The Peril of Pride
We’re a little more than a month into a new year, so it’s a good time to take a spiritual inventory. As a Christian, you love Jesus Christ, you thank Him for His sacrifice for you, and you want to please Him. When you have someone in your life you deeply love, you want to find out their likes and dislikes and please them with what they really like. If you find out there’s something your loved one actually hates, you try to steer clear of that!
Are you aware that there are things God actually hates? “Oh,” you say, “but God is a God of love! Surely He doesn’t hate…” Listen to Proverbs 6:16-19.
These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
That’s quite an inventory. And at the top of these seven worst-of-the-worst traits is pride.
Pride is effective because it is deceptive. The more you have, the less you think you have it. Do you have a problem with pride? If your answer is yes, this study may be for you; but if your answer is no, there’s no doubt about it: this study is definitely for you!
Real pride — sinful, destructive pride — is a declaration of independence. It says, “God, I am self‑sufficient. I have everything I need. Your services are no longer required.” The truth is, we are in no way self‑sufficient.
Here are some perils of pride:
Pride Provokes Deity — Pride angers God. Proverbs 16:5 reads, “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord.” Can you imagine being an abomination to the Lord? Why does God feel this way about pride? It caused Lucifer to fall from heaven (Isaiah 14:12-14). Pride made the devil what he is. Pride ruined the entire human race when the devil baited Eve (Genesis 3:1-7). Satan does the same thing today when he tempts us—he appeals to our pride.
Pride Proves Depravity —Some people avoid the notable sins: they don’t “smoke, drink, chew, or run with those who do.” They feel proud of themselves! They fall into the sin worse than all of these. Proverbs 16:5 uses the phrase “proud in heart.” Pride never reaches the hands or feet. It resides within the heart. It is there from birth.
Pride Promotes Dissension — At the root of every quarrel, conflict, battle, and war is the sin of pride. Proverbs 13:10says, “Only by pride cometh contention.” The next argument we hear, the next church that divides, the next divorce that destroys a home — we will know what is at the root in someone’s heart.
Pride Promotes Dishonor — Jesus said, “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted” (Matthew 23:12). The way up is always down. Satan fell because he said, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God” (Isaiah 14:13). He sought honor and dishonored himself.
How opposite was the attitude of our Lord Jesus Christ! He said, “I will descend.” Though He was God, He didn’t clutch at His divine rights. Instead He humbled Himself, and so God exalted Him. (Philippians 2:6‑11).
Here’s a quick test. Give yourself a good reality check:
Do you see in yourself an independence from God and a sense of self‑sufficiency? It’s a recipe for disaster.
Pride Precedes Destruction — “The Lord will destroy the house of the proud” (Proverbs 15:25). When we’re ruled by pride, we’re taking a stand against God. Left unchecked, we can become hardened to pride and deaf to God’s calling us to repentance. Pride will eventually destroy us.
There is no better day than today take a pride inventory, repent, humble yourself, and admit your total dependence upon God.
by Adrian Rogers