One tithes faithfully, so he frequently speaks about the widespread lack of giving in the church at large. One serves in various capacities in a local congregation and so he begins to complain about how others are not serving to the same degree. When we speak in these ways, we can be sure that we have taken our eyes off of Christ–and our need for His blood and perfect righteousness–and have placed them on our performance, our knowledge or our achievements.
One of the greatest snares to the souls of men is the snare of measuring ourselves by ourselves and comparing ourselves among ourselves (2 Cor. 10:12). When we allow pride to fester and take root in our hearts, we begin to think, act and speak as if we are more holy than others. When we do so, we make that at which we think we excel our standard of holiness, rather than God’s Law with all of its unattainable depths and requirements. Once we begin to do this with regard to spiritual disciplines or biblical principles, we have succumbed to spiritual pride. John Owen once wrote, “spiritual pride is the worst sort of pride.” He went on to explain,
“Pride, or carnal confidence in our own wisdom and ability of mind for all the ends of our duty towards God either keeps the souls of men under the bondage of darkness and ignorance, or precipitates them into foolish apprehensions or pernicious errors…”
The more religious a man or woman may be, the more in danger he or she is to succumbing to the temptation to spiritual pride. This was the error of Pharisaism. Pharisaism was a biblical holiness movement. Pharisaism was fueled by a legal zeal for holiness and biblical justice.