The thing about pride is that it can be subtle. It slowly creeps into our minds and takes root in our hearts, then begins to dictate our thoughts, actions, and worldview. It can be hard to detect pride in yourself, right? It is much easier to see pride in someone else. We usually label prideful people as arrogant, narcissistic, or self-centered (and who wants to admit that they are any of those?!). Although pride may look like those things at times, it goes much deeper than that.
The biblical account of King Saul is quite heartbreaking. Saul was handpicked by God to be the first King of Israel, but he went from honor to tragedy because of pride. Saul had just about everything going for him. He came from a wealthy family, had a great upbringing, and was handsome in appearance. No doubt, a man that everyone could look up to, admire, and follow as their new king and leader. Saul, however, chose his will over God's. Time and time again, Saul ignored the guidance and warnings to stop pursuing his own selfish plans. His patience wore thin, his fear took over, and eventually, he decided he knew best, even over God. You may scoff at that kind of thinking, but the reality is, any one of us could easily believe such a lie. This is why we must stay on guard: our enemy prowls like a lion looking for someone to devour.
Saul chose his own way, which led to being dethroned. Eventually, he was overtaken by an evil spirit, struggled with depression, and practiced witchcraft. The enemy came to steal, kill and destroy, and Saul's story ended when he took his own life. Pride took root in Saul's heart because he believed his ways were better than the Lord's. That is the essence of pride: it is choosing your own will over God's will.
| Pride comes before destruction. Proverbs 16:18
I invite you to consider... Are you quick to find faults? Are you harsh and judgmental in your heart toward others? Do you think you're better than others, or that if you were in their shoes, you'd never make those mistakes? Are you focused on the superficial cares of the world? Have you stopped considering the well-being of others? Are you at the center of your life?
Pride is always choosing your own way, your own desires, and your own wants over the other's interests. Pride is thinking you know better than God and pursuing your own agenda. Pride is doing good only for the praise of others. Sometimes, we have been hurt, let down, or continually disappointed by people, so we harden our hearts, we decide we are better, and pride begins to grow. We boast of our good works, yet God says it is by our faith that we are saved. We are unforgiving, yet God says to forgive seventy times seven. We are quick to judge, yet God says that we are to love others. We put ourselves first, yet God says the first shall be last, and the last shall be first. We acquire and hoard, yet but God says to give up everything to follow Him.
In the Bible, pride is pitted against humility. God uplifts the humble, but those who are prideful will suffer. God honors the humble, but the prideful will fall. Wouldn't you rather be uplifted and honored by God instead of sitting in your own stench of pride? Pride is foul and toxic to your life, your faith, and your relationships.
Defeat pride by practicing humility, surrendering to God's will, and putting others before yourself.
Pride will cause serious destruction with lasting consequences in your life. This is a toxic way to live and I encourage you to confront the pride that is in your heart by going to battle against the enemy with the Mighty One leading the charge. Break the poisonous cycle of pride in your life and let God make the changes that will cleanse your heart, your marriage, your family, and your life. Weeding our pride will be a tough task. But remember, when we resist the enemy, he will flee. Let go of pride, and with all your heart tell Him, "Thy will be done."
Author: Pamela Palmer