It’s been said that pride is a disease that makes others sick! How true this is. There really is something sickening about a boastful, arrogant, pride-filled person. Being around someone like this can be emotionally nauseating.
But there’s something even more troubling about the presence of pride. While it’s easily detected in others, we’re usually slow to identify it in ourselves. In fact, many prideful people go through their entire life never seeing pride’s symptoms or addressing this problem in their own soul.
Pride is a horrible thing. It reveals itself through prejudiced and judgmental attitudes, argumentative interactions, contentious relationships, blaming and shaming others, a projected sense of superiority, and a general “know it all” approach to life. It breeds a rebellious spirit.
Prideful people have a hard time genuinely and quietly serving others, being out of the limelight, apologizing sincerely for their mistakes, sins and failures, cheerfully following instructions or orders, appreciating and acknowledging others for their contributions.
Prideful people never develop a truly grateful heart. They may feign appreciation to God and others, but underneath is a sense of entitlement to their blessings; a feeling that they have earned good things by their hard work, great intellect or higher level skills, and they alone deserve the credit. They are begrudging in their praise and condescending in their communication.
What does God think of all this? There’s one Bible verse that aptly and succinctly answers this question:
” … As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but favors the humble. ” – James 4:6 (NLT)
It should be sobering, and even frightening to think of attracting God’s active opposition. But, according to the Bible, this is God’s response to the presence of pride in us.
On multiple occasions Jesus weighed in on this sin and its consequences. Here is one of the things He had to say about pride:
“For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” — Matthew 23:12 (NIV)
Jesus taught us that arrogant, pride-filled attitudes ultimately bring a person down. If pride doesn’t catch up with us in this life, it most certainly will in the life to come.
What is the antidote to pride? Humility! Not phony humility, but real humility; the kind Jesus demonstrated:
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant … he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name … ” — Philippians 2:5-9 (NIV)
Jesus showed us that the way up is down! When we humble ourselves, we address a major problem of the soul — the sin of pride.
Let’s decide to live the “low life.” Let’s lay aside pride and walk humbly with God and others.