In 1 Corinthians 13, the Bible says that love is not proud.
What is pride?
Webster’s defines it as “a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.”
That doesn’t sound too bad. So, is pride really such a bad thing? Let’s look at God’s Word. What does Scripture say about pride?
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)
In his pride the wicked man does not seek Him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. (Psalm 10:4)
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2)
Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. (Proverbs 13:10)
Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor. (Proverbs 29:23)
For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. (1 John 2:16)
These Scriptures make it pretty clear that God doesn’t like pride. In fact, if we become prideful, God takes His hand off of us. Not only will He no longer bless us, He will allow bad things to happen to us to humble us. But why? Why is pride such a bad thing?
I don’t think it’s wrong to be pleased with your accomplishments or the accomplishments of friends and family. We should always be happy for one another and if we have achieved a goal we should give ourselves a pat on the back. I don’t believe that’s pride.
What is pride is when you take all the credit for yourself. When I finally publish my book, I can’t take the credit for it. Yes, I did a lot of the work. But I wouldn’t even have the talent for writing if it weren’t for the Lord. Not only did He give me the gift, He’s given me the ability to have the free time to write when I need to. He’s given me the story idea. He’s filled me with inspiration and creativity time and again. Even now, I have more story ideas that I want to get down once this one is done.
And it isn’t just God. I give credit to my parents and my husband. They’ve encouraged me, they’ve applauded me, they’ve edited me and helped me, they’ve let me talk things through with them (especially my mom) and given me advice. My dad’s self-publishing through Amazon inspired me to self-publish my own novel, instead of getting discouraged with how difficult it is to get published today. My husband makes sure that my writing is a priority, even though right now it isn’t making us money. But he knows how it important it is to me and encourages me daily to finish.
I think that’s where we can go wrong. If we accomplish goals and only thank ourselves, instead of humbly admitting that we couldn’t have done it without the love and support of the people in our lives (especially the Lord God), that’s when we become prideful and when we will fall.
But pride doesn’t just come through acknowledgment (or lack thereof). I’ve seen a lot of prideful people in Hollywood and Shark Tank and many rich, powerful people. They admit that they would never have reached their goals and become as rich and famous as they have if it weren’t for the people who loved and supported them. Yet, I see pride in them (many, not all). So, where does that pride stem from?
Well, we are also proud when we think we can do it all ourselves. Most rich and successful people, if they aren’t born-again, honestly think they can do everything themselves. That may be true in many ways. Clearly, the leading billionaires of the world didn’t have God’s help because many of them aren’t saved. But the problem is, just because you gained money/fame/power, doesn’t mean you’re going to keep it. I’ve seen too many rich/famous/powerful people lose everything they have because of their pride. They think they can do it all without any help from anyone else. They are too independent, where we are supposed to be dependent on God and humble.
Humility is the opposite of pride. I think humility gets a bad reputation for some reason. People think humility is a weakness. As though, if you are humble, you have to be miserable. Was Jesus miserable? I don’t see any evidence of that (I’m talking about His life, not His torture and execution). People loved Him nearly everywhere He went (except the religious people). The crowds were in awe of Him because He spoke with authority (Matthew 7:28-29) and people were drawn to Him. After all, His disciples dropped everything they knew and followed Him, even though they didn’t know anything about Him. I imagine that He was brilliant with a kind of inner radiance – filled with joy, peace, and power that no one had ever seen before, and will never see again until He returns. But Jesus was the most humble man to ever walk the earth.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up. (James 4:10)
You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty. (Psalm 18:27)
He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way. (Psalm 25:9)
The Lord sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground. (Psalm 147:6)
For the Lord takes delight in His people; He crowns the humble with victory. (Psalm 149:4)
He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed. (Proverbs 3:34)
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:29)
For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. (Matthew 23:12)
And that’s just a handful of the Scriptures on humility. If you notice, going back to the verses about pride and comparing them to the ones on humility, God’s reaction is the opposite. Although He will tear down and punish the prideful, He will build up and give victory, prosperity, and favor to the humble. That tells me that I would much rather be humble and let God lift me up to success and prosperity than to try and do it all myself through pride, only to watch myself fail again and again (as I’ve done in the past).
We all need help and we need to be okay with that. There’s nothing weak about needing help. I know I will never accomplish my goals or achieve my dreams without God’s help, guidance, blessing, and favor in my life. And that’s great because I don’t want to do it alone! I can live with a lot less fear, worry, and anxiety when I give things over to Him. I hope you know that you can do the same! He will always be there for you!
I love you guys and would love for you to leave comments! Have a great rest of the week!
Please check out the rest of my love series!