Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall. Better to live humbly with the poor than to share plunder with the proud. (Proverbs 16:18-19 NLT)
Pride is one of those funny things. When a person wears it, they believe they’re attractive to others, but fact is, it’s just the opposite. We disdain them, and the silly smirk on their face, or the chip on the shoulder only furthers our dislike for them. The truly amazing thing is however, they are convinced we can’t help but be completely jealous of their accomplishments, their possessions, or their looks.
I have to say though, while these types of pride are ridiculous and easily spotted, there is a far worse type of pride that is much more serious and far more damaging, the pride of self-assurance. Self-assurance doesn’t need God’s permission on decisions because it comes from self, and when we are convinced within ourselves, there is very little God can do. While you read this post don’t let your mind drift to friends or family, but instead, ask yourself, is this me? Here are three areas where we need to do some self-examination.
1. Leaning on your own understanding
This is the MOST dangerous place to be! We get a thought, it takes root, we become convinced, and eventually, it becomes our actions. We don’t even realize, because our pride won’t allow us to see, that these actions are slowly destroying us and those around us. Our pride, our arrogant self-assured pride, is blinding us from seeing the truth of the matter. The truth is, we haven’t really searched the scriptures for an answer, we’ve let our hearts decide for us. Sure, we may have one or possibly even two scriptures were waving around as a banner of excuse, but something is screaming, “you’re wrong!” The results should be proof enough, but again pride comes into the equation and we find ourselves saying, “I can’t truly be wrong on this one and everyone else right.”
Only one truth will conquer pride and the destruction it brings. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. (Proverbs 3:5-8 KJV)
2. Following your heart
“Follow your heart” is the mantra of this world but is never found in God’s Word. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:9-10 KJV). Go ahead and follow your heart, use your anger, your hurt, your fear, or maybe even your compassion for someone to make your decision, but in the end, how does God feel about the issue? While the heart may say one thing, God is more than likely saying another.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to see if the heart is in control. Does pride have me convinced I’m the one who’s right? Are others now suffering because I just can’t let go? Am I twisting scripture and ignoring what the Word is really speaking to me? Have I been quenching the Spirit until I no longer feel Him calling me to a place of repentance? How long will I allow pride to rob me blind while I become a spiritual pauper? These are questions you must honestly answer! But beware in the end that you don’t trade the good things of God for the conclusions you reach.
3. Lay aside the weights
Only we can “lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and run with patience the race that is set before us”. (Hebrews 12:1) No one can do it for us. We are the ones who allowed the deception to take root, now we must be the ones to pluck it up. We must desire truth, and the hope to please God, more than the desire to be right. Don’t let the weight of pride and self-assurance be what keeps you from the will of God, it’s not worth it, nor is it too late to repent.