“If you plan to build a tall house of virtues, you must first lay deep foundations of humility.” – Augustine
Pride is defined as a “feeling of deep pleasure derived from ones own achievements or from qualities and possessions greatly desired.” In a nutshell, pride is all about me. We know it is there. We also know it can do real damage to our relationships. And add to that the fact that God hates pride and you have ample reason to subdue, and even better, eradicate pride from our hearts. But how? It is not all that easy. And it certainly can’t be done quickly or by reading the daily devotional. But having said all that, let me give you a few points to consider as we work to remove pride from our lives.
It starts with humility. Humility requires change and change requires that we have “the fear of the Lord” in our hearts. Proverbs 8:13 says, “To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” According to this verse, every heart that fears the Lord will not entertain any prideful thought or attitude. Whereas pride teaches one to take glory for himself, the fear of the Lord instructs us to give all honor to God. Concentrating on God, in awe and fear of what He has done for us, will help us avoid pride and the behavior that results from pride in our lives. Start this week by giving glory to God for every progress and achievement in our lives.
The next step is to actively pursue humility in our hearts. Pride, in Proverbs, is seen as directly opposed or contrasted to humility. Proverbs 18:12 says, “Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.” To be “haughty” is to be proud because a haughty person thinks that he or she is better than others, and tries to show off their abilities for personal recognition. On the other hand, a humble person will shy away from self-glory and be submissive to God and others. When a person is not self-centered and focused on humility, it is hard for pride to take root in their heart.
Lastly, cultivate friendships with humble people. Doing life with those who understand humility will help deflect pride. Proverbs 16:19 says, “Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.” When your friends are humble people, you will learn to emulate them. But if your close friends are arrogant, you may emulate them my adjusting your attitudes and actions to suit theirs.
Curing ourselves of our pride will most likely be a painful process. Losing our selfish pride means learning to live only for the glory of God. Losing our selfish pride means learning to live without being in control of our lives. Losing our selfish pride means means becoming more like Him.
All I know is that I cannot overcome this sin on my own, and I will not overcome it quickly. Even in my pride, I recognize the fact that I am too weak to overcome sin on my own, I need to trust in the power of God’s Holy Spirit to strengthen me for this battle.
1. How do you define pride? How does pride show up in a relationship? What are some of the destructive results of pride?
2. Humility is the cure for pride. What is your definition of humility? Why is humility so important in our relationships? How do you know if you are humble?
3. Read the following verses: Proverbs 11:2, 18:12, 22:4; Micah 6:8 and James 3:13. From these passages, what does the Bible say about humility?
4. Read 1 Peter 5:5-7. In this passage, the Bible says to “clothe” yourself with humility. What does that look like? How do you clothe yourself with humility?
5. Pray and ask God for His help in identifying and working on the areas of pride in our lives and relationships.