“I don’t struggle with pride. Maybe other people do, but pride has never been a problem for me.”
Remember when you were in grade 8 and you felt like you were at the top of the food chain? “I’m graduating this year! Goodbye, suckers! Muahaha.”
Remember how you felt when you entered grade 9? “Look at those grade 8’s…they think they’re all that!”
And then grade 10… “Puny grade 9’s! They know nothing!”
… and so on!
And it doesn’t just end after highschool. I’ve recently found myself falling into the mentality that “I have a kid now: no one else understands life at all until they have kids!”
THIS IS PRIDE. When we put ourselves above someone else in any way, it is pride. Who gives you the strength to get through school? Who gives you family? Who gives you gifts and talents, intelligence, and a brain? Who gives you breath in your lungs and allows you to live another day?
Is not everything God’s? So then we should live like it!
If this is you, and it was certainly me, I’m here to tell you that EVERYONE struggles with pride.
In my last blog I talked about overcoming fear, and in this blog, I want to share with you some insight on GOOD fear; the Fear of the Lord. In other words, when we acknowledge, respect, and revere God, it keeps us from falling into sin.
“Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for;
through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided.” Proverbs 16:6
“Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the LORD, and humility comes before honor.” Proverbs 15:33
Let’s take a look in the bible:
Ever heard of King Nebuchadnezzar? He was King of Babylon when Israel was defeated and captured. He was the one who had a strange dream that only Daniel was able to interpret. And he was the one who threw “Rack, Shack, and Benny” into a fiery furnace for not bowing down to the idol. After all this he knew that God was the One True God, and yet he still took pride in believing that he had built up Babylon and that its majesty should glorify himself. But then he had another dream and Daniel interpreted that one as well. And it came true one day when King Nebuchadnezzar stood on his rooftop and proclaimed “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”
Immediately Nebuchadnezzar was driven away from people to live with wild animals and eat grass like an ox for 7 years! And at the end of that time, Nebuchadnezzar raised his eyes toward heaven, and his sanity was restored. Then he praised God and honored and glorified him and was restored as King. (Read the full story in Daniel 4)
Now fast forward to when Nebuchadnezzar is dead and his son, Belshazzar is now King. King Belshazzar worshipped the gods of silver and gold and partied a lot. Even though he knew all that his Father Nebuchadnezzar went through, he became full of pride just like his father had, and did not acknowledge that GOD was the one who allowed him to be in power and that GOD was ultimately King over ALL nations. One night he had a party – and this particular party was happening WHILE there were armies outside the walls of Babylon preparing to attack. Belshazzar knew this but put too much confidence in the protection of the city walls. (He had the attitude of entitlement, since he did not have to fight for the kingdom but inherited it from his dad. This is another form of pride.) So God sent a warning to King Belshazzar by writing on the wall of the palace. Nobody could explain the meaning, and guess who he had to call to interpret….. Daniel! And still Belshazzar in all his pride acts like he doesn’t even know who Daniel is! “Are you Daniel, one of the exiles my father the king brought from Judah?”
Uh, rude! Daniel was his father’s Chief Advisor, how does he NOT know who Daniel is?!
But Daniel interprets the writing anyways, which, to sum it up, basically tells Belshazzar that God has his days numbered and they’re up, and that the Babylonian kingdom will be divided.
And what happens? King Belshazzar continues to party! And later that night, the Medes and Persians attack and capture Babylon, and they kill Belshazzar. (Read the full story in Daniel 5)
So here we have two stories of pride. Father and son stories.
The father’s story teaches us that pride cannot be dealt with on our own. Only God can humble us, and if we are willing to listen to Him, he will restore us.
The son’s story shows us that pride, not dealt with, comes before a fall, as it says in Proverbs 16:18: “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
To sum it all up, here are 3 steps on how to Overcome Pride:
- Fear God – acknowledge and revere his power and authority over ALL CREATION. “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORDestablishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
- Confess Pride – “However, you must confess that you have done wrong, and that you have rebelled against the LORD your God. You must confess that you have given yourself to foreign gods under every green tree, and have not obeyed my commands,’ says the LORD.” Jeremiah 3:13
- Learn humility – Janet Chismar says it well: It is our nature to be proud and it is God’s nature in us that brings humility. Committing to a lifestyle of daily dying to ourselves and living through Him is the foundation for true humility.
“Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”’ Luke 9:23