Pride is a problem that all wrestle with—and those who think they don’t probably have more of it.
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
What Is the Sin of Pride?
An Attitude of Independence From God
Pride is an attitude of, “I don’t need you, God. Stay out of my life.”
Do you pray regularly? You don’t pray because you don’t feel the need to. You think, “I can handle it.” If you are wrestling with prayerlessness, you are really wrestling with pride.
Ungratefulness to God
Paul asked this penetrating question: “What do you have that you did not receive?” (See 1 Corinthians 4:7.)
“I worked for it.” Who gave you the ingenuity, the strength, the energy? You don’t have one blessed thing that you have not received.
Thinking You Are Better than Others
Here are some indicators of pride.
A proud person…
- Becomes irritated when corrected for mistakes.
- Accepts praise for gifts over which they have no control: beauty, talent, etc.
- Refuses to take counsel and learn from others.
C.S. Lewis wrote, “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man” (C.S. Lewis; Mere Christianity)
Pride Defies God
The Book of Proverbs gives wonderful lessons on the sin of pride.
“These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look…” (Proverbs 6:16-17a). Seven things God hates, and number one is pride. “Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD” (Proverbs 16:5a).
Pride created the devil. Pride ruined humanity. In the Garden of Eden, do you think the temptation was to taste a particular kind of fruit? No—the temptation was, “You will be like God.” (See Genesis 3:5.)
We were born with pride and selfishness in the heart. “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness” (Mark 7:21-22).
Pride Divides Society
There has never been an argument, war, divorce, or church split in which pride was not the major factor.
“By pride comes nothing but strife” (Proverbs 13:10a).
“He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife” (Proverbs 28:25a).
If God resists the proud, then the proud man is out of fellowship with God. Any man, woman, or child who is out of fellowship with God will also be out of fellowship with other people.
Often, we are not trying to solve the problem—we are trying to win the argument. That is pride. You might be right, and still be the problem because of your attitude.
What does the proud person want? Praise, honor, esteem. What does he get through pride? “When pride comes, then comes shame” (Proverbs 11:2).
Pride Destroys Souls
Pride populates Hell. “The LORD will destroy the house of the proud” (Proverbs 15:25a).
Jesus once told a story of a Pharisee and a tax collector praying:
“The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.“