Seeing the Ugliness of Spiritual Pride

“Apprehensions of pride – the sin of young ministers – working in my heart, filled me with inexpressible bitterness and confusion before the Lord. I found, that, when I met with enlargement [success] in prayer or preaching, or answered a question readily and suitably, I was apt to applaud myself in my own mind. I affected pre-eminence above what belonged to my age or worth. I therefore endeavored to take a view of my pride – as the very image of the Devil, contrary to the grace and image of Christ – as an offense against God, and grieving of his Spirit – as the most unreasonable folly and madness for one, who had nothing singularly excellent, and who had a nature so corrupt – as infinitely dangerous, and ready to provoke God to deprive me of my capacities and opportunities. I therefore resolved to carry my distempered heart to be cured by Jesus Christ, that all-sufficient Physician – to watch against my pride – to study much the nature and aggravations of it, and the excellence of the contrary grace.”

Cotton Mather quoted by Charles Bridges in The Christian Ministry (Banner of Truth: 1830/2001), p. 152.

3 thoughts on “Seeing the Ugliness of Spiritual Pride

  1. I get the impression that God is giving His people a deep hunger for godly humility. Why? Only in humility to we have the right concept of our relationship with God. It is a constant battle to uproot pride and cultivate humility in our hearts. Sadly, most believers just sit and watch the weeds grow in their hearts instead of actively uprooting what our flesh and Satan plants there. Let’s pray for a great outpouring of conviction upon God’s people about our filthy stinking pride.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  2. Mike,

    And what incredible evangelism we will have when we talk with sinners, not as self-rightous moralists looking down on others, but truly broken sinners who are reaching out to other sinners!


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