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.
The Ways of Living the Christian Life
There are three ways the Christian can live his or her life. They can live their life in unrighteousness, self-righteousness, or righteousness. Unrighteousness and self-righteousness are pride issues. The whole deal of self-righteousness is a pride issue.
Luke 18:11-12, The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
Pretty self-righteous statements. How many times have I heard some prideful statement like this, I grew up in a Christian home, and I will always serve God. Eighty percent of all children who grow up in an Independent Baptist church do not serve God. Many who grow up in Christian homes do not serve God. Why? Pride. It is their desire to go their own way and be independent of God.
The Apostle Peter was an example of someone who made prideful statements. He told the Lord that he would not deny Him. Of course, we know the Lord told him, “He would deny him thrice before the cock crew. “ Peter denied him three times in his self-righteousness. You see folks, a self-righteousness person will be destroyed, because he has never learned that he is or she is nothing apart from their submission to God.
Proverbs 16:18-19, 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.
Did you notice humble spirit? Does that mean you just go around saying you are humble? You know, I am worse than dirt? No, it deals with a larger spiritual principle. You see there are those who have false humility. They hide their pride by talking about humility.
Proverbs 16:25, There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death (destruction).
A person who is prideful thinks his way is right, not God’s way. Did you notice it will end in destruction? The word haughty here is an interesting word. Pride means I think more of myself than I should. Haughty means I think lower of others than I should.
A prideful person always brings strife and contention.
Proverbs 13:10, Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
The prideful person is always angry and fighting with someone. Every hurt or perceived hurt is magnified in their life. They are always upset with someone. They do not turn their hurts to God. They are grudge keepers. They are a hindrance to those who really want to serve God.
A Prideful Person Grieves the Holy Spirit
A prideful person grieves the Spirit of God and they lead others into sin. A prideful person is a hindrance to their children growing up to serve God. In fact, they will be the reason their children die and go to hell or if the child does get saved, they live an ungodly life.
Ephesians 6:4, And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
A prideful person is stubborn and non-teachable. A non-teachable prideful person is miserable in their life and they are miserable to be around. They think they know more about living for God than anyone else, but fail to understand the spiritual point. Kim and I worked with a 17 year old whose pastor father brought to the counseling center. Both dad and mom were Bible college graduates. In fact, one had a master’s degree and the other an earned doctorate. They had home schooled their child. The child did not want to live for God, had been immoral, and was involved in drugs. The parents were prideful folks, who did not have a real relationship with God. Their pride was being crushed by God. The child was an extremely prideful person as well, who told us they knew more than most people and they and their friends had it all figured out. The child said they could handle drugs and sex and it would not be a problem and their parents were just going to have to accept it. One of the things the father mentioned among many was that we had family devotions. In further talking, I found they read books together and talked about them. Some of the books were secular and others not worth spiritually talking about. The child told me they never paid attention. I asked if they had ever spoken to anyone about the Lord. Why would I want to do that, was the answer. Of course, the parents did not either. Where do we get off with thinking we are too good to talk to the sinner about their needs? When a child grows up in a home that is too proud to see the world as God sees it, they are headed for destruction. If a child never learns to share their faith with others, they will lust after the things of the world (what the worldly kids have) because of their pride. However, the opposite extreme is true as well. When a young person who is taught soul winning makes them spiritual and they never have a real relationship with God the same results occur. They are prideful about the fact they witness to others. Both are recipes for destruction, because they are motivated by pride and the fall is great.
Folks, every Christian has to be willing to submit themselves to the teaching of God’s word. Do you believe the Bible today? Then watch carefully what it says.
Proverbs 13:13, Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed; but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.
If we do not submit ourselves to the teaching of God’s word, our arrogance and pride will lead us to destruction and shame.
Proverbs 11:2-3, When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them. A prideful person is deceived about themselves and about their spiritual condition.
Galatians 6:7-8, Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (8) For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
Proverbs 29:23, A man’s pride shall bring him low; but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit.
Proverbs 26:16, The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.
Proverbs 26:12, Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of him.
God takes a dim view of a self-righteous, prideful person. I have the opportunity to counsel with many people. When folks come in with a life in destruction, the first thing we want to find out is what area of pride they are holding onto as an idol of the heart. When we talk with them about this, pride raises its ugly head pretty quickly. The great hindrance to the church today, the cause of the gospel, and living for God, is the pride of the Christian.
The answer to our pride is to submit ourselves to God.
James 4:6-7, But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Psalm 25:9, The meek (humble) will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.
Let me ask you friend are you going around unhappy in your life? Are you always fighting, angry, upset with others? Are you always bucking authority, telling people your opinion, and what you are not going to do? Are you always trying to manipulate circumstances to the way you want it. God is going to resist you. Your work in self-righteousness will destroy you and others around you. It will destroy your home, your husband, your wife, your children, and you. Ultimately, the pain of your life will be huge. You will make poor decisions and wonder why God is not changing the circumstances of your life. So, you will try to manipulate the circumstances and get frustrated when it does not work out. You will be defeated, discouraged, and depressed. You will be a people responder and not a God responder. God wants us to be a God responder and not a people responder.
II Corinthians 3:5, Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.
The only answer is to quit seeking to live the Christian life in self-righteousness in your own power and submit to God. Today would be a good day to start the change by submitting yourself to God.
Maybe you need to tell God today, Lord, I have been trying to live the Christian life in my own power, my own way. Please forgive me. I want to submit myself to you. Forgive me for the sin of pride in my life.
Submission to God is the Answer to a Prideful life
Submission to God is the answer to a prideful life. Submission to God is true humility. The Christian who understands this will have a fruitful, powerful life. True submission however is a daily moment by moment thing. As you spend time with God each day, ask God these questions: Lord is there any sin that stands between you and me today? When He shows you the sin, confess it and turn from it, I John 1:9. Lord who and what do you want me to pray for today? Folks, submission is a matter of learning to listen to God not telling God what He is going to do. Lord, who do you want me to witness to today? Lord, who do you want me to encourage today? Lord what do you want me to praise you for today? Consistently, you need to be turning issues of the day over to God. There will be issues every day in your life.
Do not be deceived dear Christian friend. The answer of the Bible on this subject is crucial to your life, your family, and your home. Many divorces are happening in Christian homes because one or both parties do not have a real relationship with God because of their pride.
Proverbs 16:18, Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. God does not want it to be that way.
He desires you have His power today by submitting yourself to Him.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published at Hope Biblical Counseling Center Blog. Used by permission.