One of the hardest things to recognise in ourselves is pride. Not too long ago I saw a quote on social media that states, “pride is like bad breath, everyone knows you have it but you,” and to some extent this is true. We tend to see pride in others, however rarely can see how it plays out in our own lives.
Pride is defined in the Oxford dictionary as “a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.” Whilst it is not wrong to have a sense of happiness about our achievements, the kind of pride I am talking about is the pride that God warns us about in the Bible. Proverbs 6:16 says that pride is the first of seven things that God hates, and rightly so. Pride comes from the enemy. Remember that Lucifer was cast out of heaven due to his pride. He wanted to be like God and we see in the book of Genesis 3 how he sowed this seed into Adam and Eve. He does this throughout the Bible and we are not exempt. Pride is deceptive. Eventually, you will stop hearing from or following God and this often pushes people into a life of sin.
Pride is something that many of us have struggled with or may still struggle with. This can look like having an inflated view of self; being judgemental or overly critical; self-righteousness; stubbornness; refusing to take correction; or being envious when God blesses others. This list is not exhaustive concerning pride. God has recently been speaking to me about perfectionism, especially in relation to writing and various other aspects of my life. I realised that I was procrastinating and delaying what God was trying to do in my life because I did not feel as though it was “perfect.” Anytime you take your eyes off God and direct them to yourself, or rely on your own strength, this is pride. We are not called to please humans, but to live a life that is pleasing to God.
Pride can have many different sources and for some it may not be that they have an overly high opinion of themselves, but rather deep rooted insecurities, low self-worth, feelings of rejection or fear. The behaviours that some may describe as prideful or arrogant may be a defence mechanism.
Pride Leads To Destruction.
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty (arrogant) spirit before a fall.”– Proverbs 16:18 -
Consider Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar was ruled by pride and failed to acknowledge that God gave him his riches and power. The result of his pride is illustrated in the book of Daniel, chapter 4 when the Kingdom of God departed from him and he was made to eat grass like the animals. The moral of this story is that we should never exalt ourselves.
“And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”– Matthew 23:12 -
Our blessings, deliverance and healing can be blocked due to our pride. I say this as the Bible is clear that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5). Being humble is crucial to your Christian walk as this will take you to places that pride will never allow you to go.
So how do we overcome pride?
1. Keep Your Eyes On Jesus And Put Him First.
When we depend too much on ourselves we are not giving God enough space to move. We should therefore seek God first in all things.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”– Matthew 6:33 -
2. Examine Yourself Regularly.
“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.”– 2 Corinthians 13:5 -
As Christian’s we should be examining ourselves regularly and we can do this to see whether there is any pride in us. The Bible says “test yourself.” If you identify with any of the behaviours described in the beginning of this blog post, or you think you may be struggling with pride, ask God. The Holy Spirit will surely reveal this to you so that it can be dealt with.
3. Commit To Reading God’s Word Daily.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17 –
People who struggle with pride, also struggle with receiving correction. By reading the Bible regularly you will start to develop a deeper revelation of God’s word. The word of God is described as a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). It will convict and correct you, however this is not intended to hurt you. God corrects us because He loves us so that we can see the necessary changes in our lives.
4. Love Others.
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up.”– 1 Corinthians 13:4 -
Love is not prideful or arrogant, however is the complete opposite, that being humble and kind. To love, you can start by thinking of others more than you think about yourself, as well as taking a genuine interest in people as Philippians 2:3-4 says. God is love, and we can use Jesus as our prime example of what this looks like.
5. Resist The Enemy By Being Humble.
“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”– James 4:7 -
We have one enemy, the devil and he is the father of all lies. The Bible says when we resist him, he will flee from us. We can also resist him by clothing ourselves with humility. When you do this, God will lift you up at the right time (1 Peter 5:6).
“…And by His stripes we are healed.”– Isaiah 53:5 -
If you struggle with pride, try identifying areas where you need to heal. Knowingly or unknowingly using arrogance as a defence mechanism will always have the reverse effect and keep you in a cycle of pain. God promises us healing and He gives us authority over the lies of the enemy, therefore you can start to speak the word of God, which is truth, over your life.
This is the last post in our Overcoming Series and I pray that you were blessed and encouraged by it. The Holy Spirit led me to write regarding these topics in particular because many times we think that we are okay because we haven’t committed the “big sins” for example murder, sexual immorality, and stealing to name a few. However, what we may see as little things such as, insecurity, rejection, fear, unforgiveness, jealousy and pride can eventually lead to the bigger sins. This is why they need to be dealt with. “The little foxes add up, and will eventually ruin a strong healthy vine” as Joyce Meyer once put it.
God wants me to tell you that you are His precious daughter, you have overcome the world because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).
I hope you have enjoyed this series. Please check out more posts from the Overcoming Series.
Stay Blessed and Encouraged