It goes much deeper than you think.
In some cases, spiritual discernment is required to accurately diagnose it.
In the soul’s mind is where this deception begins.
Mark’s pre-Pentecost portrait of Peter clearly reminded me of these sad truths. In one stroke of the writer’s brush, Peter’s character fault was quickly pointed out.
Peter said to Jesus, “Even though they all fall away, I will not.”Mark 14:29 (ESV)
Before the sobriety of his Pentecostal experience, Peter had one alarming character fault. Once identified, it can go by many names and phrases. It’s best to simply call it PRIDE.
In thinking too highly of himself, Peter insisted that he would not fall away. Everybody else might, he thought, but I will never be one of them.
Compare Peter’s view of himself with the recorded scene only a short while later, and from the same chapter.
“And they all left him and fled.”Mark 14:50 (ESV)
ALL is what the historical record shows. We know from other comparative writings that Peter did lash out in anger, attempting to stop the arrest of Christ. But after being rebuked by Jesus, he fled just like the others.
What is it about the ego of mankind that causes us to think so wrongly confident of ourselves? It begins with an unseen insolence.Tweet
Insolence is not only an outward display of rude behavior. It quietly begins on the inside with a lack of respect for authority. It can reveal itself as insubordination. Fully matured, it is seen as pride.
It was Peter’s pride that persisted even after he fled and followed Jesus at a distance. Mark records him being present in the courtyard. But he still remains blind to the true condition of his heart.
Even though Peter has been rebuked by Jesus and proven wrong about himself, he remained in denial. Mark records his denial in 14:66-72. It happened just as Jesus prophesied. The prideful rooster crowed twice, and the prideful Peter denied Him thrice.
Peter was brought low by the fall of his denial.
PRIDE can be described like this.
Personal – It’s personally conceived within.
Rogue – This rogue mindset will eventually sabotage its carrier.
Insolence – With “I” at the center, such insolence disrespects authority.
Dangerous – It’s so dangerous that damage to others is imminent.
Erroneous – This erroneous attitude is deceptively wrong on so many levels.
I’ll complete my description of pride with this one sentence. It starts as an unseen insolence, which behaves as though to say, “look at me; we both know I’m better than you.”
I thank God that Peter was eventually restored by Jesus, and then mightily used for His Kingdom. Peter’s loving friend John recorded that restoration. By the way that Peter preaches on the Day of Pentecost and continued to serve Christ, I believe his pride was sufficiently settled. From that day forward Peter is seen moving forward with confidence in Christ and holy humility.
Do you know why Mark was able to write this so poignantly? Of course, he was Holy Spirit inspired. But it’s also because the older Peter was one of his main sources that verbally related the chain of events.
What about you? Do you suffer from the insolence of pride? If so, I pray that you will receive the help of God and repent. Do it today. Repent immediately and pray for God’s forgiveness before you hurt yourself and others more.
Those who refuse to repent of insolence are actually cooperating with Satan and his oppressive spirits, which oppose righteous authority and leadership.