Chapter 45

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
(Proverbs 16:18)

Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes?  There is more hope for a fool than for him.
(Proverbs 26:12)

Live in harmony with one another.  Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.  Never be wise in your own sight.
(Romans 12:16)

The issue of pride has been another difficult area for me personally to overcome, being second only to sexual immorality.

This is a difficult sin to deal with, partly because “pride” is not always bad (as used in the English language).  Some types of boasting and pride are okay, while other types aren’t.  Here are some examples of the good kind:

Each one should test his own actions.  Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.  (Galatians 6:4-5 NIV)

Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”  (1Corinthians 1:31 NIV)

One simple definition of the bad kind of pride (sinful pride) is:  to think of yourself more highly than you ought to.  This is usually accompanied by thinking less of others than you ought to.  As scripture says:

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.  (Romans 12:3)

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  (Philippians 2:3 NIV)

Pride appears to be the root sin that led to the devil’s downfall.  Pride may have been the first sin in all creation (even ahead of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3):

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.  (Ezekiel 28:17)

He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.  (1Timothy 3:6)

Humility is widely understood to be the opposite of pride:

Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”  (1Peter 5:5)

He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble.  (Proverbs 3:34 NIV)

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.  (Proverbs 11:2)

What about you?  Are you proud or humble?

For Further Reflection

2Chronicles 26:16-21:  King Uzziah’s pride.

Psalm 10:4-6:  In his pride the wicked does not seek him…

Proverbs 18:12:  Before his downfall…

Jeremiah 9:23-24:  Let not the wise man boast…

Ezekiel 28:12-19:  The devil’s downfall.

Daniel 4:1-37:  King Nebuchadnezzar’s pride.

1Corinthians 1:17-31:  So that no one may boast.

1John 1:9:  If we confess our sins…

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