The subtle yet destructive nature of pride has always proven itself through time and cultures not just in Christian but even in secular circles as well. Pride is the elevation of the self’s interest, authority, image or priority over others to a point of destructive self-centredness. And the scariest thing about pride is that most times we are blind to our own even though that carried by others can be so explicitly obvious.
James 4:5-6 tells us, “Or do you think the Scripture says without reason that the Spirit He caused to dwell in us yearns with envy? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'”
It’s a scary thought for God to oppose us. But that’s the picture James gives us in His letter.
Pride is destructive because it pulls us away from God’s good intent and wonderful plans.
Here are three ways that a sinful attitude of pride does that.
1. It Puts Reliance on the Self Instead of God
Proverbs 3:5-6 says this: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
Unless we trust in God’s ways, there is no straight path for us. But pride insists that there is—that we’re better off without God or others.
Pride takes us off the railroad of God’s good, pleasing and perfect will and brings us into the decadent spiral of self-sufficiency and consequently self-destruction. We are nothing without God no matter how much pride will tell you otherwise.
2. It Contradicts Christ’s Humble Nature
The goal of every Christian must be to be as Christ-like as possible, but pride completely disables that. Philippians 2:5-7 reminds us of Christ’s humble character: “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”
This is to be our goal: We are to walk in Christ’s humility, which then bridges us to an array of other great attitudes such as compassion, love for others, faith, patience, peace and self-control.
3. It Reveals an Idolatry of the Self
At the heart of pride is an idolatry geared towards the self, and it’s clear what God’s stand is against idols. As much as God loves us, idolatry becomes a hindrance to that love not because God’s love isn’t strong enough but because pride causes us to flee from love’s radar.
Idolatry sucks us into a deep pit of hatred, emptiness, lack, and curses that idolatry brings about. It causes us to run away from God’s grace and infinite resources, insisting that we can be our own self-sufficient gods.