Have you ever heard a sermon or teaching and immediately felt annoyed, or maybe like this was definitely NOT a message for you?
Now, there have been times, when the message was just downright nutty. However, that is rare. Most of the time (especially since I am VERY careful whom I allow to speak into my life), it is right on the money.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of a humble spirit with the meek and poor than to divide the spoil with the proud. – Proverbs 16:18-19 (amplified)
Pride is destructive to the person who holds the pride. Pride prevents us from hearing God’s Truth and learning what He wants us to learn. Pride is a terrible disease of the heart that many of us have and are too prideful to even see it! LOL!
What exactly is pride?
Note: I am only focusing on the selfish side of pride for this study. Taking pride in your work and how you maintain your home are not what I am talking about here. We are only discussing the sinful side of pride.
I looked it up in the dictionary and concordance and found things like:
A high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.; the state or feeling of being proud; a becoming or dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one’s position or character; self-respect; self-esteem; pleasure or satisfaction taken in something done by or belonging to oneself or believed to reflect credit upon oneself; pomp; swelling; loftiness and arrogance.
Simply stated: Pride is placing our own authority above God’s. It is placing our plan, our greatness, goodness ABOVE God’s.
On the flip side…and a very interesting fact is that the opposite of pride is humility…but we’ll get to that in a minute. Let’s talk about pride a little longer…
Pride means many things. However, the pride I am talking about says the following…
- I already know this
- I don’t have an issue with that
- I am quite knowledgeable in spiritual matters
- I read the Bible all the time
- I know a lot
- I am OK
- I am spiritually aware enough to watch this program
- I am not as bad off as so and so
- My way is the right way
- It’s just…
- It’s only…
Pride also takes Scriptures and makes them fit our own selfish needs, wants and desires. Pride takes liberty in Christ and turns it into license to sin. Pride takes itself far too seriously. Pride cannot see other view points. Pride thinks it knows it all and is unteachable. Pride is inward oriented.
Being unteachable is very dangerous. If you are not teachable then you will never learn or be able to see sin crouching at the doorway of your heart. Pride is a gateway to the kind of sinful strongholds that may keep a person bound their entire lives.
Because they are so filled with this destructive mindset that they are completely blinded, and cannot see the muck they have gotten themselves in.
Something that may surprise you is that pride was originated from satan. That fact alone makes me want to humble myself and rebuke pride before it even begins to creep into the recesses of my being. Read Isaiah 14:12-14 (the whole chapter if you can) to see how satan’s pride is what got him booted out of the presence of the Almighty. (another ref. tied in with Isaiah;1 Timothy 3:6)
Be not wise in your own eyes; reverently fear and worship the Lord and turn entirely away from evil. – Proverbs 3:7 (amplified)
How do we keep pride far from us?
We must develop humility.
What is humility?
I looked it up in the dictionary and concordance and found things like:
The quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank; mildness of disposition, gentleness of spirit; lowliness, meekness, submissiveness.
Simply stated: Humility is free from pride and arrogance. Humility understands your flesh and inadequacies as a human being. It also understands that you do not know it all and that God is the one who should be behind the wheel and not us!
Humility says the following…
- I do not know it all
- God is in control
- I need the Lord to even breath properly
- I have much to learn
- I can do all things THROUGH Christ Who gives me strength…it is NOT by my own doing.
Humility understands that God is the giver, source and reason for strength, protection, knowledge, provision and ability. Humility is submitted to the authority of Christ. Humility understands that there is nothing great about oneself without the presence and help of the Lord. Humility is teachable and bendable to the will of God. Humility is always seeking more from God. Humility seeks peace and is able to lay down selfish needs and pride for the greater good in all relationships. Humility is outward oriented.
Be careful to always be ready to do an honest self evaluation. Never assume you are mature in any area of your life to the extent that you do not need to learn. We will never be perfected in any area of our lives until we are in Heaven. There is always, always…ALWAYS room for growth. We must constantly be in learning, teachable and growing mode.
As soon as we think we know it all in any area of our lives, or feel like we are more knowledgeable than another with a different opinion, we need to get on our knees. That is the moment we need to make sure we are not only lined up with God’s Word, but that we are acting in a meek and selfless manner.
In closing, if you find yourself getting agitated and angry over a sermon or message, do not be so quick to write it off as nonsense. It could be good old fashioned conviction!
For whom the Lord loves He corrects, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights. – Proverbs 3:12 (amplified)
For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes. – Hebrews 12:6 (amplified)
God loves you enough to let you know when you are in error! The Creator of the universe takes the time to make sure you KNOW the Truth! Humble yourself and do not reject Him, and consequently become desensitized to the conviction of the Holy Spirit!
Be ever ready to seek God’s face in the matter and be willing to hear what you may not want to hear. I can tell you from personal experience that more often than not, when we get annoyed or angry about a message, it is because of our own sin. We do not want to see it or even talk about it. We want to assume we know the answer and anyone who contradicts it, simply does not know as much as we do in the area. DANGER! Humble yourself before the King and see what HE has to say!
Daddy God, thank You for loving me enough to tell me when I am doing, thinking or believing the wrong things. Help me to never think I know more than You. Help me to always be ready to learn and remain teachable in all things. Help me to hear You and accept Your correction. Thank You for loving me enough to teach me and let me know when I am on the wrong path. I love You, Daddy, and I want to always be in the Truth. I want to remain humble and lined up with Your Will for my life. Show me where there is sin and wrong thinking in my life, and help me to lay it down at Your feet. Thank You for the Truth and correction of Your Word. In Jesus Mighty Name, Amen.
I have included several Scriptures on Pride and Humility. There are MANY more in the Word. Feel free to do your own study. However, for the sake of this devotional, take the time to read and meditate on the following verses. Pray about them and seek God’s Will in them. Also, be willing to hear His voice and receive correction as it comes.
- Philippians 2:3
- Psalm 37:11
- Philippians 2:5-8
- 1 Peter 5:5
- Matthew 18:4
- Proverbs 11:2
- Romans 12:3
- 1 Corinthians 4 (whole chapter)
- Proverbs 3:34
- James 4:6
- Isaiah 5:21
- Ephesians 4:2
- Galatians 5:16
- Psalm 147:6
Memorize: When swelling and pride come, then emptiness and shame come also, but with the humble (those who are lowly, who have been pruned or chiseled by trial, and renounce self) are skillful and godly Wisdom and soundness. – Proverbs 11:2 (amplified)
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