When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. – Proverbs 11:2
Pride. Many would say that this is the ultimate sin that leads to other sins. I would have to agree with this logic. Pride sits in the core of most (if not all) other troubles, and it is the hardest one to overcome. It can disguise itself too, which we need to be cautious of .
Let me define pride for you (according to Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary):
1. Inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable conceit of one’s own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, rank or elevation in office, which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often in contempt of others.
2. Insolence; rude treatment of others; insolent exultation.
3. Generous elation of heart; a noble self-esteem springing from a consciousness of worth.
4. Elevation; loftiness.
5. That of which men are proud; that which excites boasting.
Think about it. Someone who commits adultery does so because in their mind they deserve to have that pleasure. When a person steals, they believe they are worthy of the item that is stolen. Lies leave the mouth of one who cannot humble themselves to the truth; the lies sound so much better.
I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I know I fall victim to pride every day. I sit there in church and feel the Holy Ghost nudge my heart. He wants me to come forward and confess a sin or deal with something, and I fight it. If I went up there, people would know I screw up, right? Hello! They know that anyway because we ALL do. It isn’t a secret.
I experience it from time to time in ministry. I become plagued with the “Why does nobody else seem to care?” attitude. I have to rebuke myself for such thinking! People have things going on and can’t always be there. I have no right to judge.
Pride slips its ugly face in there whenever someone has tried to give me money. I used to argue and downright refuse to take it. A dear friend of mine who knows my financial state, reached a point that he would have someone else slip me his money. One time, he gave it in a card. By then he was gone, so I couldn’t shove it back. Another time, I had to suck it up and ask him for a “loan” (or I may not have made it home because I was on fumes). It about killed me. My flesh wanted to crawl away. He was so sweet and responded in a way that was encouraging. He knew I was about ready to flee from the awkwardness.
American society teaches that pride is good. It makes us individuals standing for our rights. Nowhere in the Bible does it tell us that. I cannot locate even one verse that promotes the goodness of pride. In fact, pride separates us from God. What could be worse than that? Nothing that I know of (outside of hell . . . which I know I am saved from!).
The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. – Psalm 10:4
Pride plays a huge role in our relationships. It can destroy wonderful friendships. Our pride can prevent us from saying “I’m sorry” and create a division in family, church, or friends. It can cause petty things to develop into monsters.
We need to understand that pride is the nuclear weapon of Satan’s army. He knows how and when to launch it, and if we are not armed and ready, it will knock us down. The devil is no dumby; he knows exactly what to do. Pride exists because of Satan, and we must be strong against the attacks. Those who embrace pride are of the world, something Jesus tells us not to be. God’s Word specifically points it out:
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. – 1 John 2:16
I know that I need to start dealing with this pride issue in order to serve God better and bless others. I need to focus more on what the Lord wants me to do, and I need to stop worrying about everyone else!
How about you? Is there a prideful thing you are hanging on to? Maybe your pride has kept you from repenting and getting saved. If so, you need to get that settled today! That will eliminate that particular pride. You will suddenly want to share it with the world!
Confess your pride to Jesus, and He will help to overcome! I do believe that with most sins, we can learn to move on from them. Nevertheless, pride is one we never fully break free from. Most of us struggle with it on a regular basis.