Posts Tagged ‘prideful’
“An oracle is within my heart
concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:
There is no fear of God before his eyes.
For in his own eyes he flatters himself
too much to detect or hate his sin.” Psalm 36: 1-2
This is a really convicting Bible verse about pride. I’ve found myself in this position before, flattering myself, justifying my actions, and not really caring about the fact that I’m in the wrong. I think maybe we’ve all been there at one time or another. In God’s eyes, this kind of pride is really disdainful. Some Christians think it’s okay to live in this condition, not really ever wanting to think about their habitual sins, flattering themselves by the fact that they’re saved and don’t have to worry that much about it. But that kind of attitude is simple pride and will keep you defeated and miserable for all the days of your life.
But that’s why I really love this verse. It not only is a condemnation of the actions of the wicked, it also shows the right way we’re supposed to live. It starts off by saying, “There is no fear of God before his eyes.” That means that in order to avoid this kind of pride, we must first have the fear of the Lord. Secondly, if we want to avoid this kind of pride, we need to hate our own sin. Check out this verse from Proverbs:
“To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance.” Proverbs 8:13
Now isn’t that interesting? Solomon says that the fear of the Lord is to hate evil. Why is that? The only possible answer really is that if God is really all that He says He is, is intensely personal and interested in our lives, and that sin and evil are powerful and are the barriers keeping us from from the plans that the Lord has for each of our lives, then if we really had reverence and fear of God, we would hate those things that are keeping our lives away from communion with Him and from His plans for our lives.
That’s why pride is so destructive. When we say to ourselves, I don’t really need to change, I’m comfortable with how I’m living and don’t have the humility to confess my hidden sins, we’re keeping ourselves locked up in a position that’s truly miserable, and we don’t even know it. That’s why Jesus said to the church of Laodicea in Revelation:
“You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” Revelation 3:17
Pride that keeps us from the fear of the Lord and an admission of our sins is really the worst possible condition that a Christian or anyone could live in. The worst part about it is the fact that that kind of pride keeps us blind to just how miserable and pitiful we really are. But if we just had for just one moment, the chance to see God’s true plan for our lives, we would hate the sin and evil that keep us trapped in chains and keep us away from all the wonders that God has planned for each of our lives before the world even began.
“Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else.” Galatians 6:4
It’s so easy to compare ourselves to everybody else, and feel good about ourselves when we’re doing more or aren’t screwing up as badly as the next guy. But all that is simple pride. That’s why this Bible verse always convicts me. I have been given a lot, many blessings and opportunities. In Luke, Jesus said that to whomever has been given much, much will be demanded. So what good does it do me to compare my life to someone who has been given less and to say to myself, “I’m doing better than that guy.” When I take pride in my own accomplishments or my own righteousness above someone elses, I’m ignorant of how life really works. God has created me uniquely to fulfill a specific purpose. So why would I want to compare my life to someone elses?
Each person should test their own actions. That’s such a good command. A lot of churches suffer from self-righteous persons comparing themselves to the rest and subconsciously or consciously ruining the unity of the community because they think they’re better than those around them. I’ve seen it happen quite a few times. And you never really notice the damage. The church just feels cold. There’s no vibrance or life there. It’s funny because comparing ourselves to one another is the exact opposite of what we should be doing. That’s why it says in Romans 14 that those who are farther along in their faith should “Accept him whose faith is weak.” We should be helping one another grow, not secretly glad that they’re down there and you’re up here. So don’t compare yourself with the other Christians in your life. Compare yourself to what the Bible says a Christian should be.
“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6
Not many people like to think about the idea of God actively opposing them, especially if you are a Christian. But one thing my pastor once said has stuck with me. He said that pride is something that survives salvation. Even though you became a Christian, your pride hasn’t been eradicated. In fact, some Christians seem to become more proud once they accept salvation. Self-righteousness starts to take hold. And God hates it. He actively opposes it. In the original Greek, one of the meanings of the verse goes as follows, “God goes to war with your pride, but gives grace to the humble.” That’s pretty startling.
So often in church, I’ve heard people say how the Devil is really harassing them and bringing them a lot of hardship. But how do we know that the Devil is responsible for the hardship a person is experiencing? What if God is gently trying to break down a person’s pride and teach them how to rely on Him? In Hebrews it says to “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons.” Why, when we go through hardship, is our first thought always that the Devil is responsible? What if God is opposing us because of our pride or else allowing hardship in order to work on our character?
“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18
We’ve all heard the phrase, pride comes before the fall. This is the famous Bible verse from where the saying is coined. And it’s so true. Proud, arrogant, conceited people always think they’ll always be more successful than everyone else. But when hard times come and they truly need a hand, they often are too proud to ask and even if they do, they’ll generally not find very many willing helpers. So when a proud person falls, it’s often so much harder than when a humble person falls. When a humble person gets in trouble, often the people around them are quick to give a helping hand and bring them up from their difficulty. But when a proud person falls, they’re too stubborn to admit it, and those who are able to help aren’t generally willing. That’s why many have said that it’s better to have friends than wealth. Friends are always there to give you a helping hand. Wealth is a poor substitute.
But think about it from God’s perspective. God wants us all to live with reverence and the fear of the Lord. Pride is the exact opposite of the fear of the Lord. Pride tells a person that they themselves are the most important thing on the planet, that they’re the top dog. The fear of the Lord says that there’s a bigger picture and more at stake than just your own happiness, comfort, and pleasure. So when God sees someone living in pride, He must get very sad. Pride is the exact opposite mentality that we’re supposed to have. So maybe God intentionally thwarts proud people as a lesson to the rest of us to take warning. More about that in later Bible verses.
“In his pride the wicked does not seek Him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.” Psalm 10:4
This is a really interesting Bible verse on pride. When I first read it, it confused me. I didn’t know how pride could be responsible for keeping a person from even thinking about God. But then I began to think about how the Bible also says that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” At that point, things began to make more sense. Pride keeps a person from understanding their true relationship to God. Pride makes a person think that they are the most important thing on the planet, that their hopes, dreams and happiness are all that matters. When you think that your own happiness is all that matters and you don’t have any fear of the Lord, how then can you ever really have any meaningful thoughts about God? Will God even be willing to relate to a person who isn’t willing to stand reverently before Him?
Verses like this make me really analyze my own life. I sometimes can go long periods trapped in my own small problems, so wrapped up in my own life that I seldom turn my gaze upward and consider God’s hand or will for my life. In all my thoughts, there is no room for God. I don’t like living like that. It’s stupid getting so wrapped up in the problems of the day that I never stop to think of the bigger picture or whether or not the problems that seem so big are even really all that important.