Dealing with Pride is something that we all deal with. Sometimes it is hidden deep in our core, and sometimes it is obvious to both us and those we are in contact with. We believe that there is “good pride” and “bad pride” and our focus for this article is on the type of pride that disconnects us from God.
Why must I beware of unhealthy pride?
“Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.”
Acts 12:23 NIV
“But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God, and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.”
2 Chronicles 26:16 NIV
“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”
Galatians 6:14 NIV
Pride tempts us to believe that we are better than someone else. It tempts us to believe that we know better than God does. Pride is one of Satan’s favorite weapons of warfare because it tempts us to take our eyes off of the Lord and place them on ourselves. When things seem to be going well for us, we tend to start thinking that this is somehow our doing. We love to take the credit when things are going our way. We believe that we are suddenly strong enough to resist Satan’s attacks on our own, and we start to fall away from God.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF PRIDE IN THE LIFE OF A BELIEVER
- Pride hinders our fellowship with God. God tells us that we cannot serve two masters. We can’t be loyal to Him and be self-centered and self serving. Only one person is worthy of all of our praise and worship, and that is Jesus Christ.
- Pride leads to broken relationships with others. Think about your marriage and closest friendships. Pride prevents us from loving and caring for those around us fully. We stop thinking about what we can do to help and serve others and start thinking only about how we can benefit from a relationship. From God’s perspective, we are all equal. No one is going to be a standout in heaven.
- Pride blocks God’s blessings and often causes us to lose our rewards. Choosing to follow your own path in your own strength allows you to miss the blessings that God has for you to enjoy. The truth is, if you do not tap into God’s will for your life, all the success this world has to offer will not come close to the success that God has for you.
- Pride lessens the fullness of relationship with Him. Pride binds our hearts to thoughts of worldly ambitions and desires. It keeps us from fully experiencing the joy that comes from living fully free in God.
- Pride decreases our effectiveness as a leader. People want to follow someone they can trust. Prideful leaders are focused on what they can gain and do not have their followers’ best interests in mind. The most admired leaders are some of the most humble people.
- Pride entices us to favor people who build up our egos. We all want to feel accepted and loved. The best way to get rid of pride in your life is to surround yourself with people who care for you for the right reasons and are not there just to stroke your ego.
- Pride sets the stage for us to make foolish mistakes. Prideful individuals stop seeking godly wisdom and advice. We feel too smart to need someone else’s help. Pride isolates us.
- Pride shuts down the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. When we become prideful, God’s discernment within our lives fades and we begin to make poor and questionable decisions because we no longer have His wisdom available.
- Pride breeds prayerless-ness. The prideful person does not want to connect and communicate with God. We may attend church for appearance’s sake, but actual devotion is missing. Prayer helps to keep us in line with God’s will.
- Pride causes us to emphasize self more than God. We begin to view ourselves as being important. We start to gain a little popularity and get a few compliments and we forget who has given us the ability to achieve our goals and be successful. God will not honor our work when pride is involved.
- Pride causes us to forget about God. We forget to thank Him and to give Him credit. We stop relying on God and start seeking self-gratification. Pride isolates us from God and prevents us from becoming believers with hearts solely devoted to Him. Pride puts the self before God. We seek praise and glory for ourselves instead of giving God the glory for our lives.
SEVEN STEPS TO SUCCESSFULLY DEALING WITH PRIDE
- The first thing you can do to combat pride is to realize that pride is present in your life. Before you can deal with pride, you have to acknowledge it.
- Ask God to forgive you for being prideful. Tell God that you do not want anything in your life that is going to separate you from Him or prevent you from experiencing His best.
- Pray that He will give you the ability to turn away from pride. After confessing pride, go all the way and ask God for the strength to lay aside any pride that you may have in your life. Remember that God breaks us only in order to bless us. Brokenness is always a pathway to blessing.
- Pray that He will set a hedge of protection around your life. One of the best ways to defuse pride is to serve somebody else. Serve your spouse, a friend, coworker or a stranger. This helps us learn humility and the goodness that comes from being submitted to the Lord fully and completely.
- Remember where you came from and how far God has brought you. Over time, many believers forget the foundation of their salvation. We should remember that each day God’s grace preserves our lives.
- Ask God to help you recall the good things that He has done in your life, and stop comparing yourself to someone else. When you draw comparisons between yourself and another believer, you open a door for pride to enter. Praise God for what you have been given. Keep your eyes set on God and do your best.
- Be willing to experience adversity. God does His greatest work in the hard times. Anything that drives us to God is always good for us. Nothing tends to do this more effectively than trouble, heartache, and adversity.
The best way to avoid pride is to surrender your life to Christ. You have to turn every area of your life over to Him and allow Him to live His life through you. When you do, He will bless you in ways you never thought possible.