How To Deal With Pride (Part 1)

Proverbs 16:17-25, The highway of the upright is to depart from evil:  he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.  Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.  Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.  He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good:  and whoso trusteth in the Lord happy is he.  The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.  Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.  The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.  Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.  There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death.

In working with people in our counseling/discipleship program, I find that the area of pride is one of the most difficult things we as Christians deal with.  Probably the most difficult sin to conquer in our life is pride.  It hides itself very well in our lives.  It is a deceitful and elusive sin.  It is also a root sin. By that, I mean, it produces a lot of other sins.  Any time you see a person with an anger issue in their life it comes from pride. Proverbs 21:24, Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath. Many people have seen their home destroyed because they were too proud to admit they need counsel and to seek help.  Because pride steals glory that is due to God alone, there are few sins that bring the level of destruction that pride brings.

The Christian life is a spiritual warfare.  The devil seeks to put outside pressure on our lives to control our soul and thus control what we do.  The devil always works from the outside in.  God works from the inside out by speaking to our spirit by the Holy Spirit.  The biggest tool for the devil to use in our lives is pride.  Pride is a hindrance and a destroyer in every area of the Christian life.  When we go back to the beginning of the Bible in Genesis we see that Satan used pride with Eve.  He told her, she would be like God and God did not want that to happen.  This is the same method the devil has always used.  All around us today there are people being destroyed in our local churches because of the pride issue that the devil uses in our lives.  Many of the people who contact us through Hope Biblical Counseling Center are in the difficulties they are in because of pride and it’s off shoot sins.  The Bible speaks much about pride.  It is the key to either being a servant used by God or a person not being used as a servant and being destroyed.

The Author of Pride

Who is the author of pride?  I Timothy 3:6, Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. So, we see the devil is the author of pride.  Isn’t it interesting here that Paul is talking about a person being a preacher who has not learned how to deal with his pride?  We all have it to deal with.  The understanding of this is extremely important.  Many young people who come out of Bible College today fall right on their face and do much destruction because of their pride.  They are unwilling or do not understand that the power of God in our life is not by how much we think we know or even what we know, but by our submission to God.

James 4:7, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Sometime ago, I was in a church in another state.  The pastor was a young man.  Prior to the morning service, he took me into his office and spent the better part of an hour telling me how he thought God was using him.  I fully expected us to pray and ask for God’s blessing upon our day. We did not.  We went out for Sunday school.  He read one passage of scripture and then told jokes and motivational stories for the hour.  The morning worship service was the same.  He also preached in anger.  He was very proud of the fact that the church was growing and how great he was.  The thought in my mind at that point was, this church will end up blowing up and the fall of it will be great.  I always enjoy hearing how God is working in others’ lives.  However, I am interested in hearing what God is doing, not what folks are doing in their own power and self-righteousness.  Unfortunately, the destruction of many pastor’s lives, their homes, their children, and their churches are because of pride.  I have found that the biggest quitters are those who are prideful people.  Folks, there is a premise here that is very important for the life of a church.  There are people who are in the church today, who will pray and read their Bible in self-righteousness but never do anything.  Then there are those who are motivated by doing and give little attention to their Bible.  A proper relationship with God means I spend time with the Lord in submission to Him, but it also motivates my doing.

Matthew 7:24-27, Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:  (25) And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.  (26)  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:  (27)  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

Jesus said that a wise man is a hearer and a doer.  People who do without hearing are motivated by pride.  People who hear and never do are motivated by pride.  There must be a balance in the relationship.

The devil’s desire, of course, is for a lost person to not get saved.  He will appeal to your pride and make you think you know more about it and you can work it out your own way.

Psalm 10:4, The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

The devil uses pride on lost people and saved people.

Many people because of their pride die and go to hell.  Folks, quite frankly, the reason I got saved was flat out because I did not want to die and go to hell.  There is no future in it!  Maybe you have had it bad in your life.  Things have not gone well.  Let me put it to you this way.  Hell is eternal!  It is not a place you can go for a weekend visit to see if you like it.  There are no exits!  You do not get out.  Do not make a prideful, ignorant, eternal mistake and die and go to hell.  You think life has been bad up till now?  Hell will be nothing like anything you have ever known in bad!  Don’t let the devil use your pride to send you to hell.  If you are reading this and are unsaved, right now is the time to tell the Lord you are a sinner and repent of your sins and ask Jesus to come into your heart and be your Savior.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published at Hope Biblical Counseling Center Blog.  Used by permission.

Dr. Terry Coomer

Dr. Terry Coomer is the Pastor of Hope Baptist Church, North Little Rock-Sherwood, AR. He has served as a Pastor, home missionary, Bible College teacher, Director of Hope Biblical Counseling Center, and as the publisher of the nation’s fastest growing daily newspaper. He has more than 38 years successful experience as a Pastor and holds four degrees with a Bachelor of Arts in Bible, Graduate in Theology, Master of Theology, and a Doctor of Theology degree. Dr. and Mrs. Coomer have two adult daughters, who are married, and three precious granddaughters.

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