Struggling with temptations of the flesh can certainly keep us busy. When we finally feel like we are getting mastery over them, and we are starting to feel that secure feeling of superiority over others, we think it is because we have been making real progress in our sanctification. But in reality, we are moving from a set of temptations that would drag us down into our more animal nature, and have progressed up to those temptations that would drag us up to the pinnacle of rock where the devil wants to tempt us to become like him.
Pride is the most insidious of sins. So long as you have self-consciousness, the raw material is there. And by “there,” I mean right there. This means that you might be attending a church that meets all your specifications—where there are no immodest dresses, no open containers of alcohol, no off-color stories after the service, or anything else you think important. And I am not saying that it isn’t important, but that is not my point here. There might be nothing outside of you that is morally objectionable, at least as far as your eye can see.
And yet, in that perfect environment, you have all you need for sin. And not just sin—you have all you need for the really big ones. This is when you are comparing yourself to your brother or sister, when your Bible is more underlined, or because you made it to psalm sing and they didn’t, or because you know the tenor part to the psalm and he doesn’t, or . . . take your pick. This is why the Bible is so insistent that as we worship we must come together with these others—considering them all better than ourselves.