In addition to lust of the flesh and lust of the eyes, pride of life can also be promoted by technology. Sure, it’s normal — but it’s also sinful. And sin comes with consequences (Galatians 6:7-9). Of course, it always offers the allure of pleasure, but that pleasure is short-lived (Hebrews 11:24-26).
Even though pride was at the root of the first sin in the Garden of Eden, it’s still arguably the most subtle and alluring — perhaps because the Enemy of our Souls is so established in presenting it! Our deceptive hearts constantly pull us toward focusing on ourselves, but that’s really not where the true joy is (Psalm 16:11, Jeremiah 17:9, Philippians 2:3).
The Pride of Life
We’re so inextricably intertwined with pride of life that it’s hard to even recognize it sometimes. One writer describes it this way: “Here is the essence of the pride of life — anything that exalts us above our station and offers the illusion of God-like qualities, wherein we boast in arrogance and worldly wisdom.” Learning to recognize this as a vice in our own lives is a major step toward helping our teens see it and realize how technology can reveal it in us.
Pride in Successes and Failures
Whether it’s a quest for achievement or position or actual realization of it, technology can become a means by which we indulge in our heart’s prideful bent. We can easily see pride surfacing in “humble brags” — or outright self-exalting announcements posted on social media.
Such self-praise is out of keeping with God’s desire for us (Proverbs 27:2). We can also demonstrate a prideful heart when we fail to achieve or attain what we desire. Complaining, self-pity, and anger are all rooted in prideful and selfish desires that have been unmet.
Manufacturing of Achievements
Interestingly, two of the three “psychological needs” mentioned in this article about why people play video games relate to fueling our own pride: The first is competence — “a desire to seek out control or to feel mastery over a situation. People like to feel successful, and we like to feel like we’re growing and progressing in our knowledge and accomplishments. . . . It’s also easy to see how video games make us feel more accomplished. Every time we level up in Final Fantasy or defeat a challenging boss in God of War, games are fulfilling our desire to feel competent.”
The second is autonomy — “the desire to feel independent or have a certain amount of control over our actions. . . . This need explains why game series that offer players a wealth of free choices – such as The Elder Scrolls or Grand Theft Auto – are so popular.”
Continue with Part 4.