Welcome to the fifth and final installment on this series on Pride. Just to review in Part 1 I shared my testimony about the pride in my life as a backdrop to this study. In Part 2 Pride was exposed in a different form and the subtlety of pride was discussed. In Part 3 and Part 4 we looked at various forms of pride and how hey manifest themselves. I would recommend that you go back and look over those earlier posts before reading this last piece, but that’s up to you!
In this last post, we will look at how God feels about pride, and then steps you can take to start to work the pride out of your life. The key is recognizing you have it, and knowing whether it is in control or not. Mine was out of control, and I didn’t even know I had the pride that could bring me down. But I did, and I am thankful someone showed me the way out. I have said this before, but it is worth repeating. If you feel you are without pride, and you have it all together, then I urge you to seek God about it. That’s where I was. Pride hides itself – I can’t stress that enough. And no one will be able to tell you that you are prideful because you will not accept that. The Holy Spirit has to reveal that to you.
Let’s take a look at the Bible now, and see how Good feels about pride. I have chosen a few verses that sum it up pretty well.
1 Corinthians 8:2 – If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know;
Psalm 10:2 – In pride the wicked hotly pursue the afflicted; Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised.
Proverbs 16:5 – Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; Assuredly, he will not be unpunished.
Psalm 101:5 – Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy; No one who has a haughty look and an arrogant heart will I endure.
Proverbs 11:2 – When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom.
Proverbs 15:25 – The LORD will tear down the house of the proud, But He will establish the boundary of the widow.
Proverbs 26:12 – Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Proverbs 29:23 – A man’s pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor
Isaiah 2:11-12 – The proud look of man will be abased And the loftiness of man will be humbled, And the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. For the LORD of hosts will have a day of reckoning Against everyone who is proud and lofty And against everyone who is lifted up, That he may be abased.
Isaiah 13:11 – Thus I will punish the world for its evil And the wicked for their iniquity; I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud And abase the haughtiness of the ruthless.
Psalm 10:4 – “In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God”
Prov 8:13 – “I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech”
Ezekiel 7:24 – “the most wicked of nations…I will put an end to the pride of the mighty, and their sanctuaries will be desecrated”
James 4:6 – “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble”
Prov 6:16 – “six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him – a proud look”
I think you get a pretty good idea from this selection of verses that God hates pride. The question you might ask is why? And there is a simple answer. Pride in a person takes that persons eyes off of God and sets those eyes onto themselves. Once our attention is away from God, we start to feel like we can do as we please, like our wisdom is as good as God’s, like we have the knowledge to get through life without God, like we can make it on our own. We start to make decisions based on those beliefs instead of making decisions based on the word of God. And we start to drift further and further away until we don’t know what is right and what is wrong. And we lose our way. Slowly and very discretely we drift away, even though we don’t know we are drifting. God’s desire is for us to never lose our way.
So, you’ve come to a point where you realize by the help of the Holy Spirit, that you have to deal with pride in your life. What do you do? The first step is to repent. I am talking about true repentance, brokenness before God. Notice Prov 29:23 ad James 4:6 above. Both tell us that God has respect for the humble. Psalm 51;17 tells us that the sacrifices of God are a broken and contrite heart. If we cannot get to the point of being broken before God for our pride, it will be hard for us to ever give up that pride. Pride must be broken to be removed. But our pride will resist being broken at all cost. You start to see what a battle this is! You must let go of yourself in order to tackle this problem, which brings us to the next step.
John the Baptist said it best. When he was asked by his disciples about Jesus, he said “He must increase and I must decrease”. This is a foundation of humility – dying to self. Ga 2:20 tells us that we are crucified with Christ, and He now lives through us. Col 3:3 says we are dead and our life is hid in Christ. A life that is free of the controlling influence of pride does not allow the cares and hurts of this world to affect them. There is no jealousy, no envy, no offense and no revenge. Others are preferred above self (Phil 2:3-4), feelings are never hurt. Our eyes are on Jesus, not on this fleshly life down here. He is the one we turn to, not ourselves. And He teaches us to be humble, meek and lowly, which brings me to the third point.
A prideful person usually likes to be heard. They feel their input is valuable in any conversation and they speak out often when they should not. Pride is talkative. Humility is not. Humility speaks only when prompted by God, and then only in a quiet voice. This was a hard lesson for me. I always wanted to answer the questions to have my input heard and contribute to the conversation. I had to learn to quiet down, more in my own home than anywhere else, It was a hard lesson and I still battle that. Cultivate silence!
Let’s say you have read this, and you have taken the steps to be broken before God. And you are ready to try and walk away from your pride. I strongly suggest you find someone to be accountable to. Pride does not go away, it simply comes under control. Without someone helping you monitor that, it will rise up again. My wife is my accountability partner, and she has the right to tell me when my pride is acting up, and I have promised to listen and react appropriately, and it is working well. For you, it may be a spouse, or a pastor, or a friend. But find someone and be honest with them about what you need. This is not an easy battle, but it is well worth the fight.
If you would like to read a good book on the subject, I suggest “Irresistible to God” by Steve Gallagher. And feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. I am by no means an expert, but I am a listening ear.