When we think of being proud, we usually do not consider it a sinful attitude. We are encouraged all our lives to be proud of ourselves. Pride is good, or so we think. It is good, we are told, to take pride in one's own accomplishments and abilities; it is reasonable, we think, to be proud of the achievements and abilities of our loved ones. The way the world teaches us to think, we must have pride to have any sort of well-being and peace in our lives.
The problem with this is that the world is WRONG! God HATES pride! Pride is what caused Lucifer to set himself in opposition to God in heaven, and to rebel against God's authority. Pride is what caused the fallen state of mankind, when Adam and Eve disobeyed the Lord in the Garden of Eden. In fact, pride is one of the seven sins referred to as "deadly sins". If we really stop to look at it, pride is at the root of most of the sin mankind commits. And the Bible tells us our Heavenly Father HATES pride!
What is pride, exactly? The dictionary defines pride like this:
Pride: The quality or state of being proud, as: 1) inordinate self-esteem, an unreasonable conceit of superiority(as in talents, beauty, rank, or wealth); such pride is personified as one of the seven deadly sins; 2) a sense of one's own worth and abhorrence of what is beneath or unworthy of oneself; lofty self-respect; 3) proud or disdainful treatment: insolence or arrogance of demeanor: disdain. (Webster's Third New International Dictionary)
Now, let's look at what the Bible has to say about pride. We need to really understand what a terrible sin pride is in God's eyes.
And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. Deut.8:2
The whole reason the Israelites had to wander in the wilderness for forty years was to humble them. God knew that their proud hearts would not be obedient to His commandments. Even with this as an example, the Israelites were continously disobedient to God's instructions to them, because of their pride and arrogance.
It is always a mistake,as the Israelites learned over and over again, to put our faith and trust in our own accomplishments and abilities, rather than to depend on the Almighty God to lead us, guide us, and meet all of our needs.
1.Pride is a trap Satan uses to ensnare mankind.
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. James 7:21-22
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1 John 2:16
For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. That He may withdraw man from his purpose (all their plans, pursuits, and pleasures), and hide pride from man. He keepeth back his soul from the pit (an open pit, a trap or snare), and his life from perishing by the sword. Job 33:14,17-18
These verses show that pride is evil, and comes from the devil. God speaks to man, to turn him away from his own purposes, because man's prideful purposes are a pit; a trap or snare that mankind can fall into and die from. God knows that man, left to his own devices, will always fall into Satan's traps.
2. God hates pride and arrogance.
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. Prov.8:13
Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.Prov. 16:5
These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. Prov.6:16-19
Notice the words that describe how the Almighty God feels about pride? He HATES it; it is an ABOMINATION to Him. Those are pretty powerful words. They indicate much more than a mild disapproval or a vague wish that we wouldn't be prideful. Those words convey an intense degree of emotion; that is an indication of how God regards our proud hearts and haughty attitudes.
And look at the list of seven things God really hates: Pride is the very first thing mentioned! A proud look on the outside reveals a haughty, unbroken, and unbowed heart on the inside. The Bible tells us God doesn't look on the outward appearance of man, but at the heart. In this list, a proud look is mentioned even before "hands that shed innocent blood", or murder! Before lying, and causing dissent and mischief, before devising wicked imaginations; pride is listed before any of these. That should be all we need to make us begin to see our pride through God's pure and holy eyes!
3. God will bring down those who are proud.
Nebudchadnezzar was a mighty conqueror; he ruled the entire empire at one time. He had majesty, glory, and power; people bowed and trembled before him. He was proud, and one could suppose with good reason. And yet God humbled the mighty King Nebudchadnezzar.
And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws. Daniel4:32,33
Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgment: and those that walk in pride He is able to abase. Daniel 4:37
O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour: And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down. But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him. Daniel 5:18
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD. Obadiah 1:3-4
And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. Isaiah 13:11
For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. Malachi 4:1
4. God will reward or exalt a humble heart, and is with those who are humble in spirit.
Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah. II Chron. 32:26
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Isaiah 57:15
The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Psalms 34:17-18
And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. Matthew 23:12
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up. James 4:6-7, 10
5. God requires humility from us, not pride.
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Micah 6:8
To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked (all their plans, pursuits, and pleasures), is sin. Proverbs 21:3-4
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Psalms 51:17
6.People have always had the same proud spirit; God still hates and punishes pride and arrogance.
Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good. Ezekiel 16:49-50
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. II Timothy 3:1-5
Does any of this remind you of anything that is happening in our world today? Just like the people Ezekiel was referring to, we also have an overabundance of idleness; we have more leisure time and leisure activities than our parents ever even dreamed of having. We have such fulness of bread that we're dying from obesity, heart attacks, and strokes in record numbers. We are full of pride and arrogance in ourselves, in our own abilities and accomplishments. And in our arrogance, we commit abomination before the Lord: we do not acknowledge Him as the Supreme Master, the Creator of all the universe, the One true and pure and holy God.
The description of the last days fits this generation perfectly; it almost seems as if the writer were living in the world today, instead of two thousand years ago. We are living in a time when mankind is full of love for themselves, proud, blasphemous,unthankful, unholy. The world tends to despise those that are good. The few who do put love of God over love of pleasure are looked at as pitiful weaklings who won't do all they can to help themselves in this "dog eat dog" world, they are a subject of jokes and their lifestyle is considered inferior.
7. We must learn to humble ourselves to live in a right relationship with God.
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time:1 Peter 5:6
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. II Chronicles 7:14
God requires that we put Him first. We have to be willing to humble ourselves, secure in the promise that He will exalt us for it in His perfect time. No one can find salvation without first humbling themselves before the perfect and holy Almighty God, and admitting their lostness and sinfulness. Even after receiving the precious gift of salvation, we must constantly be on guard against a proud heart or a prideful attitude.
Next: Pride: A Thing God Hates, Part 2