Are you struggling with a form of pride? How do we recognize pride, and how do we combat it once we know we have a problem?
Pride is different from the other (with the possible exception of ANGER) because we don’t feel that anything is wrong with us. When overwhelmed with other emotions, we know for sure that something is wrong and we need to change. When overwhelmed with PRIDE, we usually think that we are just fine, but it’s just that everyone else has to change.
"One of the hardest things to recognize and confront in ourselves as Christians is our pride. For some of us, it has become a major part of our lives, sometimes without our even knowing."
A Secular Definition of Pride
Pride is not just a problem; it is a problem for humanity. Pride’s been defined as a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction in an achievement, an accomplishment, or in someone else or something else but it’s also been described as conceit, egotism, vanity, vainglory, all over one’s own appearance or status in life and not just something that’s been accomplished.
Pride is at the root of all sin. God hates pride because we really have a misplaced sense of worth. God says that “In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God” (Psalm 10:4) and that “I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech” (Prov 8:13).
Pride is the opposite of humility and this is what we read in Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom” which is why “patience is better than pride” (Eccl 7:8).
Why is pride spiritually dangerous?
Pride can lead us to:
These are all actions that we know from the Bible are not Christ-like. The apostle John warns, “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world” (1 John 2:16).
Notice 1 Peter 5:5: “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble".
Pride makes it impossible to be clothed with humility. Christians cannot fool themselves into excusing their pride, since the Bible plainly says that God will resist the proud. Pride hinders our demonstration of the spiritual fruits of love and goodness, so our thinking must change.
How to overcome the sin of Pride?
1. Identify the cause of prideful thinking“How often do I admit I was wrong?”
“How much do I brag about my accomplishments or do things so others will see me doing them?”
2. Analyze and compare the prideful thinking to reality“That was my idea, but no one is giving me credit.”
“I don’t need your help! I can do this on my own, thank you very much.”
3. Replace the irrational with rational“How can I make myself look good?”
Satan wants us to think of ourselves only, while God wants us to have as much concern for others as we do for ourselves (Leviticus 19:18)
If we have a wonderfully clear moment in which we realize we are being prideful, we can immediately Pray to God, thanking Him for showing us something that many people never see in themselves. We then can start backing away from the “me, me, me” mentality and move closer to the “love for others as much as we love the self” attitude, clearly demonstrated by Jesus Christ.
Satan wants us to continually believe we have no problem in the area of pride, but after we examine our thoughts and seek God’s help, we can move toward gaining control and overcoming pride.
“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6)