“You’ve got a pride problem.”
That phrase has been whispered to me from the Lord, spoken to me from faithful friends, and shouted at me from those who know and love me best.
Recently when going through a conflict with a loved one, I realized I was in that place again. Even though the person had rejected me, I overreacted and rejected back. The bottom line of our conflict was that I saw myself as better than this person.
That’s called pride.
The word instructs me
in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Philippians 2:3 RSV
When someone has hurt me, it’s hard to embrace that verse. How can I? I cry out to the Lord. God reminds me of what someone pointed out to me not long ago. When I’m looking at others, it helps to think about what they’ve been through in their life and consider how I would be if I had suffered the way they have. This helps me have compassion whereas pride blocks compassion and kindness from flowing through me.
Sometimes I don’t know what others have been through, but God does, and He will help me to consider others as better than myself—to be humble in relating to them.
God revealed to me years ago an issue that contributes to my pride problem. Too often I have a mixed-up view of sin. My sins seem small and harmless compared to other people’s enormous sins.
In Matthew 7:5 Jesus instructs:
First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. NIV 1984
Begrudgingly, I noticed it didn’t say, “Remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the plank from your brother’s eye.” God always wants me to see my sins as bigger than another’s.
A willful attitude can also contribute to my pride problem. In Isaiah 14:13-14 the “I wills” of Satan are listed:
You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God. I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ AMP
When I give in to pride, I am saying by my attitude “I will make myself like the Most High.” The good news is that God corrects me when I do this. He answers my prayers to deliver me from pride and from thinking and acting as if I know better than He does.
Sometimes it takes me awhile to admit I’ve slipped back into being prideful. It’s essential I do this since the Word promises that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. (See 1 Peter 5:5)
When I am bound by pride, I forfeit the sense of God’s peace, His presence, and His power. When I let go of it, these flood back into my life.
I like what Brenda Stoeker writes in her book, Every Heart Restored: “Your humility releases an opportunity for victory in your life.”
Will you join me in this prayer:
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!And see if there be any grievous (prideful) way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!Psalm 139:23-24 ESV
God will be faithful to answer.
Here’s a song that speaks of the problem of pride and the solution. It is “Sweet Holy Spirit” by Newworldson.
To hear more about “Pride Problem” listen to my radio show, Hearts Set Free with Elaine on Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 7:00am EST. (Note the new day and time.) Go to www.wtis1110.com and press “Listen Live.” To listen to the archives, go to www.wtis1110.com and click on shows. Scroll down to Hearts Set Free and click. The archives are on the bottom right.