Intermediate Edition

I.  Pride


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Chapter 38  Part I


Pride is one of the greatest dangers to one’s life as a believer, yet it is also one of the most subtle. Pride has an adverse effect on both our relationship with God and our relationships with others. The opposite to pride is humility, which correspondingly is very much a key factor in living an ongoing and effective Christian life.

Pride in Thought

Do not be proud

Hear and give ear; be not proud, for the Lord has spoken.   Jeremiah 13:15 ESV

Do not think you are better than others

He [the king] should not think he is better than his fellow Israelites, and he must not stop obeying the law in any way …   Deuteronomy 17:20a NCV™

Do not be wise in your own eyes

How horrible it will be for those who think they are wise and consider themselves to be clever.   Isaiah 5:21 GW

Do not be self-righteous

Jesus also told this parable to some who were confident that they were righteous and looked down on everyone else. 10“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood and prayed about himself like this: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: extortionists, unrighteous people, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get.’ 13The tax collector, however, stood far off and would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, be merciful to me, sinner that I am!’ 14I tell you that this man went down to his home justified rather than the Pharisee. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”   Luke 18:9-14 NET

Pride in Action

Do not exalt yourself . . .

Do not exalt yourself in the presence of the king, And do not stand in the place of the great; …   Proverbs 25:6 NKJV

The second part seems to speak of claiming a place among the great.

. . . Honor others, rather than yourself

[Paul, to believers:] Love each other as brothers and sisters and honor others more than you do yourself.   Romans 12:10 CEV

[Paul, to believers:] Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself.   Philippians 2:3 NET

Do not boast about yourself

Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.   Proverbs 27:2 NET

Outcomes of Pride

Pride is very detrimental to a relationship with God

[Moses, to the Israelites:] … make sure that you do not become proud and forget the Lord your God who rescued you from Egypt, where you were slaves.   Deuteronomy 8:14 GNT

[A psalmist, to God:] The wicked are too proud to turn to you or even think about you.   Psalms 10:4 CEV

In their pride, the wicked have no desire and see no need to seek God, often due to a perceived self-sufficiency. Being “full of themselves” they have no room for God in their lives.

Pride is associated with self-deception and flawed understanding

[God, to the nation of Edom:] Your pride has deceived you. Your capital is a fortress of solid rock; your home is high in the mountains, and so you say to yourself, ‘Who can ever pull me down?’ 4Even though you make your home as high as an eagle’s nest, so that it seems to be among the stars, yet I will pull you down.   Obadiah 1:3-4 GNT

[Paul, speaking of a typical false teacher:] This person is full of pride and understands nothing, but is sick with a love for arguing and fighting about words.   1 Timothy 6:4a NCV™

Pride leads to one’s downfall

Before destruction the heart of a person is proud, but humility comes before honor.   Proverbs 18:12 NET

Antithesis of Pride: Humility

Humility is the opposite of pride. It is a most critical attitude for maintaining one’s guard against things that can cause one to fall – spiritually and otherwise. This is in contrast to pride which opens oneself up to many kinds of destructive dangers (as reflected in the previous section, Outcomes of Pride).

Be humble – particularly before God

This is what the Lord requires from you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to live humbly with your God.   Micah 6:8b GW

Then he [an angelic messenger] said to me, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel, for from the very first day you applied your mind to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard. I have come in response to your words.   Daniel 10:12 NET

Be humble towards others

Be humble and gentle in every way.   Ephesians 4:2a GW

[Peter, to believers:] And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.   1 Peter 5:5b NET

Pray for persecuted Christians