Pride

What caused Satan to fall?

We are quick to spot flaws in other people but are blind to our own. What hinders us from realizing our own faults is the same thing that caused Satan to be thrown into the earth together with the one –third of heavenly angels who partook in his sin. This is the one which we are made to believe normal in every individual, but the most dangerous of all. The most detestable thing ever, which most people stubbornly hold on to.

God cannot connect with those who live to please themselves, to make themselves first. Those who do this will in the end be last of all. The sin that is most nearly hopeless and incurable is pride of opinion, self-conceit. This stands in the way of all growth. When a man has defects of character, yet fails of realizing this; when he is so imbued with self-sufficiency that he cannot see his fault, how can he be cleansed? “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick” (Matthew 9:12). How can one improve when he thinks his ways are perfect? – Testimonies for the Church 7:199, 200 (1905).

Britney Spears, Toxic

They say that by nature, humans are self-centered. Nothing could be farther from the truth; because anywhere you go, you can see traces of over-enlarged egos of humans: social networking sites, classrooms, or even in our own homes. We think that we ought to have pride for self-worth, respect, or for any other selfish reasons. However, when we see pride or self-exaltation present in other people, we couldn’t help but feel bad and criticize them. Pride is undeniably despicable, especially when seen in other people, because we are too proud to find faults in ourselves even though pride is also present in our rotten hearts.

Satan beguiles men as how he beguiled Eve in Eden, by flattery, by kindling a desire to obtain forbidden knowledge, by exciting ambition for self-exaltation. It was cherishing these evils that caused his fall, and through them he aims to compass the ruin of men. “Ye shall be as gods,” he declares, “knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5).

Thus, in the place of righteousness and perfection of the infinite God, the true object of adoration; in place of the perfect righteousness of His law, the true standard of human attainment, Satan has substituted the sinful, erring nature of man himself as the object of adoration, the only rule of judgment, or standard of character. This is progress, not upward but downward. – The Great Controversy, 554, 555 (1911).

Cleopatra, Cleopatra

Surely, you have experienced talking to someone who keeps on talking about himself, about his glory, his achievements, his nice attributes, his possessions, etc. as if he thinks that he is the object of every individual’s envy. Perhaps it was hard for you to resist yawning while he recites his monologues about himself. Sometimes, the people who have the guts to brag are those who haven’t even proved themselves so much. When you think of it, they aren’t even leveled with great personalities known worldwide, and it’s absurd to know how great they perceive themselves to be like they’re ten times greater in their minds than in reality. They even have the guts to find faults in others when they aren’t even close to perfection.

It is difficult for us to understand ourselves, to have a correct knowledge of our own characters. The Word of God is plain, but often there is an error in applying it to one’s self. There is a liability to self-deception and to think its warnings and reproofs do not mean me. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Self-flattery may be construed into Christian emotion and zeal. Self-love and confidence may give us assurance that we are right when we are far from meeting the requirements of God’s Word. – Testimonies for the Church 5:322 (1885)

Scarlett O'Hara, Gone with the Wind

We can’t help but detest people who can’t seem to have any habit in the world than to compare themselves with others. Some people are just too proud that they tend to look down on other people. Others are too blinded by their “good” reputation and the fact that they are liked by people all the time when in fact they conceal in her hearts their secret pride which obviously cannot be forever concealed. Pride can always be easily detected through a person’s actions, speech, jokes, eyes, etc.

How vain is the help of man when Satan’s power is exercised over a human being who has become self-exalted and knows not that he is partaking the science of Satan. In his self-confidence he walks right into the enemy’s trap and is ensnared. He did not heed the warnings given and was taken as Satan’s prey. If he had walked humbly with God, he would have run into the trysting place God had provided for him. Thus in times of danger he would have been safe, for God would have lifted for him a standard against the enemy. – Lt 126, 1906.


Maleficent, Maleficent

When some people are not that intellectually great yet they have the guts to look down on other people and think that they are actually clever, we label them as fools whom we shouldn’t argue with because they’d bring us down to their level. However, pride doesn’t choose a social status, intellectual capability, or physical attractiveness. It is present in each person who chooses to have it; but conceited people are just equally foolish in the eyes of God.

Selfish interests must ever be subordinate; for if given room to act, it becomes a controlling power which contracts the intellect, hardens the heart, and weakens the moral power. Then disappointment comes. The man has divorced himself from God and sold himself to unworthy pursuits. He cannot be happy, for he cannot respect himself. He has lowered himself in his own estimation. He is an intellectual failure. – MS 21, 1899.

Scarlett O'Hara, Gone with the Wind

Humans harshly cause affliction to their neighbors, but wallow in too much anger and misery when they have been wronged as if they are very important creatures.

Cease sympathizing with yourself, and remember the world’s Redeemer. Consider the infinite sacrifice He has made in behalf of man, and think of His disappointment that after He has made such a sacrifice in man’s behalf, man should choose to ally himself with those who hate Christ and righteousness should become one with them in the indulgence of perverted appetite, thus bringing eternal ruin to his soul. – Testimonies for the Church 5:508 (1889)
Hatsumomo, Memoirs of a Geisha

Sometimes, the cause of man’s excessive pride is the compliments and flattery received from neighbors, especially after a job very well done. Then, we begin to get sensitive when other people are also being praised, thinking that it is only us who deserve praise. We also think that it is ourselves who deserve credit for our exaltation; for we think that the good things we have are innate in us.

If Satan can so befog and deceive the human mind as to lead mortals to think that there is an inherent power in themselves to accomplish great and good works, they cease to rely upon God to do for them that which they think there is power in themselves to do. They acknowledge not a superior power. They give not God the glory which He claims, and which is due to His great and excellent Majesty. Satan’s object is thus accomplished, and he exults that fallen men presumptuously exalt themselves. – Testimonies for the Church, 1:294 (1862)


Ravenna, Snow White and the Huntsman

Pride is not of God, it is of Lucifer.

Lucifer desired God’s power but not His character. He sought for himself the highest place, and every being who is actuated by his spirit will do the same. Thus alienation, discord, and strife will be inevitable. Dominion becomes the prize of the strongest. The kingdom of Satan is a kingdom force; every individual regards every other as an obstacle in the way of his own advancement, or a stepping-stone on which he himself may climb to a higher place. – The Desire of Ages, 435, 436 (1898).

Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Pride and Prejudice

The pride that we are talking to here isn’t just about pride itself, but other iniquities related to it like vanity, selfishness, self-exaltation, and conceit. Just as how these words sound sinisterly, so is how they’ll harm us when they let them inside our hearts.

The world, who act as though there were no God, absorbed in selfish pursuits, will soon experience sudden destruction, and shall not escape. Many continue in the careless gratification of self until they become so disgusted with life that they kill themselves.
Dancing and carousing, drinking and smoking, indulging their animal passions, they go as an ox to the slaughter. Satan is working with all his art and enchantments to keep men marching blindly onward until the Lord arises out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquities, when the earth shall disclose her blood and no more cover her slain. The whole world appears to be in the march to death. – MS 139, 1903. (Evangelism, 26.)

Madame du Barry

If people really want to develop greatness and be noticed for it, it is wrong to start at having great conceptions of ourselves and trust that people will soon think of us like how we perceive ourselves. Pride is not the magic word, but its contradictory term.

“He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked” (1 John 2:6). “Now if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Romans 8:9). This conformity to Jesus will not be observed by the world. It is a subject if notice and comment. The Christian may not be conscious of the great change, for the ore closely he resembles Christ in character, the more humble will be his opinion of himself; but it will be seen and felt by all around him.
Those who have had the deepest experience in the things of God are the farthest removed from pride or self-exaltation. They have the humblest thoughts of self and the most exalted conceptions of the glory and excellence of Christ. They feel that the lowest place in His service is too honorable for them. – Testimonies for the Church 5:223 (1882).

Heidi, Heidi

In the end, it is still those little children who set good examples to us, and not the other way around.

It was not enough for the disciples of Jesus to be instructed as to the nature of His kingdom. What they needed was a change of heart that would bring them into harmony with its principles. Calling a little child to Him, Jesus set him in the midst of them: then tenderly folding the little one in His arms, He said, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.” The simplicity, the self-forgetfulness, and the confiding love of a child are attributes that Heaven values. These are the characteristics of real greatness. – The Desire of Ages, 437 (1898).

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