I have decided to finish off this series by discussing the topic of pride.
So how do you know whether you have an issue with pride? Maybe ask yourself these questions. Do you always have to have things your own way? Are you excessively stubborn? Are you unteachable? Do you always struggle to see the best in people, but have an inflated view of self? Are people always telling you that you’re prideful or Contentious? If so then it’s very likely that you have a pride problem. Many of us including myself have struggled with this, so you’re not alone.
The Bible says that Pride is the first of seven things that God hates, (Proverbs 6:16) and rightly so. Pride is the foundation of many sins and we see this with the fall of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3. Pride is also what caused Lucifer to want to be better than God and led to him losing his place in heaven.
So is it possible to love people when you are struggling with pride?
“…Love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;”
~ 1 Corinthians 13:4 ~
It is not possible to fully love others when you are prideful. Pride can damage relationships as well as your testimony. Overcoming pride is fundamental to Christian living as God calls us to love each other.
The Dangers of Pride:
Pride holds you back from living your full potential and eventually leads to destruction.
“Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.”
~ Proverbs 16:18 ~
Look at the story of Haman in the book of Esther. Haman was very prideful. It was at the point when Mordecai did not stand or tremble before him, that was filled with anger towards Mordecai. (Esther 5:9). Haman’s plot against Mordecai failed and in the end he was the one that ended up being humiliated.
“When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom.”
~ Proverbs 11:2 ~
Pride brings about anger. Haman became angry at Mordecai and this led to him plotting his death.
“By pride comes nothing but strife, But with the well-advised is wisdom.”
~ Proverbs 13:10 ~
God will resist you
The bible warns us that if we do not humble ourselves and submit to each other than He will resist us. Moreover, when we humble ourselves Gods grace will always be prevalent in our lives. We need His Grace to get by. Without it we are pretty much finished.
“God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
~ 1 Peter 5:5 ~
Spiritual pride takes place in so many churches today. Have you ever met someone who ticked all of the boxes when it came to Christianity? They speak in tongues, are able to recite Bible verses, do a few good deeds here and there, may even have the gift of prophesy, however their love for people is questionable. They are always in conflict with others and are unable to see where they are going wrong. To them, the issue lies with everyone else. They are never at fault. This is a form of spiritual pride and the Bible says that without love all the religious acts and good deeds will profit you nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
Pride is Worldly:
Pride is of the world and not of the Father (1 John 2:16).This means that it is not Christlike. When Christians choose to hold on to pride it is hard to distinguish those who are saved from those who are not saved.
“For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.”
~ 1 John 2:16 ~
So how do we triumph over pride?
1. Begin by praying “less of me and more of You God.”
“He must increase, but I must decrease.”
~ John 3:30 ~
When John the Baptist was called to ministry he acknowledged that Jesus was greater than all. Despite John having a number of followers he did not allow this to go to his head, but pathed the way for Jesus Christ.
2. Put others first.
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
~ Philippians 2:3-4 ~
Pray that God will help you in this area and make a conscious effort to be merciful, kind, humble, meek and patient towards people (Colossians 3:12). When you place others above yourself you really feel the difference as this gives less focus on yourself.
3. Realise that your sufficiency is from God.
Yes you may have achieved great things, and you may take pride in these things but you need to remember that your strength comes from God and not yourself.
“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God,”
~ 2 Corinthians 3:5 ~
4. Be Clothed in Humility.
“Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility…”
~ 1 Peter 5:5 ~
When you are clothed with humility it is much easier to be at peace with people.
When I think of humility I think of Jesus. Out of love, Jesus paid the ultimate price for our sins. He lowered himself and became a servant just for us.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
~ John 1:14 ~
There are many benefits of humility. Here are just a few:
Respect and Honour
When we are humble we will then obtain respect and honour.
“A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor.”
~ Proverbs 29:23 ~
“…But with the humble is wisdom.”
~ Proverbs 11:2 ~
Wisdom is needed in all areas of life. When you seek God’s wisdom, your judgement will be less clouded and you will be able to make better decisions.
You will be exalted
If you continue to exalt yourself and hold on to pride you will be humbled (Matthew 23:12). However when you humble yourself you are giving God the opportunity to exalt you.
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,”
~ 1 Peter 5:6 ~
Finally. Work at being Gods best. Cultivate a heart for people, a heart that is compassionate, loving, kind and patient. By doing this people will know that you are Christ Disciples (John 13:35).
Stay Blessed and Encouraged