Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honour. Proverbs 29:23 (NLT).
When a chicken lays an egg, it crows about it, but when a salmon lays ten thousand eggs it doesn’t say a word. Do you crow? The Oxford Dictionary says that pride is “elation or satisfaction at one’s achievements, qualities, possessions … a high or overbearing opinion of one’s worth or importance.”
If you have an inaccurate or inflated view of yourself then you’ve got a pride problem. If we’re truthful – we all struggle with pride.
While our tongues reveal our pride, it comes, not from our mouth’s, but from our hearts. Matthew 12:34 says, “For whatever is in your heart determines what you say” (NLT). So if you’re going to deal with pride, God has to work in your heart.
Which begs a question? What’s in our hearts that make us proud? Insecurity and inferiority. And what’s behind our insecurity and inferiority? Fear. We fear rejection. We boast and brag about ourselves because we want to be accepted.
Which brings us to the million dollar question: How do we deal with pride? By practising humility. And what is humility? It’s an accurate view of yourself. Romans 12:3 says, “Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you” (NLT). And how do you maintain an honest estimate of yourself? There are three things you must ask God to help you do:
- Be grateful for everything and everyone. Get the focus off yourself and onto others. Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing” (NLT).
2 Beg forgiveness for the sin of pride. You must ask God to break your arrogance, haughtiness, vanity, loftiness, pomposity, superciliousness and any other illusion of vainglory you might have. Ephesians 4:22 says, “Throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception” (NLT).
3 Be conformed to Christ. Philippians 2:5 says, “Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had” (NLT). That means you must learn from Christ, listen to Christ, and live for Christ. If your identity is in what you do or who you are, you’re failing the pride test. Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do nothing” John 15:5 (NLT).
Listen. Your accomplishments, activities or analytical skills do not make you valuable. It’s being in Christ, it’s being a child of the King – that’s what makes you valuable. This may be the most important thing you hear today. To be victorious over pride, insecurity, inferiority and the need to be accepted, you must be conformed to Christ. And there you have it!