As I sat in my corner, thinking about the next emotion that I wanted to write about, I wasn’t expecting the Holy Spirit to whisper the word “pride” in my heart. As soon as I heard the word, I cringed. For a long time, I didn’t fully understand pride. I always felt like prideful people were simply those who were arrogant and full of themselves. While arrogance and haughtiness is a result of pride, as I matured in my walk with the Lord, He has shown me that pride can emerge in many different ways in our lives. The thing with pride is that it is often the root cause of many major issues we face. Many insecurities are birthed from pride. Rebellion is birthed from pride. Arrogance is birthed from pride. Pride is like a sickness that can slowly kill you from the inside out, if left untreated.
As followers of Christ, we never want to believe that we are prideful. We never want to admit that we struggle with pride, because God calls us to be humble. Jesus was humble, and of course, it is our goal to be like Jesus. However, I’ve found that the first step to healing is to admit that you have a problem, and if we’re honest, we’d admit that we all struggle with pride in different ways. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the subtle ways that pride creeps into my life. I was reminded of Proverbs 3:7 (NIV) which tells us, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.” My own pride reveals itself whenever I become wise in my own eyes. It makes an appearance whenever I believe that my way or my plans are better than God’s plans. It emerges when I willingly ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit and instead do what I think is best in a situation. How many times have you fallen victim to this sin? How many times have you leaned on your own understanding and did what you think is right instead of listening to God? Our disobedience in these moments are a result of pride.
As I spent time with the Holy Spirit reflecting over my life and my walk with Him, I’ve been confronted with the reality of my own pride. As painful as it was, God revealed to me the areas that pride has creeped into my life, and as a result it was keeping me from truly living in the fullness of what He has for me. When I was confronted with this sin, I mourned. I felt grieved because I realized that not only had pride been keeping me from truly fulfilling my purpose, it had caused me to drift away from God without even realizing it. I began to lean to my own understanding instead of seeking His guidance and direction. I began to water down God’s word with my own opinions because of my own pride. When the Holy Spirit revealed this to me, I cried out for forgiveness and I repented.
Being confronted with your sin is never a fun experience. It cuts deep. However, being made aware of my pride has rescued me from drifting even further away from the Lord. It has opened my eyes to the importance of constantly going before the Lord and asking Him to purify your heart and to show you anything in you that is not of Him (Psalm 139:24). I am grateful to God for showing me how dangerous pride really is. I encourage you to ask the Lord if there are any areas in your own life where you may be struggling with pride. I truly believe that as followers of Christ, we don’t take the sin of pride seriously enough. We know that there are areas in life where it is present, yet, we ignore it because it doesn’t seem to be that big of a deal. I have come to tell you that it is. Satan was kicked out of heaven because of his pride. King Saul was rejected as king because of his own pride. There are so many more examples of people in the Bible who were destroyed because of the sin of pride. Proverbs 16:18 (NIV) says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” I don’t want to fall, and I don’t want you to fall. Let us go to the One who can help us to stand firm and be free from the sin of pride. The beautiful thing is that He is always willing to help us in our time of need.