Isaiah 2:12 (CEV) – “The Lord All-Powerful has chosen a day when those who are proud and conceited will be put down.”
One of the scariest verses in the Bible that I have ever read.
I think we’ve all struggled with pride once or twice in our lives. And no, I don’t mean being “proud” of the things we have accomplished, or being proud of our children reaching different milestones. I don’t even mean having a certain level of self-confidence.
I mean pride; The kind of pride that God frowns on. The kind of pride, the kind of spirit that makes you feel like you are better than others, or that you are entitled to something. The kind of spirit that would have you treat others as if they are beneath you like floor you walk on.
“Of the seven deadly sins, theologians and philosophers reserve a special place for pride. Lust, envy, anger, greed, gluttony and sloth are all bad, the sages say, but pride is the deadliest of all, the root of all evil, and the beginning of sin.” (www.npr.org)
It has also been said that pride is the source of all other sins.
Let’s not forget that it was pride that began the fall of satan. He thought he was better than God, and that he deserved more than he had. He felt entitled. And so, God cast him and one third of heaven, out. (Isaiah 14:12-15)
Examples of Pride:
I came up with a “few” examples of pride to help you better understand what it actually is, and some of its various forms:
-Exalting oneself above others
-Boastfulness about accomplishments
-Being “too good” to be friends with or associate with others
-Being self-absorbed; selfishness (no concern for, lacking empathy and sympathy for others)
-Being too stubborn to ask for help when needed
-Comparing yourself to others (also a form of jealousy)
-Believing that you “deserve” something more than someone else
-Feeling the constant need to “1-up,” do better, or have better than others
-Playing victim in various situations, especially situations that are caused/brought upon by oneself
My Own Experiences With Pride
I’ve never felt the need to boast about the success of my business or other milestones my husband and I have reached. I’ve always been humbled, and borderline embarrassed even, to have someone look into my life and see what all we’ve achieved. I’ve hidden it well in the past. Most people I meet don’t realize what all we have, and I don’t go out of my way to mention it, but I definitely go out of my way to hide it. This is what you would call “false humility.” There is a difference between being humble and false humility.
All that to say this: I’ve never felt prideful about our success.
That said, I have actually dealt with another form of pride a few times throughout my life.
Going to school, I always felt the need to compete with my classmates. I had an easy time in school. I passed each quarter with straight A’s and I was very proud of it. Having dealt with bullies in school, my grades were always my “1-up” on them. Sure, you can tease me about how I look and how I dress, but at the end of the day, I’m still “better” than you because I have a brighter future than you do.
It’s sad to think about, but this was really my mindset. It was like a defense mechanism for me.
I’ve also been “too proud” to ask for help when I needed it for fears of feeling like a failure, feeling inadequate, and feeling embarrassed. That was especially hard to deal with when we lost Aaliyah last July. I was so embarrassed that I even found it hard to lean on my own family and friends. Sometimes I regret not leaning on them more, but part of me always felt like I would be a burden. This pride somewhat slowed my grieving progress. I kept most of my emotions bottled up and it ended up doing more harm than good.
I finally realized later that it was my weakness that was the source of my pride. I never wanted to be seen as weak or incapable of handling something on my own.
Pride and Weakness
I think that being afraid to appear weak is where a lot of pride stems from in most people. We feel that we have to put on a facade, put on a face that is not true to who we really are or how we really feel. That much is especially true on social media. This is why you can’t judge based on what you see on social media.
Running a social media marketing company, I can’t tell you how many friends/clients I have who confide in me about personal things they are going through. What a difference there is between talking with them as a friend and seeing their social media pages.
Of course they wouldn’t dare share the intimate details of their personal lives. Ultimately, that’s their choice and that’s okay. But I feel like true happiness can be achieved more when we are honest with ourselves. It takes a lot more energy to pretend to be happy than to just be open and honest. It’s also important for mental health.
This is one of the many reasons I’ve decided to go public about things my husband and I have been facing. I’ve opened myself up immensely. I’ve been an open book concerning 2019, and it’s helped my healing process tremendously. I’ve also made a lot of connections since I’ve been sharing my journey. I’ve been able to help and encourage others who have gone through similar situations of losing loved ones. Had I let pride get in my way, there’s no telling what dark place I would still be in, and how many opportunities to help others that I would’ve missed.
Pride and Insecurities
Others just genuinely have to feel like they are better than the people around them. This usually stems from their own insecurities. This type of pride is showcased when a person has to continuously boast about who they are, what they have, where they live, how much traveling they do, how much success they have, and the list goes on.
Being insecure with oneself is a breeding ground for pride, and it’s a stretch, but I would also say it’s an underlying form of self-hate. When one is prideful, they can never be satisfied with who they are or what they have. They are constantly striving to be better than those around them, and if you think about it, part of likely stems from being unhappy with themselves – thus, an insecurity.
God Hates Pride
“There are six or seven kinds of people the Lord doesn’t like: Those who are too proud or tell lies or murder, those who make evil plans or are quick to do wrong. . .” -Proverbs 6:16 (CEV).
The list doesn’t just coincidentally begin with “Those who are too proud.” Another version says “haughty eyes,” which are eyes that are used to look down on others.
Later in Proverbs 16:5 (ESV), Soloman mentions that “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the LORD; be assured, he will not go unpunished.”
God can’t be pleased with someone who is prideful. A person who is prideful doesn’t look to God. They often believe that they groomed their own success, or that they can get through everyday life without looking to Him. Pride seeks glory in oneself rather than giving the glory to God who provides for our every want and need.
Personally, I would be afraid to continue walking in this mindset simply because God giveth and He taketh. Everything that He has done for and given to me, can be reversed instantaneously by God, the moment He sees me taking the credit for it all.
Pray for Humility
The Bible tells us that being humble is pleasing to God. He shows favor toward those who are humble, and he punishes those who are prideful. I’ve prayed that with much success, God would make me just as humble. Being humble makes room for more blessings, and I just want to be pleasing unto God.
James 4:6 (CEV) – “In fact, God treats us with even greater kindness, just as the Scriptures say, ‘God opposes everyone who is proud, but he blesses all who are humble with undeserved grace.”