseverance of His Holy Spirit drawing us to
Himself that humbles our haughty hearts....
If we are to see this humility, this condescension, this
meekness at its best we must look at the life of our Lord. In a
few short, stabbing, stunning verses it has been summed up for us
in Philippians 2:1-11.
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on
the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was
also in chest Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought
it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no
reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was
made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a
man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death,
even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a
name which is above every name (Phil.2:4-9).
The consequences is that in the garden of our lives there
springs up a mixed crop of fruits and weeds. On the one hand
there are places where pride, self-assertion, arrogance,
self-indulgence, and abrasive aggressiveness mark our behavior.
These often tend to overwhelm the more gentle fruits of God's
Gracious Spirit. They climb all over them, almost choking them
out completely .... When all is said and done the fruits of God's
Gracious Spirit must find expression in the simple, down-to-earth
conduct of our everyday lives. They are not just theory or
theology ... As we contemplate and meditate over the gracious
generosity of God in Christ, humbling Himself on our behalf, it
should warm our cold hearts and flood them with the warmth of His
love. Out of an enormous, overflowing, spontaneous sense of
thanks and gratitude we should be able to go out and live before
others in humility and gentleness, serving them in sincerity and
genuine simplicity. As the father sent the Son into the world, so
He in turn send us out to serve a sick society.
This we can do without pomp or pretext. This we can do
walking humbly, quietly, gently with our God ... This is no soft
life to live. But it is the restful way. It is the peaceful way.
It is the best way. It is His way!
Phillip Keller ends that chapter by quoting Matthew 11:28-30
which I will leave for you to look up and read.
Mr. Keller has written some very informative and inspiring
books. I certainly recommend them to all of you.
Sinful carnal PRIDE must be put out and replaced with
HUMILITY, for it is only to the humble repentant person who
trembles with deep respect before the word of God, that He will
look, for He has written: "....to this person will I look, to him
that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word"
A constant, as a way of life, humble repentant attitude that
has cast off carnal pride is an absolute must for every Christian
who wants Jesus to say to them one day, "Come thou blessed of my
Father, inherit the Kingdom, prepared for you from the foundation
of the world."
"He has showed thee O man, what is good, and what doth the
Lord require of thee, but to DO JUSTLY, and to LOVE MERCY, and to
WALK HUMBLY with they God" (Micah 6:8).
Written April 2000
All articles and studies by Keith Hunt may be copied, published,
e-mailed and distributed as led by the Spirit. Mr.Hunt trusts
nothing will be changed without his consent.
In relation to this article you may like to read the related
articles called "Humility - the Precious Gem of the Christian
Crown" and "Peacemakers"