After stating that many would be lovers of themselves and of money, Paul wrote (at 2 Timothy 3:1-4) that people would also be boastful, haughty, and puffed up with pride, traits that often reflect a feeling of superiority because of one’s abilities, appearance, wealth, or rank. People with such traits crave to be admired and adored. One scholar wrote the following about the person who has an all-consuming pride: “In his heart there is a little altar where he bows down before himself.” Some have said that inordinate pride is so distasteful that even the proud dislike it in others.
Some people become proud because of their good looks, popularity, musical ability, physical prowess, or exalted position. David had not just one of these assets but all of them; yet, he remained humble throughout his life. After he killed Goliath and was offered the daughter of King Saul to be his wife, David said: “Who am I and who are my relatives, my father’s family in Israel, for me to become son-in-law to the king?” (1 Sam. 18:18) What helped David remain humble? The qualities, abilities, and privileges David had were because God ‘stooped down,’ or humbled himself, to pay attention to him. (Ps. 113:5-8) David knew that he did not possess anything good that he had not received from Jehovah God.—Compare 1 Corinthians 4:7 “For who makes you different from another? Indeed, what do you have that you did not receive? If, in fact, you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not receive it?” [excerpted w January 2018
“Where is the love?”….[“Where Is The World Headed?” excerpted article: w05] my highlights…
Yes, human society is steeped in nationalism. Each nation and ethnic group is driven by the desire for self-determination. National sovereignty combined with the spirit of competition and greed has produced a volatile mix. In one case after another, when national interests conflict with global interests, national interests win out.
Nationalism is well described by the psalmist’s expression, “the pestilence causing adversities.” (Psalm 91:3) It has been like a plague on humanity, leading to untold suffering. Nationalism with its resultant hatred of other peoples has existed for centuries. Today, nationalism continues to fan the flames of divisiveness, and human rulers have not been able to stop it.
Many authorities recognize that nationalism and self-interest are the root of the world’s problems. For example, former United Nations Secretary-General U Thant observed: “So many of the problems that we face today are due to, or the result of, false attitudes . . . Among these is the concept of narrow nationalism—‘my country, right or wrong.’” Still, nations today, engrossed in self-interest, are clamoring more and more for their own sovereignty. Those who have the advantage do not wish to give up even a little of it. For example, the International Herald Tribune made this observation about the European Union: “Rivalry and mistrust remain basic patterns of European politics. For most EU member states, it is still unacceptable for one of their peers to gain greater influence and take the lead.”
[..] By breaking the world up into their own separate dominions, groups of men as well as individuals have experienced the fulfillment of this Bible principle: “One isolating himself will seek his own selfish longing; against all practical wisdom he will break forth.”—Proverbs 18:1.
The only way the world will become united is by having one world authority that works in the interests of all people. Many thinking people recognize this need. Those who do, however, often look in the wrong place. For example, many commentators, including religious leaders, have urged people to look to the United Nations for world unity. However, human organizations, no matter how noble their ideals, have never been able to solve mankind’s international problems. Rather, most of these organizations have simply become a reflection of the disunity that exists among various nations.
The Bible warns against looking to human institutions for the solution when it says: “Do not put your trust in nobles, nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs.”(Psalm 146:3) Does this leave us at a dead end as far as world unity is concerned? Not at all. There is another way.
Relevant readings on Nationalism…[excerpted: Prejudice and Discrimination–Getting to the Roots AWAKE! 09]
Nationalism. One dictionary defines nationalism as “a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations.” Ivo Duchacek, a professor of political science, observed in his book Conflict and Cooperation Among Nations: “Nationalism divides humanity into mutually intolerant units. As a result people think as Americans, Russians, Chinese, Egyptians, or Peruvians first, and as human beings second—if at all.”
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”—Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Religion. The book The Nature of Prejudice says: “Abominations inevitably result when men use their religion to justify [selfish pursuits] and ethnic self-interest. It is then that religion and prejudice merge.”What is especially striking, the same book observes, is how readily many religious people “seem to slip from piety into prejudice.” Evidence in support of those words is seen in racially exclusive churches, sectarian hatred and violence, and acts of terror inspired by religion.
Pride. In the form of inordinate self-esteem or haughtiness, pride can make a person more susceptible to prejudice. For example, pride can cause a person to be prone to feelings of superiority or disdain toward the less educated or the materially poor. It may also make him inclined to believe propaganda that elevates his national or ethnic group. Clever propagandists, such as Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, have deliberately nurtured national and racial pride to rally the support of the masses and to malign those considered to be different or undesirable.
▪What does the Bible say? “[Do] nothing out of contentiousness or out of egotism, but with lowliness of mind [consider] that the others are superior to you.” (Philippians 2:3) Ask yourself: ‘Do I take secret delight in flattering compliments about my own race or ethnic group or in disparaging remarks about others? Am I inclined to be jealous of those who have talents that I lack, or do I take genuine delight in their abilities?’
10/20/17 @ 8:50 p.m.
(Please read Part 4 when posted.)