Do you struggle with pride? For me it is a constant struggle. Try saying the word pride without saying “I.” Pride is an “I” problem.
Here’s the definition of pride: a lofty and often arrogant assumption of superiority in some respect. Dictionary.com
Let’s look at what pride does in our lives spiritually. Pride messes up my relationship with God. When I am prideful, everything orbits around me: “My schedule, my time, and my activities.” We end up worshiping ourselves and not God.
How about your prayers? Sometimes I notice that my prayers can resemble a shopping list: “Give me this. Give me that. Help me, God. Guide me, God. Me, me, me.” Then I realize I am being prideful. How about you?
Another way pride is messes up your connection with God when you are not involved in His church. Prideful people think that they are above serving. “That is for someone who is called, someone who has that gift, someone with more time, not me!”
Pride also takes credit for things that God has done. We will do something well—get a promotion, do a good job at work—and we think that we have done it. We say, “I did it. I am so smart. I am so talented.” Who is getting the credit? God is the one who gave you the ability to do what you are doing. He is the one who has blessed you. It is because of His grace that you are who you are and where you are and what you are.
Pride is bad news and God doesn’t beat around the bush. His Word says,
5 The Lord detests the proud; they will surely be punished. Proverbs 16:5 (NLT)
Did you know that pride leads to all other sins? Rabbi’s, theologians and most literature on the subject speak of pride as being the “original sin” “the root sin” “the essence of sin.”
Pride lead to Satan’s downfall ( Isaiah 14:12ff, Ezek. 28:17, Luke 10:18)
Open the pages of Genesis and you will see him leading others to his same downfall. To Adam and Eve, he says, “God is holding out on you! You are smarter than him, do things your own way!” (Gen 3:1-6) They bit down on that lie and we have been falling for the same thing for years. The same old lies re-spun over and over again.
Are you messed up with Pride? Humility is the only way to keep pride from taking over.
6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 1 Peter 5:6 (NLT)
Humble yourself. In other words stop trying to elevate yourself and let God elevate you. Would you like to have God’s power in your life? The secret of strength is admitting weakness. The secret of power is admitting you need God’s power. The secret of happiness is humility. The secret of independence is dependence upon God.
All that God has to offer is available to the person who lives humbly before God.
Next time we will look at how pride messes up our relationship with others.
Let’s stay humble, Darrell
For more about the series, “The Mess Inside” see www.ridgefellowship.com