The Webster definition of pride is “ego”, a feeling that you’re more important or better than other people. But there are two different kinds of pride. The first is the pride that we feel when we are pleased with ourselves or someone else. Pride in a “job well done” is a healthy kind of pride. But there is another kind, a “haughty pride” that God absolutely detests. It is a snobbish self-admiration which will make us trip up and hurt ourselves and others around us. There is nothing wrong with having pride, but there is something wrong when pride keeps us from having the beautiful life that God has for us. So why do some of us still indulge in pride? Those who don’t have a fear of God do not have humble hearts. Their hearts are instead consumed with self-love, self-thoughts, and and a blind, anti-God mindset. God’s word repeatedly says: No sin is as offensive to God’s authority, His law, and His rule as the sin of pride. Since God is love, following His law means pursuing the exact opposite of pride. He wants us to chip away at prideful attitudes because of love. In Corinthians 13:4 says: “Love is patient and kind; it does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant.”
God (Love) and pride don’t mix. In other words, they’re like water and oil. Although some say they have a fear of God or they claim to be Godly, they are so wrapped up with self-vanity that they cannot see the truth. If we believe that our lifestyle, children, religion, beliefs, and our faith are better than the life of someone else, we are setting ourselves up for a hard fall. We don’t realize how very dangerous pride can be to our souls and it’s deadly to our relationship with God and others. Pride is our enemy and it keeps many of us from great opportunities. Haughtiness can break a person to pieces. I learned a great lesson about pride in one of my studies in the book of Daniel. It made me say “Whoa, I cannot afford to carry such a sin in my heart.”
The words pride, arrogant, and haughty are mentioned over 200 times in the Bible. God hates these attitudes and behaviors. He rejects them and when our attitudes reflect them, our prayers will bounce off the ceiling. One of the stories that caught my attention was in Daniel chapters 3-4. Here we see King Nebuchadnezzar, who had built an enormous and successful kingdom in Babylon. He was quite proud of his prosperity. He was patting himself on the back for his achievements and his fame as a mighty ruler. He was full of pride and self-righteousness. Unfortunately he didn’t acknowledge that all he had was from God. A year earlier (in Daniel chapter 2), the Lord God warned the king through a dream that his ego would eventually cost him tremendously. The King was troubled by the dream and couldn’t sleep. He asked many magicians, enchanters, and astrologers to tell him the meaning of the dream. He was not only egotistical but also a very cruel person. If one of these advisors couldn’t tell him the meaning of his dream, he would cut them to pieces. But if they could tell him the true meaning of the dream, he was willing to reward them with great gifts. Long story short – the advisors couldn’t interpret the dream and he ordered their execution.
Someone told the king that the prophet Daniel could solve the mystery. But Daniel asked the king for more time as he had to pray about it before interpreting the dream. After his devotional prayers, Daniel provided the dream’s meaning. The dream meant that Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom would be taken away from him and he would be lost by himself in the wilderness for seven years.
(Daniel 4: 29- 32)
As the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” Even as the word were on his lips, a voice came from heaven,” This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. You will be driven away from people and you will eat like the ox. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.”
And just as the Lord God had predicted, that is what exactly happened to the king Nebuchadnezzar. The Bible implies that he lost his power and lived like a wild animal with his hair growing long and his nails like the claws of a bird, and he even lost the ability to think reasonably. Ironically, he was the one whose life was cut to pieces. His self-sufficiency destroyed him. God loves His children. He warns us over and over to humble ourselves.
1 Peter 5:5 “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
“He has brought down rulers from their thrones, but has lifted up the humble.”
Someone who humbly accepts who they are, and does not pretend to live someone else’s life, is naturally confident, happy, and attractive. A truly humble person does not deny the gifts God has given her/him, but does not brag about them as if they’re by her/his own doing. Humility is a state of mind in which one always think about the needs of others instead of their own. Humble people never think of themselves as better than others, for they know God’s law.
We must be vigilant and faithfully immerse ourselves daily in God’s word. The Bible says; there are six things that God hates, seven that are detestable to Him. One of them is pride. It separate us from God’s presence and His favor.
Haughty eyes (looking down at others, belittling them),
a lying tongue (not true to themselves and others),
hands that shed innocent blood (hurting others),
a heart that devises wicked schemes (a heart full of evil plans),
feet that are quick to rush into evil (running to evil instead of running to God),
a false witness who pours out lies (not knowing God’s truths, but spreading the untruths to others), and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
“Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.” Proverbs 29:23
These words should shake us to the core of our being, for God has warned us throughout the Bible about the consequences of haughty pride and arrogance.
If you find that you cannot move forward in your life, whether it is a relationship or marital problem, financial difficulties, health issues, or a crisis of faith, if it seems like you are stuck in one place, and your prayers are not reaching to the doors of Heaven, then you must ask yourself this question: “Is my pride getting in the way of my happiness and success?”