Monday, July 16, 2012


Is pride always bad?  There are two kinds of pride.  Pride is reasonable or justifiable self-respect; or improper and excessive self-esteem known as conceit or arrogance.  Paul expresses the positive kind of pride in 2 Cor. 7:4 when speaking of the confidence he has in Christians.  The pride of doing a job well and the pride that comes from self-righteousness are very different.  God hates the self-righteous, because it hinders us from seeking Him.  Sinful pride appears in the Scripture frequently in both Old and New Testaments.  Pride is a sin of attitude.  It is evaluating self over God.  Examples of proud people are found in both Testaments.  It was the downfall of King Uzziah, Hezekiah, the Pharisee in the temple, Herod, and others.  It can bring down individuals and nations.

At the top of the Seven Deadly Sins list is Pride.  It is the root of so many sins; however it is not considered to be a deadly sin in society today.  We are taught to have pride. We are told as early as elementary school to “believe in yourself”.  We don’t see pride in ourselves, but we do see it in others.  Pride is looked up to and we think it is something we should aspire to.

The Seven Deadly Sins never occur as a list in the Bible, but does occur many many times individually.  Scripture condemns all seven.  God hates pride.  It’s hard to image that God hates anything, but He does hate pride.  “God opposes the proud – but gives grace to the humble.”James 4:6, Proverbs 3:34.  He hates it, because He loves us.  Pride is like a cancer.  It brings destruction to relationships. 

All people have pride in their lives and it surfaces in many ways.  It shows up in businesses, when executives are unwilling to listen to their people or their customers.

It shows up in our personal lives in many ways -----
It makes us ignorant – We think our opinion is better than others.  Prov. 2 says we think we know better.
It makes us argumentative with our spouses, our children, etc.
It makes us defensive.
It can show up in the way we look at another person.
It makes us not want to do things we think are beneath us.
It makes us boast about our accomplishments – We are seeking admiration and Acknowledgment of others.  We take credit for abilities given to us by God.
It makes us desire to be admired by others.
It makes us stubborn – We can’t say we are wrong. 
It makes us critical of others – We find fault in others and we are quick to blame others.
It makes us ungrateful – We should be thankful in all circumstances.
It makes us selfish – We focus on self.  We should be humble.
It makes us have selfishness ambition – Doing things for the wrong reasons and not doing them to glorify God.
It makes us self-conscious – We are always focused on looking good or appearing to be better than we really are.
It makes us prejudice – We want others to measure up to our standards.
It makes us unteachable – We think we know it all and don’t need to learn more.
It makes us bitter, angry and lack forgiveness of others.
It makes us trust ourselves instead of God – This makes us lack a prayer life.
It makes us jealous of other’s successes.
It keeps us from God – Keeps us from praying, because we think we can do it by ourselves and we don’t need God’s help.
It makes us not want to admit our sins. – It sets the wrong example that may keep others from accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior. 

Who do you think of when you read this list?  Do you think of other people who might fall into this category and not think of yourself?  That’s the pride in you.  “The pride of your heart has deceived you…” (Obadiah 3)What keeps you from seeing the pride in you is pride.

When was the last time you admitted you were wrong about something?
How do you keep your head from becoming too big?
Who keeps your pride in check?
How has pride affected you?
How does pride manifest itself in your life?
What actions do you need to take to combat pride?

Moses struggled with pride.  He was raised with riches for 40 years then became a shepherd.  His heart changed.  When God called him, he said “Who am I”. – (Ex. 3:11).  He became humble.  Humility is the key to be used by God.  We look to people who have talents, confidence, and knowledge, but God used the humble throughout scripture. 

God chose Abraham and Sarah to birth a great nation, because they were humble.  He used Jacob, because he was insecure.  He used Leah who was unattractive, Rahab who was immoral, Gideon who was poor, David who had an affair, Jeremiah who was depressed, Jonah who was reluctant and dishonest, Naomi who was a widow, John the Baptist who was eccentric, Peter who was impulsive and hot tempered, Martha who was a worrier, Thomas who was a doubter, the Samiration woman who had several husbands, Paul who was in poor health, Timothy who was timid and the list goes on and on.

God gives grace to the humble.  “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”(James 4:10).  What would happen if you said, “God, I humble myself before you?”  It’s a hard thing to admit you are wrong and have sinned and to humble yourself.  We like to be important and we always want to be first in everything.  We always want to win in everything and be on top.  “… but in humility consider others better than yourselves. “ (Philippians 2:3).  “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 2:5).

Being humble is not being insecure.  What’s God calling you to do?  We need to understand who God is.  We need to have His confidence not confidence in ourselves.  It comes from God not for what we have done.  The good we’ve done is not from us, but from God.  He takes unlikely people and circumstances and uses them in His plan.

What do we do about our pride? 

First thing to do is recognize the pride in you, then you can get rid of it by asking God to reveal it to you and He will help you overcome it, work on acknowledging the accomplishments of others, and be inspiring and not arrogant.  Imitate Christ’s humility – (Phil. 2:1-9)  

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than ourselves.”(Phil. 2:3). 

“Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come near to God and He will come near to you.  Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded….. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up.”(James 4:7-10).

 “… Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”(Rom. 12:3) 

“Live in harmony with one another.  Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.  Do not be conceited.”(Rom. 12:16)

More Scriptures on Humility:

Job 40:12, Psalm 37:11; 119:21; 131:1; 138:6; 147:6; 149:4, Proverbs 3:34; 8:13; 10:8; 15:31,33; 16:5, 18-19; 29:23, Isa. 5:21; 57:15; 66:2, Micah 6:8, Matt. 18:3-4; 23:12, Luke 1:52; 14:7-11; 16:15; 18:9-14; 22:24-27, Mark 9:35, John 5:44, Rom. 12:3,16, 1 Cor. 1:28; 3:18; 13:4; 1 Peter 5:5-6, and many more. 

No comments: