Pride and shame

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Pride and shame, boasting and isolation

pride and shameThe sins of pride and shame which lead to boasting or isolation have a devastatingly great potential to separate and divide Christians and destroy their fellowship. Believers plagued by these sins literally take the Lord’s Supper without discerning Christ’s body and for this reason as Paul said, many of them live in sickness and others even fall into premature death.

Pride and shame represent two polar extremes of carnal reactions that consolidate spiritual failure. These attitudes undermine our strategic attempts to “disguise” or “cover” hidden frameworks of moral reproof. In this way, the evil spirits behind these sins cause relationships to become intolerable due to the disgusting character of their victims chronic boasting or they literally cut their victims souls to pieces through the loneliness of isolation.

The principal motives supporting these lying behaviors are moral shame and pride. Some believers choose the path of obscurity making themselves almost completely incapable of reconciliation. Worse than any sin, is hiding  or disguising one’s sin.

Unfortunately, many excellent, able people who work in Christian circles, in spite of their potential and charisma, walk in darkness enabling evil spirits to enslave them in all types of scandalous sin. In spite of numerous opportunities that both God and spiritual leaders offer these people to confess their sin and receive help, they often develop a demonic ability to cover up their condition by resorting to isolation or religious activism.

The vicious circle of pride and shame

Obviously in such cases the time always arrives in which the hidden sin comes to light. Even so more often than not, such people refuse to admit to the facts, which end up clearly manifesting themselves only after forceful confrontation with eyewitnesses. The saddest part in my opinion is not even the sin that becomes exposed whether homosexuality, fornication or some other scandalous sin, but the boldface, lying attitude that causes irreparable damage in relationships. There is no way to establish a relationship of trust since in these cases the truth is nowhere to be found.

One of the things that I have learned in counseling is not to place so much value on the sin that people bring to a counseling situation, no matter how scandalous it appears to be as long as those who share their problems are sincere and don’t lie. When someone begins to lie in counseling I would rather not waste any more time hearing what the person has to say.

Some two-faced people are true devourers of our precious time. They frequently try to transfer their responsibilities to us in a dishonest manner by failing to admit to the truth. Such people waste their own time as well as ours. My experience is that one of the main reasons why Christians fail to receive deliverance from many types of bondage to sin is that they are simply dishonest. They omit or lie about information that determines the effectiveness and the depth of the very process of their own deliverance. For this reason although they have gone through innumerable sessions of deliverance, many still fail to get free and will never see freedom unless they walk in the light and in truth.

One of the ways to discern God’s reproof in the lives of certain believers is by their rigid religious boasting through which they affirm themselves in search of recognition. Many people hide behind religious activism, positions of leadership or even ministerial performance to compensate for moral and emotional failures.

For example, some people present themselves as prophets. They speak in the name of the Lord but deep down inside their declarations are nothing more than carnal attempts to affirm themselves through feigned spirituality. They manipulate others in the attempt to gain spiritual respect. The result is merely a show of carnality. They try to compensate their spiritual failure by attempting to prove a position that they don’t possess. Such believers don’t tolerate the possibility of a ruined reputation. The apostle Paul rejected this attitude:

For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends. (2 Corinthians 10:18)

Putting up airs is tantamount to the explicit practice of hypocrisy and pride, sins that sear the human conscience. Believers who fall prey to these sins subject themselves to a sudden fall from an even higher position than they previously held before they positioned themselves through pride. Scandals are conceived by this type of behavior.

Many believers attempt to cover their failure and reproof through isolation. This can happen in very sinister ways. Such believers simply avoid fellowship with others so that nobody discovers the shameful and embarrassing situation that they have been hiding. This is a subtle path to apostasy. All those who abandon fellowship give evidence to their state of failure and reproof.

Occasionally we come across those who spiritualize their erroneous relationship with God by saying: “I don’t belong to any church! I don’t submit to any man, only to God!” The truth is that these people are spiritually sick perpetuating a legacy of spiritual failure and reproof! No one can belong to Christ and fail to be part of the body of Christ!

Others in much more sinister ways withdraw from fellowship saying: “Today I am not going to the church service to see if the pastor will notice my absence!” Instead of missing them, the pastor feels relieved and hardly notices that the person is absent! This situation can repeat itself, and in a short time, the person becomes completely isolated, disgraced and finally backslidden.

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)

Pride and shame destroyed

The blessed consequence of walking in the light is a healthy fellowship with others in sincerity and transparency, which is also the basic requirement for resolving and purifying our sins by the blood of Jesus. The sins of pride and isolation sentence those who practice them to a state of spiritual failure and reproof.

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