The Enemy of Pride
What is pride? What does it look like? Is pride the opposite of humility?
No, it is the absence of humility. Humility says 'we can do nothing without God' while pride says 'I have got by this far' and 'if I absolutely need Him, then I might ask Him' and 'there is no God' and 'if there is a God, why does He allow such evil'? Pride finds fault in God and His ways and in His words or chooses not to believe anything about Him and even goes so far as to make the decision what to think (or not think) about Him (while never attempting to know the truth).
Pride is most likely one of the least talked about and studied sins, yet is one of the most prevalent and dangerous sins to mankind. Pride and foolishness go hand in hand. Pride can integrate itself in a thought, an action, a feeling or a word spoken and comes in many forms. There is a false humility practiced by many, but this is truly nothing more than a form of pride trying to pass itself off as humbleness. Pride is one of the most dangerous sins to the Christian and it is imperative that a Christian know what pride looks like, in any form. Sometimes pride is boldly evident and obvious, and other times pride is hiding within a form much less recognizable as being pride. Many associate pride with the rich and the powerful. Or with those in charge and those that make and enforce the rules and regulations. Rarely do we associate pride with those that are weak or without material goods or those that are lower on the totem pole of leadership or the poor or the needy, however, pride thrives well in these circumstances and environments. Pride can keep a homeless man homeless, a poor man poor, a needy man needy, a sick man sick, etc. If we allow our pride to go unchecked, eventually our pride will be dealt with by God, but we do not want it to get that far!
Pride is linked with coveting (spiteful and grudging admiration of another), bragging, disrespect for God, disobedience (to parents), unholy, unthankful, without affection, unable to keep one's word, false accusations, lack of self-control, animalism, oppressors of good, betrayal, hastiness, conceit, seeking pleasure without seeking God first.
Pride puts distance between God and a person. Ps. 138:6 The proud believe lies and reject the truth. Pride will deter the grace of God upon a person's life. 1 Pet. 5:5 Pride causes us to compare ourselves with others and this comparing can lead to feelings of either superiority or inferiority .. Leaving us unbalanced in our self-esteem. As we are not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, but we are to have a healthy self-esteem. (Our self-esteem lies in our confidence in who we are in Christ Jesus.) A balanced life is essential to maintaining our joy and peace.
Pride begins in our thinking. And our thinking produces feelings and our feelings produce emotions. Therefore, pride can inhabit and destroy our emotional well-being if left unchecked.
So how do we avoid pride into our lives? Stay in the Word of God. Meditate on the Word of God. Stay in prayer and stay connected to God, seeking Him throughout the day for guidance and answers. In other words, putting God first.
To put God first is a practice and does not happen overnight. It is a conscious decision on our part (putting God first) and a reminding to ourselves all throughout the day. It is trying to keep God on our mind, so to speak. It is a process of slowing down our minds and taking control of what we think or meditate upon. Our minds are used to running the show, so when we first begin to take control of our thoughts (our minds), it will be time consuming and require discipline on our part. The mind is a drifter and it is up to us to stop the drifting when we realize our mind is having it's way. (With prayer and diligence and reading God's Word, we can renew our minds and think more like Christ.)
As our thinking begins to become more Christ-like, pride cannot gain entrance into our lives.
Pride is rampant in the world because pride possesses it's own form of power and employs a sense of invincibility. (Leading to a false sense of security.) Lev. 29:19 Pride can hinder and even sabotage the anointing of God on one's life. Job 33:17 Pride gives us a warped and prejudiced and judgmental view of God and His ways. Ps. 10:2-4 Pride can even blind us from being able to see the goodness of God. Ps. 31:19&20 Pride is in the unbeliever and the unbeliever is in pride. Pride is a dangerous enemy to God's Word. Ps. 10 Pride endangers the prideful and even extends to those that are nearby. Pride can infect our thinking, our attitudes, our speech and even our very being. Pride is a most powerful weapon against man and mankind, but has no effect upon God.
We are creatures that are meant to receive blessings from God, on a continual basis. However, pride will inhibit or sabotage the receptor's within us. Which renders us incapable of receiving little (if anything) from God. Pride stands between us and the 'frequency' of the airwaves of God's blessings.
It would both benefit and serve our own lives well if we keep pride in check. Keeping pride from infecting our lives does not begin with God, but with us. Mark 8:15