Do you have it? I’ll be honest, apart from Christ, I am a prideful jerk. I know it and it tears me up. I find myself daily wrestling with myself and the deep, selfish pride that I know I’m capable of. I’m thankful I wrestle with it though, because if I ever get to the point where I don’t, I pray earnestly that I’m no longer breathing and I’m in heaven. Why? Because I never want to be okay with the pridefulness that resides in me and/or the amount of pride I’m capable of, because when you are okay with it, the fights done. The pride wins. I refuse, as far as I am able, to let pride win!
But what is pride exactly?
1pride \?pr?d\ n
1 : the quality or state of being proud: as
a : inordinate self-esteem : conceit
b : a reasonable or justifiable self-respect
c : delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship ?parental pride?
2 : proud or disdainful behavior or treatment : disdain
3 a : ostentatious display
b : highest pitch : prime
4 : a source of pride : the best in a group or class
5 : a company of lions
6 : a showy or impressive group ?a pride of dancers?
Pride can have some positive definitions, but it can also have sicking definitions that reek of sheer arrogance played out in life. In fact, when you look at the Bible and what God thinks of pride, it’s not positive! I don’t want to share with an exhaustive word study on pride but I did want to share with you some things I’ve been kicking around and a couple of resources. The first resource, is simply a link on the word PRIDE in the Bible. (click here) I encourage you to click away, then read away, the pray away, and then repent away! Sit in some of these verses and ask God to work you and your heart over, thus exposing your pride!
The other resource is a talk from Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Church, in Seattle, WA. I had the opportunity to visit Mars Hill Church a few weeks back and I happened to be there for the start of their new series and the first talk – HUMILITY! It was like a 2×4 board to the face, especially about 10 minutes in when I thought, “So and so should listen to this!” That is when God swung the spiritual 2×4 and hit me right between the eyes and I realized that I needed just as bad, if not worse than “so and so.” Here it is, listen to it, journal it and see what God might say to you….
Beyond that, I’ve pondered things like, “How do I know I’m living a prideful existence?”
PRIDE CHECK – here are somethings that I came up with, as “pride checks” to spot it in my life:
- Thinking something like, “I’m not ‘that’ prideful.” Denial, very often, IS the first sign we are suffering from “said” thing.
- An unwillingness to listen to the opinions and/or thoughts of others.
- Any, and I do mean ANY, from of prejudice in my heart. I’ll be real, I see surprising things come out of my own heart as I ask this one, living in a foreign country.
- Refusing to apologize, even if I know I was wrong.
- An absolute belief that “I’m always right.”
- Thus the inability and unwillingness to say the 3 words, “I was wrong.”
- Self-righteousness. Enough said.
- Lack of repentance towards God or anyone else for that matter.
- Isolating myself and not giving others the opportunity to call me out.
- Refusing to submit myself to godly leadership.
There are 10 PRIDE CHECKS that I’ve been asking of myself as of late. How did you do? If you think you made it through the list, you should probably start over and dig a little deeper in your soul and life! Ask God, by His Spirit, who give you eyes to see your junk and the courage to repent of it.
Before I close this entry (which again, isn’t attended to exhaustive, but to serve as a launching point) I want to share with you, what I keep coming back to as the solution to my own pride – the Gospel – the fact that “I’m more prideful, sinful, hated, despised by God, wretched and much, much more than I could ever imagine outside of Christ BUT (thank God there is a BUT here) in Christ I’m more loved, cherished, clean, pure, innocent and so on infinitely more than I can even begin to imagine!” It’s this that is the answer to our pride. It’s running to the Gospel of Christ – the only truly humble and pure person ever to walk this planet died in my place, even though I was a rebel against him and I was vile. He graciously hung there for me and my sins, so that I would be made right before God! It wasn’t anything I did, nothing I could contrive. Oh how beautiful this Gospel (Good News) is! It’s so beautiful and deep, and yet simple and to the point. So I will choose today, right now, to apply this Gospel to my life and allow God to gut me of my pride for my good and His glory! Will you join me? Will you fight the pride?