“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” - Proverbs 16:18
“What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” - Micah 6:8
Why is pride so destructive? [thoughts-about-god.com]
- Pride blinds us to who we really are.
- Pride tells us we’re better than we really are; so there’s no need to repent or to change.
- Pride cuts us off from God, and also from others.
- Pride puts us above others, which makes us look down on others, and cuts us off from them as a result; and we feel we don’t need God.
Today, let's talk about the sinfulness of pride. We are all sinners of pride, because we think too much of ourselves, we rely on ourselves too much, and we value ourselves above others. When we truly humble ourselves, we acknowledge that we can do nothing apart from God.
Psalm 10:4, "In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God."
"If self-centeredness controls our thinking, we’ll seek ways around divine commands in order to serve ourselves. When caught, we may try to justify our disobedience. When we are willing to confront our pride actively, God will replace it with a spirit of humility that fits who we are in Christ." [intouch.org]
There are many examples of pride's destructive aftermath in the Bible to warn us from falling victim to it:
- 2 Chronicles 26:16, "But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall."
- 2 Chronicles 32:25, "But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the Lord’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem."
- Isaiah 16:6, "We have heard of Moab’s pride— how great is her arrogance!— of her conceit, her pride and her insolence; but her boasts are empty."
- In Daniel 5:20-21 regarding Nebuchadnezzar, "But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory. He was driven away from people and given the mind of an animal; he lived with the wild donkeys and ate grass like the ox; and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and sets over them anyone he wishes."
- In Isaiah 13:11, "I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless.
Don't get dismayed, there is hope for all of us that is found in humility and repentance.
- 2 Chronicles 32:26, "Then Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the Lord’s wrath did not come on them during the days of Hezekiah."
- Proverbs 11:2, "When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom."
3 Common Areas of Pride and How to Rethink Them [intouch.org]
- Possessions. Start giving things away. We can begin by honoring God with our tithe. He promises that our nine-tenths will go farther than ten-tenths. The next step is to give to someone in need who can give nothing in return. But don't parade your generosity around; keep it as secret as you can (Matt. 6:1-4).
- Position. Acknowledge that whatever you have accomplished, God has done it for you (Isa. 26:12). Then ask Him to show you an area of service that has no rank or credit. Knowing that the Lord values every kind of service, we shouldn't hesitate to request a place that is lower than we're accustomed to. Our position in this world matters only to the extent that we use it to glorify God (James 1:9-11).
- Privilege. Realize that many things you may take pride in come through privilege. None of us is truly "self-made"; no matter how hard you've worked, others have made sacrifices to allow you the opportunities and freedoms you enjoy. Remember, it is actually God's grace that has blessed you with whatever knowledge you may credit yourself for having.