Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Proverbs 29:1 “A man who remains stiff-necked [prideful] after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed [suffer wrath] – without remedy.”
Indeed, pride is a deadly sin. It seeps down into the heart and oozes out in subtle yet sometimes very noticeable ways. Pride is an elevated sense of worth and value. It can be both positive and negative. Our culture identifies most of people’s problems with a lack of self-esteem and pride. Personal pride is prized all over society.
Some examples include:
– National Pride
– Racial Pride
– Gay Pride
– Team/Sport Pride
– Educational/Career Pride
A person filled with pride sees little, if any, need for God. They have their own appearance, abilities and accolades that are all supposedly apart from God. The Bible gives a contrasting view. Pride is not a virtue but a potential vice that leads one away from God.
God – the Almighty Creator – has a way of revealing where our confidence should focus; and it is not in ourselves. Learning to minimize personal pride can be extremely difficult. It can creep up at any given moment. However, we can identify it and understand where to go for its removal.
TAKING IT HOME
Pride’s Identity: Ask yourself…
– Do you compare?
Comparisons with others establishes a wrong standard. The only standard we should have is in relationship to God. With this standard we all fall short. Pride fails to see this and therefore never understands their need for forgiveness because their way is always right; their understanding is superior; only their perspective is true; etc.
– Are you grateful?
Thanklessness, complaining and sense of entitlement are indicators that you have too high a view of yourself. We deserve very little yet God in his grace often gives comfort and blessing.
Many teens are guilty in this area. They often see others situations as better than their own. Comments like, “Your parents are so much nicer than mine” “I never get what I want”. Gratitude shows humility and reduces pride.
– Do you apologize?
Failing to apologize for wrongs and always seeing other’s faults is a definite sign of pride.
– Do you criticize?
Constantly judging and condemning others is a failure to look inward and see any personal fault. Pointing out faults should start with self-examination (Matthew 7:3-5).
– Are you too busy?
Thinking everything depends on you and no one can do it better. Therefore, we make ourselves busy with things and tasks that we have no business involved in.
Do you pray? Prayer shows that you depend on someone greater than yourself. By praying, you remove pride and show humility. God is honored and draws near to those who are humble in heart (James 4:8)
These are all indicators of pride. Sinful pride is an elevation of self over God. Identifying this sin may be easy, knowing how to kill it is more difficult.
We must understand that pride will swell until hell. In other words, the more we allow sin to increase in our life without being checked the more likely we will experience its consequences (Proverbs 16:18, 29:1). The only cure and escape from hell is the gospel. Jesus offers forgiveness of sin through his payment for it. There is no room for pride when you examine the cross and understand the depth of humility, grace and mercy that God displays.
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”