Pride vs. Humility

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Today’s Scripture: James 4

“Pride” is a buzzword in our culture today. Phrases abound from the accomplishments of our children to the identities we have created for ourselves. We are proud of what we do, who we are, and what we or our family members have accomplished. Clearly in our culture, people want to feel good about themselves and are not afraid to let the world around them know it. But what does the Bible say about pride?

James 4:6 says “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Proverbs 11:2 says “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 29:23 says “Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor.”

Pride in the Bible is always portrayed as a negative attribute. Why?

According to the dictionary, pride is defined as “a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.” At its definition, pride is all about me. Pride causes me to want others to look at how good I am, how unique I am, how gifted my children are. It’s always selfish. As Ben said this weekend, pride says, “I matter more than you.”

James 4:7 says “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Pride is an attribute of the devil. Only in humbling ourselves can we resist him. Pride in anything of ourselves or our own making brings us down. It damages our relationship with God and with others. It brings a false sense of independence and confidence in our own abilities. When we humble ourselves before God, we are embracing a posture of needfulness – a posture that says I am nothing without you Lord, and that is good. In our humility, God will lift us up and give us the acceptance, and approval, and value we so long for.

In what areas of your life do you struggle with pride? What areas of your life, or what relationships could benefit from more humility on your part?

Next Steps:
The Book of Proverbs is full of verses about pride and humility. Spend some time looking up these verses and come to your own conclusions. Here are a few to start with: Proverbs 8:13, 11:12, 15:33, 16:18, 18:12, 22:4, 29:23.

Heavenly Father, Thank you for your grace and wisdom. Thank you that we can find our worth in you alone and we do not need to strive after achievements and glory for ourselves. Forgive my prideful attitudes. Forgive me for ever thinking that I can direct or control my life by my own efforts. Help me to maintain a spirit of humility when approaching you and those around me. I pray that I honor you with my life. Amen.

This post was written by Julie Mabus. Julie has a passion for thinking about big ideas, art, reading, and seeing God reveal himself through creation. She is married and is homeschooling her five young children.

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1 reply
  1. Julie
    Julie says:

    Pride is a daily struggle for me! I constantly struggle with thinking too little of myself and my abilities. I tend to forget that I worship a perfect God who makes all things beautiful in their own way, including me. On the other side of that I tend to think too much of myself when combating this thinking. I find the best way for me to achieve balance is to start the day offering myself to God, to do with me and use me in any way that he can. I feel best about myself when I am being useful to others. Thanks for giving me something to meditate on today Julie! I hope you have a blessed day!

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