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II. As Great Evil Against God (14:40)
III. As the Destroyer of Unity (22:11)
“For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”
I. In the Self
Pride is often one of the sins in our lives that we will continuously permit. We may be willing to loosen our hold upon certain worldly pleasure, even certain lusts, yet it is often our pleasure in pride that we are most resistant to lose.
Pride is the sinner’s high. It is the sinner’s false reality that makes them feel safe, great, and powerful. It is the sinner’s identity, image, front, and even the foundation of their whole belief system. It runs throughout our entire being, and that is why we are so resistant to surrender it. Pride is often the very essence of our being, but we hardly realize it. It is how we function without God in this world, what we use to comfort ourselves, our belief system, and even our hope.
Pride is a false reality because it is based upon a lie. It is never based upon the truth. Pride is always built on a lie about God and a lie about ourselves. Rather than seeing that God is all in all (Eph 4:6), a person believes that they have in some capacity anything that only belongs to God: power, authority, truth, righteousness, goodness, love, mercy. It is here that these two lies come together: a false belief about God and a false belief about one’s self.
While all of us have the need to feel safe, significant, and protected, pride is a lie we attempt to build upon to gain these things. Rather than seeking these things within what is true, within God, we seek these things in ourselves, and within a false self. In this we lay a foundation of a lie, and this lie is what makes us feel good. We believe we are better, wiser, stronger, braver, more loving, deeper, etc. And it is this lie, this conceit, that is our comfort. Therefore, to remove this lie and conceit requires exposing ourselves to the truth and seeking these needs in the only place they are truly provided—in God.
Once pride is founded upon these lies, we will then go on to make it our identity and belief system.
It becomes our identity when we take these lies that have made us feel better—though they are still, of course, false—and we fully embrace them. We take a lie like, “Well, if I just work hard I’ll be better than everyone else” to “I am a better person because I work harder than all of them. I deserve to think more highly of myself than others.” Or “If I follow my dreams/desires they will lead me to a fulfilling life” to “I am a person who follows my dreams, I’m a dreamer, writer, dancer, artist. Therefore I am significant.”
We turn these things from a concept that makes us feel better into an identity. This is done by a choice in us, a choice for pride. We are not satisfied at the surface, so we pull these lies deeper and deeper into ourselves. It is done from the very evil nature in us that wants pride, wants to scorn God’s glory and scorn our fellow man. All of this comes from the evil nature within, and yet it always appears harmless in our own eyes. We love pride, even though it is entirely built upon lies. This reveals the truth about ourselves—that we love evil and not good. Even for those of us who, as Christians, have received a new nature, there is the desire of our sinful nature that continues to woo us—we are not exempt from this deception simply because we have believed on Jesus.
We build our identity both upon pride and for pride, not upon the truth and our real identity. With the world crying out about identity, the reality is that so many people know very little about themselves: they only have fulfilled their desires for pride. How foolish then are we to think that we know ourselves! We only know the fantasy we have chosen. We don’t know ourselves at all because we do not know ourselves in truth. They have only drunk the cup of whatever lie they want to believe about themselves, and of course, this will never bring them to the truth about themselves.
As we take these concepts and turn them into our identities, we also turn them into our belief system. Make no mistake, the world’s ideologies only stem from pride and fallen desires. We find safety in a concept, rather than in God and obeying Him, then we believe we’re great because of whatever we chose, allowing it to become our identity, and then we project these choices to further our pride. It is from this that we begin to form our ideologies, ideologies that suit the ways we wish to live and that serve our pride.
Once we’ve comforted ourselves with a lie and taken it into our identity, we further seek to fulfill our longing for pride by advertising ourselves—seeking to glorify ourselves—and we do this by declaring all our thoughts, theories, practices, ideologies, moralities, or philosophies—whatever we’ve used to build our pride. When we further our ideology in pride, it is never done for the idea itself, it is done for ourselves. That is why Christ warns us to not let our left hand know what our right is doing (Matt 6:3). For it is very easy for us to give to others not out of love or compassion, but to seek to do so secretly for our pride. And He warns us, that we’ve had our reward when we choose this: “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.” (Matt 6:2) However it may appear on the surface, we’ve only served our pride, and not God, this person, nor any good at all. More than this, we are guilty of trying to cover up our evil by appearances of good, but God knows our hearts.
What we often fail to understand is that our zeal may not be for what is good but for this pride and what feeds our self. Pride also means that we are excited for our ideas that are contrary to God, paying no mind to how we defy God (pride) in serving them.
The world today is practically screaming with all her theories, methods, sciences, moralities, ideologies, and little practical advice. We may even be one of these people. We often think that if we’re shouting “for others” that we could never be considered to be proud. But these things can be done just as much out of pride as anything else. It is only worse, because we seek to cover our evil deeds with the appearances of “doing good”.
We easily serve from what we want to be true rather than what is true! We serve from a false idea about ourselves that we seek to inflate, and we serve false ideas that are contrary to the truth of God’s Word. An example: many deny the inherent sinfulness of man and work from this idea, trying to make it true. Our constant striving and effort is often no more than an indication of the self will within, and the pride of our hearts. Unwilling to face the reality of ourselves, we seek to oppose God’s Truth and live a vain fantasy about ourselves. We can be highly motivated for this, and we will find ways to justify it.
Make no mistake: people are not always proud because they have actually fulfilled these ideas, identities, or beliefs that they proclaim. The deception of pride is that it does not need truth to ever rest upon. A person can be entirely proud of all of these things only because it makes them feel good to “be” someone who holds these ideals, as if that alone is proof that they themselves are something. “If anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing…” (Gal 6:3) Pride does not need truth; it does not use truth, it uses fantasy and lies. And even if a person does manage to live up to a thimble-full of their ideas, they’re only all the worse for it. For they believe now, in greater deception, that they have the right to be proud, even more than they did before.
To us things like identity or ideologies can look benign, but these can be some of the greatest forms of pride in our lives. All of this makes us very resistant to truly turn away from pride and submit to God, for pride is our everything. Pride takes the place of God in our lives. Yet this “god” is the very thing that will destroy us. It brings us down into great evil and brings us into complete deception. However sweet this pride tastes to us, its end is always death. “For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil, but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.” (Prov 5:3-4)
And for all of us, we have to lose all of this self. This is the death we are called to in Christ. We have to lose our false comforts, identities, and ideas. All of these must die. The trouble for so many today, even as Christians, is that we still refuse to die. When we are taken out of the kingdom of darkness and brought into the Kingdom of Light, this is the exchange we have to make. It is an entirely new foundation/nature. An entirely different reality. In this new reality, we do indeed have an identity, but it is not one of our own choosing or making. That old “self” needs to be left behind.
When we choose pride and sin we remain in darkness, full of self deception. It is only in obedience to Christ that this blindness is removed (Isaiah 42:7). Only in turning to Christ is this “veil” over our minds taken away. “But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.” (2 Cor 3:16) Pride has blinded us to the truth about God, and this has come from choosing sin over God. Pride is our great enemy. We are too blind to see the truth about our own selves, our wicked hearts, minds, and actions. And we are too deceived to see the reality that God judges such wickedness; that this evil and deception is a danger to our very souls. “Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done… Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” (Rom 1:28, 32)
The world is blind to the truth about God and all that He reveals to us. We are born dead in sin and there are many ways in which we continue in this deception. We continue to be deceived in our desires and affections—“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer 17:9), in ignorance, especially willful ignorance—“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you… And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” (Hosea 4:6), and in pride—“In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, ‘There is no God.’” (Psalm 10:4)
By the deception of sin we are blind to the truth of God. We are in darkness and asleep (1 Thess 5:1-7), entirely unaware of the truth of holiness and of the coming judgement of God.
The ocean of sin in us is vast, and far more often than we are aware, we choose death rather than life and lies rather than truth. Today we will talk about one sin planted in the midst of all sins, the sin of pride.
When we choose pride, ignorance, or other sinful desires we enslave ourselves to self-deception. We often think that we can choose any of these without this consequence, but that is just never true. There is a great cost to these things, and that cost is self-deception, harm to others, the stain it creates upon the church, and a failure to glorify God.
As we’ve seen how pride is a great danger to our own selves, let’s look now at why taking up this pride is such evil against God.
People struggle to see their own sin. And generally that is because sin and pride are something permissible in their life, pride being the foundation of their lives and not God. Therefore they hardly see just how wicked it truly is. When we do search ourselves to identify our sin, we often first look for our sin against our fellow man. And when pride is permissible in our eyes, and we convince ourselves we are loving our neighbor as much as most people, we are left to believe we are not so sinful.
But in many ways, the highest priority should be placed on asking the Lord to reveal our sinfulness in how we treat Him.
The first problem here is that our natural relationship to God is disjointed to such a degree that we would not think of God at all unless we were told to. The natural human is convinced he or she is good! Sure, we make mistakes, but we find ways to brush those aside as anomalies. We believe we have no need of “saving”; we just need to be intentional about being our best selves. Where we think we are so approved and free of sin is, in reality, evidence of how dead and blind we are in our sin. We judge good as evil and evil as good. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20) And the clearest evidence of this is revealed in how we deny any moral regard to God, over and above man. We think we owe man a sprinkle of morality yet think we owe God nothing.
Not only this, we are also naturally opposed to God. To us, God has done us wrong and, if He does exist, He is to blame for all the suffering in the world. At the very least, He’s to blame for not stopping it.
Next, we naturally feel no use for God. To us He’s maybe a hobby we might take up—after all, we do want more interesting experiences—but if we’re really honest, we feel no use for God. People think they can live perfectly good lives without Him.
Lastly, when we’re told about God, to us He may or may not be real. At best we may loosely speculate at God’s existence, playing around with vague ideas about God in which we are the one in control. But we never firmly believe He can be known, much less to be known and obeyed! And at worst, we deny His existence altogether.
When we start from our own natural selves, this is all we’ll see. And because we look through this lens, which is a fallen nature, we will fail to perceive our sins because they are the very eyes through which we are looking. And because of this, we believe our nature, our sin, over God and truth. Looking out from our deadness we see no God: no God who will judge us for all we do in this life, no truth about how evil we are in sin, or how the entire foundation by which we live and judge all things is completely corrupt and evil, not good. We will see no fault with ourselves, because we trust in ourselves. Only in breaking this trust of ourselves will we begin to see the wickedness of our ways.
How we act towards God is from this fallen state. We do not honor God as God, we do not believe Him, we do not know Him to be entirely holy, we do not love Him, we do not obey Him, we do not look to Him for all things, we do not acknowledge His rulership, we do not accept that He holds all Truth, we do not believe in His providence, nor His sovereignty. And in the midst of all of this what we do do is honor ourselves, despise God, give God no thought at all, doubt Him, disbelieve His goodness, live in our own strength, trust in ourselves, seek to believe in our own goodness, make up our own morality and rules.
We live in complete rebellion against God. There is not one part in us that does not resist God, or has not become completely dead to God. God is not dead, we are.
And in the place of all of this, in place of God, we have put our pride.
We think we can do a better job with our own lives than God can, and if He does exist He would respect us for this. Even if we seek to make things better, to be more moral, to “ascend” above our failings, we do it all in spite of God, in resistance to God, against God, and not with Him. “For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.” (Rom 10:3) This reveals that even the good we seek to do is filled with evil.
We live for ourselves and not for Him. We live as if this whole universe is here by chance, rather than created by Him. We seek at every moment to try and rob God of all that He has created and to try and kick Him out of His own creation (Rom 1:25). We deny God at every turn, all to permit ourselves and our pride whatever we wish. Even if to our eyes this only includes things that appear innocent and justifiable, still, we trust ourselves and do not trust Him, who alone has the right to tell us what is good and right. We rebel against God by the very good we imagine we do.
Pride is the culmination of all our sin against God. It is a state of complete fallenness. It is so deeply entrenched in us, our self-deception is so severe, so blinding, that we can hardly even imagine that the God of the entire universe exists. And it is only in Christ that this utter blindness is removed (2 Cor 3:14,16). “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom 7:24-25)
God is literally the All in All, the Creator, Sustainer, and Giver of all things. He is the Great I Am, and we cannot perceive Him at all. How desperately fallen and self-deceived are we revealed to be?
II. As Great Evil Against God
III. As the Destroyer of Unity
“Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” (Gal 5:26) Pride destroys us personally, and it is great evil against God, and here we will see that it is also a great evil against our fellow man.
When we choose pride the only thing that is going to happen is that we are going to cause harm and division with our fellow believers, and we are going to deceive ourselves. “For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” (Gal 6:3)
Pride feels good to us because it immediately offers to us the notion that we are “lifted high”. But it is not a “lifting up” that is needed to give us a right standing in which to live; this is a self-exaltation that comes at the cost of those around us. It is only a “step up” because it uses others as footstools, reducing them in order to be higher than them. This is the very definition of conceit. Therefore pride is not a legitimate “lifting up”. It is true that we are in need of being lifted up, and yet we seek this through sin and evil rather than through God and goodness. Pride exalts itself against God and reduces the people around us, in order to be above them. The fact that we find ways to justify ourselves in doing so is meant to be revealing.
It so often seems like a solution to us because pride offers a quick fix to our problems. Did someone sin against you? Then just imagine that you’re better than them! Feeling like life is meaningless? Just imagine that you’re a deep and special person! Are those other proud people making you feel less than them? Then just change your clothes for something a bit more vintage and join them! Pride often looks like identity to us in this way, but pride is not a true identity, it’s an idea we create as a mask to exalt ourselves above others.
All of these ideas have a cost. We cannot hope to choose pride for identity and not have it come at the cost of others. How evil are we revealed to be by the fact that we are so willing to harm others for our sinful pride? How blind are we revealed to be that we do not see just how much our pride does harm and violence to others? We even go so far as to say that we are so sad that people have self esteem issues, etc, and yet we'll never forsake the pride we cling to that causes people to be so damaged in the first place!
To be clear, pride doesn’t need to have a reason or be justifiable. It seeks opportunity regardless of circumstances. Many of us think that people only choose pride because of hurt, but pride is in our very nature, and it constantly wants to be satisfied. That is why pride will take any opportunity for itself. The ugly truth is that in whatever circumstance we find ourselves, “rich or poor”, we will try to use whatever is around us for pride. That is why a person who is “rich” (has socially accepted reasons for pride) must be so careful, and that is why a person who is “poor” (has hard circumstances, is in a minority, is less “acceptable”) must also be careful.
The “rich” seek pride in their richness. Generally this is an idea that they’ve done something right in order to have what they have. They scorn others because of this, and look down upon them. They do not see or believe that they have what they have because of God—they believe they simply deserve it. Today this can be far less to do with money, and far more to do with success, revelation, education, or just whatever life one has been born into.
The “poor” today seek pride similarly to the rich, for the rich seek it in their richness, and the poor seek it in their poverty. They believe they are superior simply because of being not rich! They seek to feel they are more than others, that people are indebted to them, that they’re deeper or wiser than others because of their circumstances. In both cases, the “rich” and the “poor” seek pride in their circumstances.
Both of these pride themselves in the mere circumstances around them, what they are born to, and hold up their own choices as proof that they deserve something above the other. And by this they deny the equality of mankind. And both are guilty of this.
All of these attitudes just scratch the surface on how we act in pride, and these attitudes are constantly sneaking their way into the church today.
When we cover up pride with “my past”, my identity, my preference, “I’m just different”, “I’m so smart, you just don’t understand me”, “I’m just so enlightened because of my pain”... all of this is pride.
Pride is a great evil to our fellow man. It reduces them, harms them, and even abuses them. It is an entire failure to love our neighbor. It is harsher than neglect, though—it is actively violent, ripping dignity, agency, and even humanity away from people.
When we choose pride it will always bring division. It will create fierce competition with everyone trying to climb on top of the “others”. Ultimately, this pushes people to seek out different circumstances rather than seek God! He alone makes us to differ while still being equal (1 Cor 4:7). When a church allows pride, in any capacity, it will tear apart all true unity and community. “But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.” (Gal 5:15) And it will destroy godliness and the true worship of God.
When you think you’re cool, it’s because you think you are cooler than someone else—and you might say, “No, I love people’s differences!”, but think again: there are those whose differences you do not think are as great as yours. When you think you’re awesome because you’re young, you scorn those who are older. When you congratulate yourself for being “special”, it’s because you think you have an edge on the people who are “normal/boring”—or you simply are driven to find that edge. In Christ we are commanded to turn away from all of this pride in love for the brethren. “I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts.” (Psalm 119:63, NIV)
Pride is an evil contempt upon others. It’s an attitude that would sacrifice all these “other” people in order for selfish gain. You cannot have pride and love others. You can “love”, perhaps, those immediately near you, simply because you join them with you in your pride, making it a “we” pride instead of a “me” pride. But don’t be fooled by this. Joining with other people because it grants us whatever our pride is after is nowhere near love. There is still no true regard for the lives of these people.
People who choose pride and start this fight of “provoking one another” (Gal 5:26) always feel they are not to blame because they think their sins are hidden. They repackage their prideful thoughts and responses into gracious and benign presentations, as if convincing others of their humility makes them actually humble. They think they can hide this pride if they merely keep it behind clenched teeth. But they are entirely to blame for provoking others with their conceit and downright selfishness.
Regardless of those who are going to continue on in their pride, what are we going to choose? Let us remember what Christ warns us of, and that is not to allow evil to push us into doing evil. (Rom 12:21) We must fight for humility with all our strength.
IV. In Suffering
The next subject I want to touch upon is the issue of pride in suffering. There is value in going in-depth on this topic, because while the previous section introduced some general thoughts, this is of particular importance as it is largely misunderstood in the current cultural climate. Pride can feel good in the moment, and it can especially feel like a solution when we are suffering. It can seem to be the comfort we are searching for, but it only deceives us by these “sensations”.
So many of us do not realize how much is at stake for us in our suffering. Just like in the rest of our lives, we either choose God and His ways or we choose the devil and his. When we are in suffering, it is tempting (and possibly seems entirely appropriate) to take the "olive branch" of pride as a means of escape. And it certainly will give us the feeling of escape, but it means we lose the true work that God intends suffering to work within us: humility and holiness.
Our needs and suffering may be very real, but pride will never lead us to a real solution, the truth about ourselves, or our real identity. It’s only a high that comes at the cost of yourself and others, and it is entirely evil. In order to escape pride, especially in suffering, one has to do the hard work to remain truly humble in God’s sight, to wrestle into the truth, to live in faith, and walk in real love for God and others.
It can feel like a solution to us because pride is often the method we use to comfort ourselves in suffering. Had a hard life? Well, then just imagine you’re secretly like Batman. Been treated poorly by others? Then just believe that you’re more compassionate and enlightened than others! Pride is a 'quick fix' that many take in suffering. And what is most difficult for us is that often it is within suffering that we find we must truly forsake our pride. Choosing humility and godliness can even mean staying in the throes of suffering longer, while we figure out how to navigate out of sin in the midst of it. This can mean that we suffer even more intensely than those who choose pride! In a way, we suffer a double loss: our affliction and the loss of our precious pride (our identity, ideologies, dreams, etc). This is the price we must pay. Yet if we fail to pay it, we fail to love righteousness over evil! And we do not grasp the true cost of pride.
All these responses within suffering are coping mechanisms, and not to be treated too cruelly. Yet we also need to realize that we are the one who is cruel when we choose them, even in suffering. And when we do these things, we don’t get to the true wisdom and truth we need in these circumstances. It keeps us from what we need, it does not lead us to it. It can even trap us deeper in our circumstances as we try to play out whatever hero, empathy-warrior, survivor, or deep person we’re trying to believe we are.
Not only this, but we will not just “overcome” those who have wronged us, but we will begin wronging those around us who have done nothing to us. We are actually overcome by evil to do evil (pride), and do not actually overcome evil by doing good (humility). Pride is always something that depends upon reducing, harming, and blaming others in order to survive. Our permitting of this, even in deep suffering, reveals how deeply unrighteous and selfish we are. And our suffering, however great, is never a permission to do evil.
So for example, someone wrongs us deeply. And in order to overcome this we believe a lie that we are more enlightened than others, and that’s what this suffering showed us. Now we go out with our little shield of pride, and we may or may not fend off whoever wronged us, but now we will mistreat every other person we come into contact with because we’re always reducing them as “not as deep as we are”. We cast them off under our little ideas and rules.
The only cure for this is ensuring that what we gain in suffering is in Christ and from Christ, and not of the flesh/self/pride in our hearts. We must be aware that we are prone to reaching conclusions from our own hearts, and this includes all circumstances, even when we are suffering. If we cannot know that it is from Christ, then we know that it is from ourselves. A test of this is looking carefully at what we are desiring to not give God credit for. Augustine said, "For no one ought to consider anything as his own, except perhaps what is false."
It can feel like such loss to us to lose these veils of pride that we’ve so intricately woven. We often hold so tightly to these comforts because we’ve just about died in the process of getting them, but the reality is that they are, in fact, the things that are killing us, and that are doing evil against God and our fellow man. This is not the path to meaning, holiness, and truth.
The immediate reality when we are in suffering is that we do need solutions and comforts. We need a right shield and we need real comfort when we’ve suffered injustice. But often we allow pride to be these things, rather than seeking from God the truth.
Let's be very clear: the suffering a person goes through should never be minimized. The Lord says, “For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.” (Psalm 22:24) Too often people who fail to have any real solutions for those in suffering turn to minimize the truth of people’s suffering as some “solution”. This is evil, lazy, cruel, and selfish. And God never does this. We need, for instance, to know that we have the right to separate from people who do evil (Rom 16:17), that God promises justice (Rom 12:19), that He is angered by evil (Ps 7:11), that He is not biased and never supports prejudice (Lev 19:15), that He takes the side of the needy against their oppressors (Psalm 109:31), that we are not wrong to cry out and persist for the help we need (Luke 15:13). It is often because we don’t believe these truths that we seek to fill their absence with pride. Therefore we shouldn’t deny these needs, but seek to fill them rightly with truth.
When we are seeking to escape abuse, a hard life, or suffering, we are right to never believe any lie that reduces us to being lower than other people. This is generally the effect of other people’s sin and pride. It is wicked and cruel. Yet this is precisely where we so often take up our little shields of our own pride, doing evil because of the evil done to us. No, in Christ we must learn to overcome evil with good (Rom 12:21). The truth is that while we are not less than others, neither are we above them. And more than this, our suffering never removes the truth that we are sinners. Nor does it permit us to live in sin. The truth is that we are equal to others in nature; we are no less and we are no more. And that is what we must fight to believe. The pathway forward for us is Christ. There is a way for us! It is the pathway of righteousness, turning from all evil, even when we have suffered great evil from others.
V. A Humble Prayer
These are only some of the ways that pride rears its ugly head. The great thing we should take away about pride is that it will seek to sink into our hearts, our very beings, in any way that it can. And that it is a sin that has one body but a hundred heads. These mere articles could hardly communicate and describe all of these.
For the believer, it persists with our permission—and in our walk with the Lord, He will press us to face the hard truths. As much as we resist this work, let us praise God, for He is not man. He is not fooled, even when we are. God can expose sin to us, He can uproot it, kill it, and bring us into true humility and truth. Praise God that in Christ we truly can turn from such sin! Let us love righteousness, accepting the cost!
There is certainly still hope. Christ, our Savior has come down, and in Him we may know the power of His Righteousness, to save us from our sin, and sanctify us completely.
Lord, we are in great need of realizing just how real, deep, and deceptive sin truly is. We ask and rely on you for the strength to set our hearts, mind, eyes, and ears towards the truth, to be willing to see sin for what it is, fight against its allure, and walk towards true holiness. We desire to be awake to all these things. Awaken us and awaken the Church to the reality of sin, the reality of pride, and stir us to urgent action to put away from us all wickedness.
Forgive us, God, for resting with contentment in a state of sin, and give us the unrest that leads us to repent. Thank you for the hope of Christ, that we have the promise of a very present Help, and that You draw near to us when we draw near to You.