The Problem with Pride
The Problem with Pride (Proverbs 16:18)
Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
Pride is the worst of all sins. It is also the original sin. Pride is not self-esteem, although we need self-esteem and should have it. Pride is arrogance or having an exaggerated opinion of oneself. Pride carries with it a must-be-seen attitude. A turtle wanted to spend the winter in Florida, but he knew he could never walk that far. So the turtle convinced a couple of geese to help him, each taking one end of a piece of rope, while he clamped his vise-like jaws in the center. The flight went fine until someone on the ground looked up in admiration and asked, "Who in the world thought of that?" Unable to resist the chance to take credit, the turtle opened his mouth to shout, "I ahhhhhh............."
Pride is the predecessor to destruction and is the forerunner of trouble. Arrogance, or a bighead, always precedes a fall. Pride and arrogance are balloons that are soon popped. In Muhammad Ali’s heyday as the heavy weight champion in boxing, he had taken his seat on a 747 which was starting to taxi down the runway for take off. The flight attendant walked by and noticed Ali did not have on his seatbelt, and said, “Please fasten your seatbelt, sir.” He looked up proudly and snapped, “Superman don’t need no seatbelt.” Without hesitation she stared at him and said, “Superman don’t need no plane.”
Everything you and I have comes from God. A man once said to one of his customers, "I built and earned everything I have with these two hands." The customer responded asking him, "Where did you get those hands?" Who gave you your mind, your talents, and your abilities? There is only one cause for not being close to God and that is pride. Have you noticed the middle letter in the words "pride" and "sin?" When we have an "I" problem, it pushes us away from God. Another word for pride is "ego," which someone has said stands for "edging God out."
Pride causes one to become unteachable. Prideful people tend not to listen to warnings and cautions from others. When those warnings go unheeded, then sudden destruction may come. Pride also makes us feel invincible. We may think, "Nothing can hurt me” or “I can handle anything that comes my way." Then something does come along that does hurt us and we cannot handle it. If you don't get a grip on your pride, it will destroy you. Solomon warned us extensively about pride and its destructiveness. He addresses the issue of pride 13 times in Proverbs.
Only one thing can destroy pride in our lives, and that is humility. Humility is the opposite of pride. Humility can push pride out of our hearts. The ultimate example of humility is Jesus Christ. That's why He “…humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8).
Prayer, Father in Heaven, too often I have knowingly and ignorantly come against Your will and Your ways. Open my eyes to the blessings of humility. Let me view it in its beauty and fullness of joy, not as the world sees it. While I desire a life of godly humility, pride pulls hard to overpower me. In my warfare against pride, help me to fight against ego and the flesh as I pursue humility. Your Son left the pleasures of heaven for a life of service on earth. He gave His life for ungodly, ungrateful and undeserving people. Help me have His attitude, remembering that You resist the proud and give grace to the humble. In Jesus name, Amen!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.