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What the Bible Says About Pride

Updated on October 24, 2019
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Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.

Pride: Definition

Pride is described in the dictionary and the Bible as conceit, arrogance, and haughtiness. Pride shows up in a person's lifestyle and especially in his speech when he boasts about his self-worth and self-sufficiency. It is the state of having exaggerated self-esteem.

While pride shows up mostly when an individual displays his own self-worth, pride can also be associated with a person's high opinion of one's own nation, city, or community. It could also be a person's belief in the best of a class, group, or society. Remember the late James Brown sang, "I'm Black and I'm proud." That was an example of ethnic pride.

Pride is the excessive belief in his own abilities instead of the recognition of the grace of God. St. Augustine called pride "the love of one's own excellence." Meher Baba said, "Pride is the specific feeling through which egoism manifests." Solomon, the wisest man who lived during his time said, "When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom (Proverbs 11:2). He also said, "Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18).

Most of the world religions consider pride to be a sin. In Judaism and Christianity, pride is called the root of all evil. The word "pride" is in the Bible 49 times. The King James Bible indicates people who exhibit excess pride are "haughty."

God's View of Pride

Pride is at the top of the list of sins that God hates. The Bible warns us what pride will lead to. Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18). God hates pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech (Proverbs 8:13).

Examples of Pride

Pride exists when a person has a strong desire to be something that he is not. He brags about his self-worth in an effort to impress others. However, he will never impress God that way.

Notice that the letter "I" is in the middle of PRIDE." A true test of pride is when a person constantly begins sentences with the word, "I." Pride is putting oneself above everyone and everything else including God. Pride shows up when people say, "I did this, I went to this place, or I have that."

The true test of pride is not only beginning most sentences with "I." Pride continues when the person dominates most conversations by using "me" "myself," "my" and "mine." Pride is being caught up in yourself instead of focusing on God and respecting others in a group.

When some people read the Bible during corporate worship or announce the text from which they are preaching or teaching, the first words out of their mouths are: "I am coming from Luke 24:13-35." The proper way to say it is, "God's word reads..." or "The Word of God is from Luke 24:13-35." You have then acknowledged God's rightful place and given Him the honor He deserves. Stop letting the first words out of your mouth refer to you or what you are doing. It pleases God when you acknowledge Him first.

Pride Was Satan's Downfall

Satan was kicked out of heaven because of pride and selfish ambition. For Satan,
it was all about him and nothing about God. According to Ezekiel 28:17. "Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I exposed you before kings, to feast their eyes on you."

Satan's ultimate desire was to be above God. He desired to be higher than his own Creator. Satan's pride and selfish nature is recorded in Isaiah 14:13-14. Notice each statement begins with "I will."

  1. "I will ascend to heaven."
  2. "I will raise my throne above the stars of God."
  3. "I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain."
  4. "I will ascend above the tops of the clouds."
  5. "I will make myself like the Most High."

The statements show Satan’s sinful disobedience, rebellion, self-centered nature, self-sufficiency, self-exaltation, pride, and arrogance. These sins caused his downfall, as well as the downfall of a third of the angels who went with him. It has also been the downfall of many people on earth since that time.

What to Do About Pride

God frowns on pride. Pride blocks any blessing God has in store for you. Therefore, you should stop exaggerating your own self-worth. Prefer God's will over your own self-will. Get rid of pride from your life and see how quickly you will be blessed because of God's favor.

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