Pride & Arrogance (The Carbon Monoxide of Sin)

Posted on February 17, 2014

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After months of prayer (and copious amounts of frustration), our search for a home had finally come to a close.

It was the summer of 2010 and the desire of our family was to have a home in the same community that our church was located. It just so happened that our church was located a half mile from the heart of Uptown Charlotte in the historic Elizabeth community. With a median price tag of a half million dollars, purchasing was out of the question. Renting was our only option, but even then most homes were double the amount that our family of six could afford.

We found a 1,300 square foot home that was located on a beautiful street that piqued our interest. It was in need of some TLC, but it turned out that the owner, Betty, was willing to work with us. The neighbors were amazing and we felt at home almost immediately. I remember thinking to myself, “My dad had six siblings and he grew up in a three bedroom home. I’m sure we can make a three bedroom, one bathroom house work for our family, as well.” This turned out to be one of the best decisions we ever made. Getting ready in the morning has proved to be a chaotic symphony with only one bathroom, but this home has been filled with amazing memories over the last four years.

As we toured the home, I noticed a digital box positioned by the back door. I called Betty over and asked, “What’s this?” She replied, “That’s a carbon monoxide detector. You’ll probably never need it, but I like to have it in each home I own. Carbon monoxide is odorless and tasteless, but it can kill you if there’s too much in your home. If you hear the alarm, get out.” I was equally comforted and terrified by this thought.

I was thinking about this conversation as I read the Proverbs this morning…

All who fear the Lord will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride
and arrogance, 
corruption and perverse speech.
– Proverbs 8:13

One of my favorite authors, Tim Keller,  says that “Pride and arrogance are like the carbon monoxide of sin. It’s hard to recognize, but it can kill you.” I am fully aware that I am only one perspective shift away from taking credit for the blessings of God in my life, family and ministry. And this Proverb is a reminder that God places price and arrogance in the same category as more detectable sins such as corruption and perverse speech. That shows the seriousness of these sins.

Jesus gives us a beautiful contrast in the Sermon on the Mount by teaching that God blesses those that are humble (Matthew 5:5). I am praying that you and I would be reminded today to check our hearts for impure motives. May we be quick to recognize pride and arrogance, and quick to repent when the carbon monoxide detector starts to ring the alarm in our lives.

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