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An Antidote for Pride

By Elisabeth Elliot


      The basis of all sin of whatever kind is pride. This was what inspired the disobedience of Adam and Eve, and it is always with us. One very common form it takes is the pride of privilege. When a man is given a special position, he forgets that it was given. He becomes proud, as though "his own arm" had gotten him the victory.

      God knows well the heart and made provision for this sin of pride when He instructed the Israelites about appointing a king. He was to make a copy of the law. This would be the antidote, necessary for him and likewise for all of us (for "law" read "Word"). "He shall keep it by him and read from it all his life, so that he may learn to fear the Lord his God and keep all the words of this law and observe these statutes.

      In this way he shall not become prouder than his fellow countrymen nor shall he turn from these commandments to right or left" (Dt 17:19, 20 NEB). The attempt itself to keep the commandments, one by one and day after day, will be sufficient to humble us, for the "straightedge of the law" (Rom 3:20 JBP) will only show us, as Paul found, how crooked we are. We will find, in fact, that we cannot keep it. "The whole matter is on a different plane--believing instead of achieving" (Rom 3:27 JBP). Pride won't find much foothold on that plane.

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