You Might Be Prideful If…
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” -James 4:10
We have every reason to cultivate humility in our hearts. But deeply ingrained pride can get in our way.
So let’s do a little self-assessment.
You may struggle with pride…
…If you don’t prioritize your relationship with God
If you don’t take the time to read your Bible or attend Bible studies, then that’s probably a symptom of pride. The same goes for not taking the time to pray or attend church. These are ways of saying that you’re self-sufficient–that you don’t really need God, His Word, or the church.
When we don’t open up and ask for help, then we experience a lot of unnecessary loneliness and worry. We end up feeling the pressure to do it all on our own. Is pride keeping you from being vulnerable before God and the church?
…If you value looking good over being real
It is easy to be deceitful when you want to look better than you really are. Instead of confessing our sins, we hide them. Instead of reconciling with people who have hurt us, we bury our feelings because we think that bringing them up will make us look unspiritual and weak.
The hypocrisy of hiding how you really feel only results in more loneliness and anxiety. You may have people around you, but nobody knows you truly, and therefore nobody can love you truly. They only have the opportunity to love a false version of you. Living in darkness is hard!
…If you assume you know best
It shouldn’t seem possible, but it’s often an everyday occurrence: we can assume that we know better than God Himself. We can set ourselves as judge over His Word, deciding what does and doesn’t set well with our chosen lifestyles. People who assume they always know best don’t ask questions. They make important decisions without seeking advice.
…If you get mad when people try to teach you or correct you
Prideful people hate correction. For they feel like they know it already or at least that they should know it already. Proverbs 9:8 says, “Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.”
…If you struggle with entitlement
A sense of entitlement is defined as “an unrealistic, unmerited, or inappropriate expectation of favorable living conditions and favorable treatment at the hands of others.” I would add not just from other people, but also from God. This means expecting others to fix all my problems and cleaning up all my messes. This means not wanting to work at anything but expecting success anyway.
…If you are judgmental and critical
This is an attitude that poisons relationships. Enough said.
Do you find that some of these describe you? If so, then you ought to take the time to be warned about what pride can do to you. The following are a couple consequences of pride.
When you are prideful, then here’s what you can expect…
#1 – You will be opposed by God.
James 4:6 says,
“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
Pride puts us in a place where we’ve cut ourselves off from God’s grace. After all, when we don’t acknowledge our sins, how can we repent of them?
When it comes to training new leaders, I’ll take anyone over a prideful person, because a prideful person won’t accept help and therefore has cut himself off from being able to grow.
#2 – You will experience destruction & disgrace.
Proverbs 16:18 says,
“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
It’s only a matter of time for the prideful. Proverbs 11:2 says,
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
Proverbs 12:1 puts it bluntly:
“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.”
That may sound harsh, but foolishness is, after all, the opposite of wisdom. When you cut yourself off from wisdom, you will do stupid things. You’ll stop learning when you think you know it all already. Stupid is as stupid does. You do stupid stuff.
Proverbs 10:17 says,
“Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.”
Proverbs 15:10 says,
“Stern discipline awaits anyone who leaves the path; the one who hates correction will die.”
It’s sobering to think about, but pride was the chief sin of Satan.
So here are your options: You can decide to humble yourself or God will humble you. Why? Well, it’s because He loves you. God doesn’t want you to go through the consequences you just read about.