We know that God is not after the perfect behavior, for if He were, none of us would receive His blessings. God does, however, require His children to be humble and serve with humility. He asks that we have contrite hearts, which means repentant or remorseful.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you. 1 Peter 5:6 ESV
Pride can be both good and bad. We most often hear the word pride and think of negativity as well as it being considered the deadliest sin. But pride can also be recognized as an achievement of success. One can use their pride in an accomplishment to show their coming up in an area of their life. And an individual can show pride in their work, home, or looks without going overboard or flaunting it. This is considered good pride.
It’s once one begins to over glorify themselves that it becomes an act of bad pride. The type that God is displeased with. The scripture tells us to renew our minds daily. There is a very good reason why we must do this. We must knock off old ways of thinking, remove old mannerisms, and put on our new mind, which is the mind of Christ. In not doing so, we become nothing but flesh feeding, egotistical beings. We need the Holy Spirit to keep us balanced and in compliance with God’s Word.
I’ve found there to be at least 24 categories of pride. Wow!
Here are just a few categories of pride: Pride of Knowledge, Pride of Power, Pride of Spirituality, and Pride of Appearance. Each of these categories cause people to miss the mark with God.
I was stunned not only to see so many categories but to see it in so many different areas. We overlook most of the areas because they have become so familiar in our lives that we consider our behaviors to be part of the norm. But in all actuality, we are walking in a prideful state that causes God to resist us in certain areas and aspects of our lives.
Take a married couple for example. The wife goes above and beyond trying to look good, spending a fortune on hair, nails, make-up, clothing, and other accessories. She takes multiple selfies a day to post on social sites to receive likes from others. She spends hours beautifying herself to look better than any other female she will encounter to feel superior. This woman is living with pride and probably has no clue.
Now let’s say her husband is an extremely hard worker, and an overachiever, one who looks down on other employees who cannot outshine him. He wakes up extremely early for work and stays after hours to get the job done so as to be seen as the best employee for the company he works for. This man is dealing with a prideful spirit, but probably like some of us today, has no clue.
Pride is damaging both of these individuals, their marriage, and their relationships with other people (e.g., those who work with them or have encounters with them). Pride is silent, yet loud. It creeps into the spirit like a cancer and when left untreated it spreads and causes death.
How can you determine whether you are living a life based on the wrong kind of pride? Ask yourself, are you boastful, flaunty, unteachable, SELF-ish, cocky, flashy, rude, arrogant, a workaholic, or just obsessed with yourself? If you answered yes to any of the following, you may have an issue with pride and not in a good way.
I’ve met individuals who made it exceedingly difficult to communicate with them because of the level of pride in themselves. A person full of pride will feel that they know almost everything, no one can tell them anything. They are almost always right and need to have the last say in everything. A person with pride will be too proud to ask for help or admit when they are unsure of something.
God already knew that we would error. He knew that we would mess up. That is why He gives us grace and mercy and unmerited favor. God gives us a chance each day to admit to our wrongs and to be forgiven. God gives us the opportunity to reset our minds and change from the former way of thinking. All things are new with Christ.
It is when we forget, get too busy or just don’t take the time to renew our minds that we mess up and fall into the different categories of pride. We cause damage to ourselves when we fail to acknowledge God first in all that we do. If we seek Christ early, before starting our day, we allow Him to usher us into His presence and direct our steps for the rest of the day. When we allow God to have control of our thoughts and actions, it helps us submit to His will and keeps us from doing our own fleshy will.
We bring glory and honor to God when we release pride and stop trying to get the glory for ourselves. It is by His might and power that we even have the strength to live, breathe, and exist. We must honor Him and give Him due credit for we are nothing without God.
It is easy to get caught up in all the hype and have people give you praise for your good works. Remember to just say “Thank You,” and not let the praise go to your head.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. James 4:10 ESV
So, in other words, allow God to exalt you, to lift you up, to admonish you, not you yourself. A person walking in pride cannot be a person walking in humility. Isaiah 2:11 tells us a prideful person will be brought low. Remember, the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.
Pride will always want us to praise ourselves, but God will never be pleased with that. God is a jealous God and He wants what is due Him. Allow God to have the glory for your good works, good looks, good job, good income, good success, good abilities, good health, and good life.
Today, my daily prayer is “Lord, help me to stay humble.” Many a time I have started my day and not included those words in my prayer. It was on those days that I allowed my BIG selfish ego to take control and run the show. Oh, how embarrassing it is to look back on those days and recognize how foolish I must have looked and seemed to those around me.
Life is all about growing, learning, developing, and becoming better than we were the day before. We learn from our past mistakes and try not to repeat them. So, if any of this relates to you, please do not beat yourself down. Gather yourself, reset, refocus, and start again by first acknowledging the One who is worthy and ask Him to keep you from being prideful in a negative way. God will help you remain humble if you’ll ask for His help.
We want to be able to say good things about ourselves, but without boasting. We want to share with others the good in our lives. Just pay close attention to your verbiage. Be sure you are not always trying to take all the credit. Give credit where credit is due. If someone helps you with a project, give them credit. Don’t allow pride to cause you to take all the praise for yourself.
There was a time when I was having issues with my child’s father and I was trying so hard to do what was right and pleasing in God’s sight, but pride caused me to be stubborn, argumentative, and even mean spirited at times. I was nice to others but when I had to deal with my ex, I withheld civility. Pride caused me to act out of line instead of with godly character. I realize now how damaging the spirit of pride can be. I am still a work in progress. Aren’t we all?
There is nothing wrong with showing pride in a good way or a positive way. It’s when we use pride in a sinful way that it becomes a problem. Let the pride in your life be a grand respectful come up and not a silent deadly downfall.
~Love & blessings
Melody is the founder of M.O.R.E. – Mothers Overcoming Real-life Experiences. You can follow her at https://www.facebook.com/groups/wearemore2gether/ on Facebook or @moreofmelody on Instagram.
Check out her contribution to this brand-new book: 20 Beautiful Women: 20 More Stories that will Heal Your Soul, Ignite Your Passion, and Inspire Your Divine Purpose – Melody Hansley. Available at amazon.com.
Please note all scripture references taken from the ESV.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.