God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. 1 Peter 5:5
We each have to come to terms with Satan's deadliest tactic, which the Bible calls pride. Ever since the Garden of Eden, Satan has promulgated The Great Lie: “You will be like God” (Genesis 3:5b). We all must learn to overcome pride, which was Satan’s own initial sin and which is his pervasive and repetitive tactic against us.
In Proverbs 6:17, “haughty eyes” are first on the list of the seven things that are an “abomination” to God. Proverbs 27:2 adds, “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth.” Christ spoke of pride in Luke 18:14 when He instructs, “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Over and over again, we are reminded in the Bible of God’s utter disdain for a prideful spirit.
Why does God have so much to say about this issue? Because, ultimately, a prideful person is saying, “I don't need God. I can do it on my own.” As our Creator and Sustainer, God has the perfect plan laid out before us. Attempting to “go it alone” will only lead us down a path of self-destruction. No one knows that better than God—He has seen pride destroy the lives of His creations throughout time.
In the Old Testament we see an example of this in the life of King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:28-37) until he acknowledged the Most High God. We also see it in the life of King Belshazzar, who saw the handwriting on the wall and received judgment because of his pride (Daniel 5: 22-31).
In the New Testament, the Pharisees, filled with self-righteousness, denied the work of Christ, even as He stood before them. The Apostle Paul warned the Corinthians to “not take pride in one man over against another” (1 Corinthians 4:6). Peter repeats the warning about pride from Proverbs 3:34.
Pride is so devastating because of its deceptiveness. C. S. Lewis said, “A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you’re looking down, you can’t see something that’s above you.” We may easily point out pride in the life of someone else, completely oblivious to the stranglehold that pride may have in our own lives. Pride causes us to focus solely on being “better” than someone else. Don’t compare yourself to others; compare yourself to Christ. Remember where you came from, and recall what God has saved you from.
When all else fails, God may allow adversity into our lives. Nothing gets our attention better than going through a difficult time. He allows these experiences in order to filter out pride, causing us to return our focus on Him. As much as our prideful spirit may disagree, we cannot live a fulfilling life without God. Simply put, when God is out, pride is in!
RESPONSE: Today I will keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and steer clear of pride’s deceptiveness.
PRAYER: Lord, I need Your help to keep focused on You and avoid pride’s stranglehold.