Hidden Pride

Pride…a word that doesn’t have a very positive connotation in our society today whether we are a Christian or not. Nobody I know goes around saying “I am so full of pride! I just love that I am a prideful person!” Do they?

Now some may beg to differ that pride can actually have a positive implication. For example, when someone takes pride in their work or takes pride in belonging to a particular group… they are proud of or take satisfaction in what they have done or where they belong. I will comment on this later.

Pride is defined in the dictionary as…

…“a high opinion of one’s own importance or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.”

…“pleasure or satisfaction taken in something done by or belonging to oneself or believed to reflect credit upon oneself;

… “a sense of one’s own worth, and abhorrence of what is beneath or unworthy of one; loftyself-respect; noble self-esteem: elevation of character.”

…“a feeling that you are more important or better than other people; arrogance, conceit”

Clearly, pride has a number of definitions…most of which don’t appear real “pretty”…as a woman I like “pretty”…but unfortunately in our world pride takes on a somewhat “ugly” look.

Not only does pride appear “ugly” …the Bible says that God hates it!

Ok now, there is only one place in the Bible that I am aware of where pride is translated in such a way that it appears good…and that is with King Jehoshaphat.

He took great pride in the ways of the LORD and again removed the high places and the Asherim from Judah. 2 Chronicles 17:6 NASB

And actually the Hebrew translation here says that “his heart was exalted” …meaning that he was excited about the ways of the Lord. This however is not our normal meaning of pride and the common meaning of the word pride used in the Bible is someone having a superior attitude toward others.

And this brings me back to the point I mentioned above about having pride in your work or pride in belonging to a group. These forms of pride reflect our self-image because taking pride in these things makes us feel better about ourselves or who we are associated with.

We cannot have a positive self-image apart from God. God gives us our worth and value…not our accomplishments or associations!

Ok, so God hates pride? Hate is such a strong word…but it’s true! Stay with me!

When God says he hates something ….our ears should perk up! Shouldn’t they? And yes…the Bible says there are 7 things that God hates…well 6 and one He detests…and pride leads the pack.

There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community. Proverbs 6:16-19 NIV

The Message translation says… Here are six things God hates, and one more that he loathes with a passion: eyes that are arrogant…

Pride…haughtiness…arrogance…is found in a number of scriptures in the Bible.

To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. Proverbs 8:13 NIV

When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom. Proverbs 11:2 NASB   A man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor. Proverbs 29:23 NASB   For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 1John 2:16 NASB

But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but favors the humble. James 4:6 NLT

God hates pride because He knows that pride can…prevent us from giving Him all the glory and gratitude that He deserves…prevent us from developing our self-image based upon the worth and value that God places on each of our lives…prevent us from growth in our faith and trust in Him…and prevent us from receiving help from Him.

Pride seeks to promote self…rather than God.

Pride is the very reason we have an enemy today…Satan…the devil! Satan…who was actually named Lucifer…was a beautiful angel in heaven. But he became prideful and his attitude drove him to lift himself up above everyone else…including God.

But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. Isaiah 14:16 NASB

Furthermore, the Bible is full of examples of people who allowed pride to get in the way of their relationship with God. Eve, Saul, King Uzziah, the Pharisees…to name a few.

There are obvious aspects and signs of pride in our society and possibly in our own lives…

But the one aspect of pride I would like to challenge you with today…the one aspect of pride that is not so obvious…the one aspect of pride that can be hidden in our lives…

Is our impatience with God and His timing. Ouch!

This was hard for me to swallow when I first came to understand and realize that when I don’t trust in God’s timing…in whatever aspect that is in my life…I am demonstrating pride. Why?

Because when I am impatient I am not trusting God’s timing! I am basically saying that what I think…my idea of timing …is above and greater than His timing.

What are you waiting for today? Is your idea of when things need to change in your life above God’s idea of when things need to change in your life?

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts”. Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV

And please don’t misunderstand me…I am not saying we shouldn’t keep praying and crying out to God for our needs…but after we have presented our requests…submitted our needs and desires to Him…we need to understand that God’s timing is not our timing and he will answer according to the proper time…the right time…the best time…His time.

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 1 Peter 5:6-7 NLT

God showed me this new perspective regarding pride a number of years ago when I was single and waiting for Him to bring me my husband. I had finally left my old life…my old relationships and my old dating habits behind. I was a new creation…the old was gone and the new had come.

I had a great desire to be married and trusted God that He had an amazing Godly husband for me. But as the years went by there were certainly times I grew impatient…felt “ready” to be married…and questioned God’s timing.

If after we pray, we find ourselves impatient…murmuring…and complaining we need to do a self-check and really question if we are trusting God fully…and His timing!

And we need to consider the pride that we may have allowed into our hearts.

After having those moments and questioning God’s timing about bringing my husband, I can now say that His timing was absolutely perfect.

He is never early, never late, but always on time!

Reflection Points:

  1. What are you waiting for today?
  2. After praying and submitting your requests and desires to God, do you grow impatient when your prayers haven’t been answered according to when you think they should be answered?
  3. Do you question God’s timing in answering your prayers?
  4. Can you see how your impatience demonstrates a lack in trusting God’s timing….and thus leads to pride?

Action Points:

  1. Study God’s word and review the scriptures about pride.
  2. If you grow impatient and find yourself questioning God’s timing, humble yourself…pray… and repent of pride. Ask God to strengthen your faith and trust in Him and His timing!

 

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