Of all the attitudes that can depreciate our relationship with God, this is one of the most common. Pride is the foremost among the deadly sins, and it is the root cause of most other sins. It can lead to bitterness, rebellion, hatred, anger, arrogance, and many other sins. It is also very subtle, and the one with pride is usually the last one to realize the issue. It is often the case that others can see our pride long before it is pointed out to us, but be assured that it will be pointed out to us. Whether God shows it to us, or because it has become impossible to miss.
James 4:6 & Prov. 3:34 – God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.
God resists the proud, this is one sin He does not compromise with. Although we may not see it, pride comes in the way of our relationship with God because our pride can make us our own idols. And God will not settle for being second best in our lives. Pride makes us arrogant, and it gives us an impression of being more righteous or valuable than others. It creates invisible barriers between ourselves and others. Without our knowledge, the way we speak and behave begins to give others an impression that we are compensating for having low self esteem, or that we feel pretentious around others.
Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
If left unchecked, pride can destroy a person and shut down love in their lives. Spiritual pride is the most dangerous of all types of pride, even Jesus acknowledged this. It can build to a point where we think we don’t need God.
The Devil was not always like how he is now. At one point he was one of God’s most beautiful creation. He was known as the son of the morning or Lucifer (Light bearer). The Bible describes him as a signet of beauty, perfection, and wisdom. He had gold and every precious stone in the heavens at his disposal. He is said to have walked in the presence of God (a great honour) and also in the garden of eden. He was a specially anointed “cherub” or a very high ranking angel. This description can be read in the book of Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 28:17 – Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.
Unfortunately this kind of glory, power, and splendor corrupted him and he was no longer happy with what he had. He became so proud that he wanted to be like God himself. He led a rebellion against God and was defeated.
Isaiah 14:13 – You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.
In spite of this, he did not give up on his pride. He realized he could not harm God and trying was useless. He then decided to take out his frustration on what was precious in the sight of God. He went after Adam and Eve and he tempted them to sin. Throughout the ages he has been an enemy to mankind, because he knows that God loves us so much, and we are going to inherit what he cannot.
Satan even tried to tempt Jesus with pride when he was a man on earth. Thankfully Jesus was much stronger and could resist.
Luke 4: – And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, … “If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.”
One of the many reasons that God does not compromise with pride is that it can potentially destroy your relationship with Him. He loves us too much for that to happen.
Let me speak from experience here. God will humble us if we do not humble ourselves. When I began to pray that God would make me more teachable, so I did not have to be broken to learn, God answered that prayer by giving me a more humble heart. Learning God’s lessons is a lot more fun, and spares a lot more pain, when we live in humility.
Being humble is not the same as having low self esteem. After all, we are masterpieces created by God, in God’s image, so precious to Him that He would send Himself as His only son to die for us. No, being humble is not having low self esteem.
Having low self esteem is to think lowly of ourselves when compared to others. Being humble is to think highly of God when compared to ourselves.