It is amazing to me how pride can penetrate anyone’s heart at any time. It takes on many forms and no one is totally immune to it. So how do we emulate the same humility of our Lord Jesus Christ when pride is lurking in every corner ready to pounce and derail us? James 4:6 says, “He gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ ” Who would want God to resist or come up against them?
This year of 2020 has taught us to expect the unexpected. This has been true about pride. It has penetrated individuals and our nation in ways I never would have expected. Pride can bring about the downfall not only of individuals but also of nations who do not humble themselves before God (read 2 Chronicles 32:25-26). This is a serious matter. Especially since God hates pride (Proverbs 6:17), because at its roots it is a denial of His existence and sovereignty. The sin of pride is seen when an individual refuses to be subject to and to depend upon God. This was seen with Satan, with Adam and Eve, and with mankind up to this day.
Let me share some notes that I have compiled and review often regarding pride, so it does not penetrate my life without notice. Understand there is a difference between the pride that is self-righteousness and conceit, versus the kind of pride we can feel about a job well done or the kind of pride we express over the accomplishment of loved ones (2 Corinthians 7:4). Therefore, pride can range from a reasonable or justifiable self-respect, to an improper and excessive self-esteem known as conceit or arrogance. Proverbs 29:23 states, “Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor.” The daily choice then is humiliation or humility. Here are some things to watch out for so pride does not penetrate your heart so easily:
- Have an accurate evaluation of yourself – Be careful not to think everything you have accomplished is a result of what you have done, and any failures are a result of what others have done to you. (Romans 12:3)
- Have a true appreciation of other people – Humbly realize that everything good in your life is a result of either what God or others have done for you. (1 Corinthians 4:7)
- Have humility whereby you give up your rights to serve others – (Matthew 20:28)
- Have a conviction not to cover up your sins but to admit your mistakes – (Proverbs 28:13)
- Have enough wisdom to know that self-exaltation leads to humiliation –“For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11)
Need I say more about how pride can penetrate? I think not.