The Problem of Pride

Is pride even a problem?  Pride is so cute in little kids, and so is selfishness.  Pride and selfishness are not cute anymore in older children and adults, but it is still normal expected behavior. It’s good to be proud of our work and our children. Pride is usually viewed as a good thing in the world. When pride and selfishness is so natural to man, should Christians seek to be different?  What is really wrong with pride? Those are great questions. We hear and see examples of the problem of pride everyday. 

Definitions of Pride

  • Too high an opinion of one’s own ability or worth.
  •  A feeling of being better than others. 
  • A reasonable and justifiable sense of one’s own worth: self-respect. 
  • A sense of pleasure that comes from some act or possession.

13 Examples of the Problem of Pride

  • “Don’t they know my time is valuable!”
  • “They need to apologize to me!”
  • “Do I need to be in this meeting?”
  • “I am the smartest student in my class.”
  • “I am the best player on my team.”
  • “I am the best singer in the choir.”
  • “I donated money so I could get my name on the building.”
  • “I finally have the best car on my block.”
  • Treating servants as if they are not there/invisible.
  • Ignoring kids in school who are unpopular.
  • Self-obsession – elevating our importance. 
  • Self-righteousness – elevating our own moral goodness; seeing ourselves to be superior above all others.

What Does the Bible Say About Pride?

  • When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.  Proverbs 11:2
  • The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.  Proverbs 8:13
  • Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.  Romans 12:16
  • One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor. Proverbs 29:23
  • “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.  2 Corinthians 10:17-18
  • But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”  1 Samuel 16:7

Be different and united

God Hates Pride 

Pride and selfishness is ugly in the Church. There is no room for self, only for us and God.  We can’t see pride because we have gotten so good at it.  We can’t solve the problem of pride ourselves.  

Pleasure and rest are good, but we have the wrong motive when pleasure is our only goal.  People, especially in the US want to be independent.  But God wants His Church to be different and united, to be one as the Father and Son are one.  There is little room for independence and pride in the Church.  I am important and loved by God, but I am not the only person.   

How to Get Rid of Pride

Our sin is a big deal but God’s grace is bigger.  What is grace?  It is God’s undeserved favor to us.  It is God favorably inclined toward us. He wants to show favor to us to do what is best for us.  He will go to war against our pride if we allow Him to, by positioning ourselves to receive the grace of God.  

Steps to position ourselves to receive God’s grace:

1. Submit to God 

Surrender control to God.  We get to submit to God because He is our Father.  It is not that we have to submit.  We have more of a parent/child relationship with God and less of a master/slave relationship.

2. Resist the Devil and he will flee. 

Ask how far away from sin we can get, not how close.  Pray to Jesus and Satan will flee.

3.  Draw near to God

Our goal is to spend more time in prayer and Bible compared to TV, phone, (insert your private idols here).  

4. Confess

Cleanse my hands (what I do) and my heart (what I think).  Confess.  See pride the way God sees it and confess it. 

5. Seek to have the same humility Jesus had.

We have a small amount of time to do the work of the kingdom, so don’t let pride get in the way.

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Jesus, I don't know You, and I don't know what Your plan is for me. But thank you for coming to die in my place. I'm sorry for anything I've ever done wrong in my life. I don't understand how You could ever forgive me, but if You really would, I would like to accept your free gift of grace and complete forgiveness. Please come into my life and take control, and help me trust You. In Jesus' name I pray,

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