God does not condone the pride of men. Instead of looking to Him with exaltation and praise, we lift up our talents and good deeds and praise ourselves.
The word protean means “tending or able to change frequently or easily, able to do many different things; versatile.”
Behold my talents, my eloquence and my zeal!
(Octavius Winslow, “Eminent Holiness Essential to an Efficient Ministry“)
“I hate pride and arrogance!” Proverbs 8:13
Pride is a protean evil–assuming a thousand varied and opposite forms.
There is no soil so holy, in which the root of pride will not strike.
There is no employment so sacred, on which pride will not engraft itself.
Pride will even make the cross of Christ a pedestal on which to erect its deformed visage! Yes, while exalting Jesus–we may be found but exalting ourselves. And while exclaiming, “Behold the Lamb of God!”–we may be but veiling His true glory behind our insignificant persons; virtually exclaiming, “Behold my talents, my eloquence and my zeal!” Is there not in us, my brethren, a manifest deficiency of the lowly, self-annihilating humility of the Divine Master whom we serve, and whom it should be our aim and glory to resemble?
The glory of God! What a persuasive motive to ministerial holiness! Let it be ours, my brethren–our one, sole, undeviating aim. Let us sacrifice everything that would divert us from it–fame, applause, reputation, popularity, worldly comfort, the dearest interests of self. If any of these come in competition with the honor of divine truth and the glory of God–then let them go!
“The Lord detests all the proud of heart!” Proverbs 16:5
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001