I’m reading through the book of Esther and I can’t help but see the underlining cautionary tale of pride. Pay attention to Haman when reading Esther. Haman is made the right-hand man to the king by the king himself. He is over everyone in the vast Persian Empire. We are shown how he reacts when one man (Mordecai; uncle to Esther and a Jew) does not show him the respect he feels he is owed. His pride is so badly bruised, he schemes to destroy an entire race of people; the Jewish people. His plan fails and at the end, Haman is hung on the gallows he built to use on Mordecai.
I see the underlining story as an affirmation of what the Solomon wrote in Proverbs 16:18 (Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.). Haman was so prideful that because of one slight, he wanted to end an entire people group. That’s extreme, but can we say we are any different? We all have some level of pride that we must give over to God especially those of us who are in the forefront of a ministry. We can lose sight of what our function is. The function of any Christian (pastor, deacon, Sunday school teacher, etc.) is to direct people to God through His Son Jesus Christ. We start to think that we are doing this or we are doing that but in reality we aren’t doing anything; God is the One who is doing it.
Part of me picking up my cross daily and dying is giving my pride over to God. Haman is an extreme example of what pride can lead to so be mindful of it. Pride caused Satan to fall; it lead Adam and Eve to sin; and it can destroy you. Take a moment and read through what I call the “Pride Test.” I found this somewhere a number of years ago. If you can yes to anyone of these items, ask God to help you die to pride.
Pride comes as we. . .
• Think about ourselves
• Talk about ourselves
• Use the personal pronoun “I” as often as possible in our conversations
• Mirror ourselves continually in the opinion of others
• As we listen greedily to what people say about us
• Insist on consideration and respect
• Demand agreement with our own views on everything
• Sulk if people are not grateful to us for favors show them
• When we never forget a service rendered
It comes when we. . .
• Expect to be appreciated
• When we are suspicious of others
• Are sensitive to slights
• Are overcome with jealousy and envy
• Never forget a criticism
• Trust nobody but ourselves