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Pride Goes Before a Fall: Physical Beauty


Pride goes before a fall: danger of over empasizing physical beauty

 

Winston Churchill’s mother was extremely proud of her appearance and charm. For nearly ten years she was considered the most desirable lady in England. She once said, “I shall never get used to not being the most beautiful woman in the room.” *

 

Consider some lessons we should learn about pride.

The Danger of Pride

Pride is based on selfishness and lack of love for others.

1 Corinthians 13:4,5 – Love does not parade itself, is not puffed up, does not seek its own.

A proud person thinks he is more important than other people and should be honored and appreciated above others. Such an attitude is fundamentally unloving. Love teaches us to seek the well-being of other people, but the proud person seeks only his own interests and desires.

Pride leads to a downfall.

Proverbs 16:18,19 – Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

Proverbs 18:12 – Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor is humility.

Proverbs 29:23 – A man's pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor.

The proud person does not want to admit his mistakes. He resents anything that prevents him from getting his way. But sooner or later pride will lead to a person’s downfall.

Pride alienates a person from God.

Proverbs 16:5 – Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Though they join forces, none will go unpunished.

1 John 2:15,16 – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 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.

James 4:6 – God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

Because the proud person exalts himself and seeks to have his own way, he finds it difficult to submit to God. Sooner or later the proud person will resent the commandments of God and will choose instead to pursue his own way. As result, inevitably the proud person must either learn to humble himself. or else God will consider him to be an enemy.

[Proverbs 6:16-19]

The Danger of Pride regarding Appearance

There are many ways that proud people may try to exalt themselves above others. One way is by physical appearance. They think external appearance makes them superior to others. Either men or women may have this problem, but the Bible especially warns women.

Proverbs 31:30 – Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. God’s word nowhere condemns physical good looks, but those who overemphasize appearance are like those who overemphasize material wealth. It is easy for them to become conceited and allow their appearance to become too important.

1 Peter 3:3.4 – Do not let your adornment be merely outward – arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel – rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

Women and men need to learn humility about outward appearance. All earthly advantages are temporary. No matter how handsome or beautiful you are, those good looks will fade over time. If you trust them to make you important, you are headed for a downfall.

Conclusion

Later in life, as a result of wearing extremely high heels, Winston Churchill’s mother fell. She broke her leg, which eventually had to be amputated, and ultimately led to her death.*

In her case, pride literally led to her downfall and her death. But more important, pride can lead to our spiritual downfall and spiritual death.

Have you allowed pride to keep you from serving God, or are you willing to humble yourself, become His child, and dedicate your life to His service?

 

*Johnson, Paul: Churchill; Viking, 2009, pages 7,27.

 


(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2019

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