The Persistence of Pride
You boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. James 4:16
Pride is like a stray cat that acts like a member of the family. When you head toward work, Pride tags along, hoping to be fed. When you take your kids to the park, the pest is there too. He especially loves to jump in the car on the way to church.
When you open the door to offer food and shelter to the needy, Pride tries to slip in through the shuffle of feet. The appropriate response would be to kick him straight back out the door. All too often, though, we find Pride curled up next to us in our favorite chair beside the fire.
If we were to apply this analogy to the book of Esther, we could say that King Ahasuerus’ pride had grown to the size of a large lion that had complete freedom to roam the castle grounds. Chapter one tells us that the king held a gigantic feast to display his wealth. He “showed the riches of his royal glory and the splendor and pomp of his greatness for many days, 180 days” (Esther 1:4). We continue to see Ahasuerus’ pride in the way he protects his time, makes demands, and treats others with disrespect. This pride leads to hurt and confusion among those surrounding him.
The temptation to act like King Ahasuerus is always with us. We naturally desire to impress others: either blatantly with cars and clothes, or more subtly with acts of service and sacrifice. It requires a daily dependence on God’s power to shoo out the stray cat of pride every time it appears.
“The essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride... it is the complete anti-God state of mind.” –C.S. Lewis