Pride :: By Nathele Graham

There are two kinds of pride… a good side and a bad side. Good pride urges us to pull our pants up to our waist, comb our hair, bathe, and brush our teeth in order to be presentable in society. We can take pride in doing a good job or in creating a work of art. On the other hand, pride can stumble our walk with Jesus and cause us to think more of “me” than of serving the Lord.

Pride causes us to believe we are better than other people and to look down on them. We are all sinners and are all in need of God’s grace. It’s not a Christian virtue to pridefully look down on other people. We are all human with many failings, so if you set the standard of perfection by your own actions, you’ve lifted yourself above Jesus. He was perfect in every way and never sinned. He is the standard of perfection we need to aim for. Since we are all human with a sin nature, we can never achieve perfection in our own right; therefore, we can’t be so prideful as to expect others to meet our standards.

“A man’s pride shall bring him low; but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit” (Proverbs 29:23).

Remember, none of us is righteous by our own means; our righteousness comes only through Jesus. We owe Him our life.

This doesn’t mean we aren’t to discern. Scripture tells us not to pursue friendships and marriages or any partnership that compromises our walk with Jesus. Always ask yourself if joining closely with another person will bring you closer to God or drive you away from Him. If Jesus is first in your life, you will try to be like Him, and He will be your guide in all things. Jesus was humble and only got angry when God the Father was dishonored or when the Pharisees allowed pride to compromise compassion.

What makes you angry? Is it someone who steps on your pride? Someone who makes you feel inferior? If these things make you mad, then your pride is making you follow a wrong path. According to Scripture, we are to love our fellow human beings.

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8).

More than likely, you do things that step on other people’s pride. You cannot control another person’s actions, but you can allow the Holy Spirit to guide your actions.

There are many bad attitudes that pride brings into your life. Pride won’t allow you to forgive someone who has wronged you, even if they don’t seek your forgiveness. It also stops you from asking forgiveness from someone you’ve wronged.

“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:5-7).

Take all things to the Lord and ask Him to help you subdue your own pride. Let Him lift you up instead of allowing your pride to bring bitterness into your heart.

We can’t find a better example of the ugliness of pride than the pride of Lucifer. He was filled with pride, thinking that he was equal to God. He’s a being created by God, therefore inferior to God.

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit” (Isaiah 14:12-15).

Sadly, too many people reject Christ and follow the ways of the world, which is ruled by Satan. When you look down upon another person with anger and spite, you aren’t following in Jesus’ footsteps but are following Lucifer in his pride and hatred. Satan’s pride caused him to lose his place in Heaven, and he will spend eternity in the lake of fire. He will be there with all who reject Christ and choose to follow satanic ways. Be sure to look to Scripture to guide your life, choices, words, and attitude.

The only example of true humbleness is Jesus Christ. With the words of His mouth, He created the earth and all that’s in it.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:1-4).

Jesus is God the Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. He was in the very beginning of all things… the Creator. He existed in Heaven where love abounds. There is no sin there and no pride. Yet, He loved His creation enough to humbly step into this fallen world in the form of a human baby in order to give us the only way of salvation.

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

John did indeed behold Jesus in all His glory. John saw the miracles, and he saw the pride-filled Pharisees try to discredit Jesus. John was there at the last supper, saw Jesus arrested, and watched Him humbly allow Himself to be crucified. John also found the tomb empty on the third day. He saw the risen Lord. He was there on the day of Pentecost and was filled with the Holy Spirit. John must have been quite a rowdy fisherman when Jesus first called him. Jesus nicknamed John and James “The Sons of Thunder” (Mark 3:17). John mellowed over time but never compromised God’s truth. His writings give us a special insight into the love of God.

Jesus came to earth in order to save humanity from sin. He gave His life for you and for me. Although He created the entire universe, He humbly stepped into His creation to show us the only way to eternal life. His own words tell us to be humble in our spirit.

“Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). Poor in spirit doesn’t mean that you have a weak spirit, but that the spirit you have is humble and not enriching itself. Jesus goes on to say, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). Meekness isn’t weakness but power under control. A meek person has a mild disposition and a gentle spirit. Pride isn’t in them, just the love of God.

The wrong kind of pride will bring much misery into your life. When you’re filled with pride, you have no room for the love of your fellow humans. Pride causes us to see worldly desires rather than the desire to please God.

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, 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 2:15-16).

We only need to look upon the recent riots and destruction in order to see the result of pride unleashed. Christians need to put pride behind us and serve our Lord and Saviour rather than allow pride to drag us down to the level of worldly people who serve Satan instead of Christ.

That evil being was prideful enough to try to tempt Jesus to sin. If he was arrogant enough to try to tempt Jesus, he will certainly try to tempt those of us who follow Jesus. After Jesus had fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, Satan thought He was weak. Not Jesus… He was humble, not weak. Every temptation put before Him by Satan was answered with Scripture. The third and final temptation presented was that Satan would give Him all the kingdoms of the world if only Jesus would worship him. That would have meant Jesus wouldn’t have to endure the cross, but it would also mean His blood wouldn’t have been shed for our salvation. Pride could have caused Jesus to accept the challenge, but Jesus had Scripture ready to thwart Satan’s feeble attempts to cause Him to stumble.

“Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew 4:10).

If you allow pride to rule your life, you are not serving Christ.

Remember, it was pride that caused Lucifer to think He could be like God almighty. Lucifer is so far from being like God that there is absolutely no comparison. God is love; Satan is hate. God wants you to be with Him forever in Heaven, but Satan only wants you to join him in the Lake of Fire. Both places are eternal, but only faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus brings eternal love and peace.

“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” (Mark 7:21-23).

Pride is a sin. Don’t let pride cause you to fall. Bow your heart humbly before Jesus and let Him lift you up.

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (James 4:10).

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

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All original scripture is “theopneustos,” God-breathed.

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