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43 Test 8: The Pride Test, Part 2

James series – “The Litmus Test for life”

James 4:1-5

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. You adulterous people] don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?

In order to turn from selfishness to selflessness we’re going to answer three questions concerning selfish pride. The first question is: what are symptoms of selfish pride? 

  1. The Symptoms of selfish pride

What are the prevailing symptoms of selfish pride? Unlike the flu which tends to be seasonal 

the sickness of selfish pride is something that you’re born with. While you can’t catch it from other people, being around people with the same sickness can make it worse. The biggest problem with this sickness is, you don’t necessarily feel bad when you get it. In fact sometimes it feels really good, that is for a little while. But left unchecked, selfish pride will destroy everything you hold dear. It will destroy your marriage, your family, friendships and even your church. Selfish pride is the most destructive disease known to man. So what are the symptoms, what do you look for to know if you have selfish pride or not? 

A. The first symptom is lust. 

All too often in our society, we think of lust as always having a sexual connotation. While the biblical term includes sexual lust, it is not limited to that. It’s really a whole lot bigger than that. There are two different original words used for lust in this passage. The one used in verse 1 is the same word from where we get the word “hedonism” from. It carries the idea of having a completely self-centered view of life. This person’s motto is “whatever feels good, do it.” Their world is completely controlled and dominated by “self”. Even the things they do for others are done because it makes them feel good, or because it makes them feel needed and gives them self-worth. The original word for lust that’s used in verse 2 deals more with the desire. The first is a state of being, it’s who the person has become. The second is the craving he has. Like the craving of an alcoholic for the next drink. Or the famished hunger of a starving man or the intense thirst of a dehydrated nomad as he walks across the burning desert sands with no water in sight. The object of lust can take many forms. Sex, drugs, alcohol, power, money, position, status, achievement, competition, popularity. The object can take many forms, but the symptom is the same. It is still lust and no matter what the object, and it is still just as destructive. Lust poisons our prayer life, because it turns our focus from serving God to serving self. We either end up not talking to God or our prayers begin to revolve around our wants instead of His Will. The first symptom of selfish pride is lust.

    B. The second symptom is consuming. 

    Consuming is what the person who lusts does when he receives the object of his lust. To the person who is full of sexual lust, sex is merely a conquest. It is not an act of love it is consuming, they are devouring prey. The person who lusts for achievement is never satisfied. As soon as one achievement is met, they are obsessed with the next goal. The hallmark of consuming is that it is never satisfied. The more you feed consuming lust, the bigger it grows. Just like a consuming fire, the more fuel you place on the fire, the larger and more destructive it becomes. The cure for consuming lust is to stop feeding it and start starving it.