PRIDE vs LOVE
There is a great deal of confusion in the world today about what love is and is not. I, myself have spent years attempting to understand this subject, after all, the two greatest commandments are to love God and love people. To obey these commands, one must understand love. In all my years of searching for understanding there is one thing I am sure of. Love is not simply words. Many people say, “I love you,” but their actions do not back up their words. Words themselves are not love.
Here is another thing I am sure of: love is not merely emotions. Emotions come and go, but genuine love remains.
Another thing I am certain of is that love is demonstrated by a right heart, which displays itself in a right attitude, which ultimately reveals itself in right actions. The Bible confirms this in many verses.
To help clarify what love is and is not, in this blog I have decided to contrast pride vs. love. Oftentimes, when you compare and contrast two things, it helps us to understand. You can only understand darkness in relation to light. You can only understand the moon in relation to the sun. You can truly only understand pride when you compare it with love, for the two are diametrically opposed to each other.
Here is How I Define Love:
Love is a condition of the heart, which displays itself in right attitudes,
which ultimately spills over into right words and right actions.
If your heart is wrong (proud) your attitude, words, and actions are wrong. If your heart is right (pure), your attitude, words, and actions are right. Understating this, takes us next to defining and illustrating pride.
What is Pride and Where Did it Originate?
Pride is the original angelic sin. Ezekiel 28 in the Bible is a prophetic word to the King of Tyre. Apparently, he had a problem with pride as outlined in the chapter. Essentially, he had amassed great wealth for himself and his wealth made him proud. In his heart he thought, “I am a god.” However, the one true God saw it quite differently and pronounced a judgement upon him for his pride. Read the chapter yourself to fully comprehend.
Beginning in verse 11, the text takes a dramatic shift and begins to describe the King of Tyre as Satan himself. The way we know this is because of the context. It describes the King as having been in the Garden of Eden, and even calls him a ‘cherub’ or angel.
Here is the passage: Ezekiel 28:12-18 (NASB)
“You had the seal of perfection,
Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
13 “You were in Eden, the garden of God;
Every precious stone was your covering:
The ruby, the topaz and the diamond;
The beryl, the onyx and the jasper;
The lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald;
And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets,
Was in you.
On the day that you were created
They were prepared.
14 “You were the anointed cherub who covers,
And I placed you there.
You were on the holy mountain of God;
You walked in the midst of the stones of fire.
15 “You were blameless in your ways
From the day you were created
Until unrighteousness was found in you.
16 “By the abundance of your trade
You were internally filled with violence,
And you sinned;
Therefore I have cast you as profane
From the mountain of God.
And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub,
From the midst of the stones of fire.
17 “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty;
You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor.
I cast you to the ground;
I put you before kings,
That they may see you.
18 “By the multitude of your iniquities,
In the unrighteousness of your trade
You profaned your sanctuaries."
Although this passage was originally written to the King of Tyre, apparently, God through the prophet Ezekiel, felt the need to compare the King of Tyre with Satan himself. What was the one great thing they both had in common? Pride. “I am a god, and I do as I please.”
The Pride of Eve
Strangely, the first human sin was also by an angel. Her name was Eve. She had this same problem. She knew the command was not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but she disregarded the command and did it anyways. Here is the temptation that Satan gave to her quoted directly from Genesis 3:4-5 (NASB)
The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God…”
See the temptation that Satan gave to Eve? “God is lying to you, He is withholding something good from you. If you eat from it, you will become like God.”
Bam! What was the temptation? To be ‘a god.’ Pride then is to disregard what God has commanded and do what you want, when you want. It is also called rebellion in many places in scripture.
Here are some thoughts that a proud person thinks:
“No one tells me what to do.”
“I am going to disobey the rules.”
“There is no god, therefore I can do what I want, when I want.”
“There are no consequences.”
“I am going to use people to get rich.”
“I am going to use guys and their lust to get myself rich.”
“I am smarter than you, I know better.”
“I am more gifted than you, therefore I should be in control.”
"I am beautiful therefore you should worship me."
“I am a goddess therefore you have to do what I say.”
Pride has an attitude of, “You should serve me because I own you or I am better than you…”
These thoughts, and many more, demonstrate themselves in negative proud attitudes are rooted entirely in an evil proud heart.
Ask God to open your eyes and purify your proud heart. When your heart is right and humble, your thoughts, words, and actions will all be pure.
Most everyone knows that 1 Corinthians 13 is the love chapter and yes, you can discover many qualities about love from this chapter such as, “love is patient, love is kind, love does not boast (or is not proud) and so on, but let’s further clarify love.
First and foremost, I would say love is humble, because pride is the opposite of humility.
So, if love is humble, what do humble thoughts look like?
“I don’t own myself; I was purchased by Jesus and His blood therefore He tells me what to do.”
“I submit my heart, my mind, and my actions to God.”
“I follow manmade rules unless they are unscriptural or unethical. To love God and others is to obey rules.”
“God is alive and well, and there are consequences for my heart attitudes, words, and actions.”
“I am going to serve other people and hope I get rich.”
“I might be smarter than you in some things, but I’m going to humble myself and serve to you anyways.”
“If God wants me to be in control, He will promote me, and I will serve at the right time.”
Love for People
Jesus was the ultimate servant and demonstrated it consistently to His followers.
In fact, He said, “I did not come to be served but to serve.”
In other words, the King of Creation did not demand that the very creatures He created serve Him. Therefore, He gave us free will. He wanted us to choose to serve Him from a heart full of love. He wants us to be so enamored with Him and His goodness that we throw ourselves at His feet in service. This is exactly what His disciples did when they gave up their current vocations in obedience and followed Him. That was and is love.
When you love someone, you want to help them. You want them to succeed. You only have the best intentions for them. Everything you do and say, is to help them become a better person, the best version of themselves. Love does not seek to get from others but to give. Love desires to unselfishly help others. Love wants only your best.
Love does not attempt control. Love draws, seduces, and woos another. Love does not seduce the entire world, but only the one person whom it loves. Love does not strip naked for the world to see. Love strips naked and gives itself only to the one it loves. Love will correct you when you are wrong, but only because it loves you, and wants to see you headed in a better path. Love does not merely want sex…love wants a life partner. Love says, “Trust me, follow me and I’ll guide you into the deepest purest love you have only dreamed of, but you must let go of fear and control and humble yourself and follow.”
Hopefully, this helps to clarify some of your thinking on what pride is and what love is. You see, it is easy to say “love” a million times, but love is not just words, love is an attitude of a pure heart, that does not use others, but gives unselfishly to their cause. In fact, another way to define love is:
“To give to another without having a motive of getting anything in return.”
1 John 3:16 even says so. “For God so loved the world, He gave.” Now that is love.