Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18 NIV).
Friend to Friend
A famous explorer in South America was once forced to abandon his journey by an almost invisible enemy. He was equipped to meet leopards, serpents, and crocodiles. They proved to be no threat, but what he had failed to consider were the tiny insects called chiggers. Someone composed this poem about these tiny invaders:
Here’s to the chigger, the bug that’s no bigger
Than the end of a very small pin.
But the itch that he raises simply amazes,
And that’s where the rub comes in!
Pride and chiggers have a lot in common. Pride comes in little ways, unseen actions, subtle thoughts, or inconspicuous comments. Unguarded attitudes and random thoughts are prime breeding grounds for pride. We must take charge of those thoughts, discipline our attitudes, train our thinking processes to give up and obey God. If we don’t, destruction is just ahead.
“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18 NIV).
Pride loves to take up residence in an undisciplined thought life. When Paul encouraged the believers in Rome to cultivate “sober judgment,” he was warning them to take charge of their minds, refusing to allow the entrance of any thoughts that would entertain pride. A disciplined thought life is the very foundation of a victorious journey with God.
It’s not wrong for Christians to recognize and even applaud gifts in their own lives and in the lives of others as long as we remember that spiritual gifts are ours to manage, not own. Pride draws attention to those God given gifts, tempting us to take credit for their existence and the way in which they are used.
Many of us attempt to find worth and identity in what we do – not in Whose we are. As a result, our actions are intended to draw the attention of anyone and everyone in a vain effort to establish self-worth. There may be people in your life who are difficult to love. Our responsibility is to love and accept these difficult people without insisting they change or counting on them to change. In order to do that, we must choose grace and humility over pride and censure. Pride vanishes beneath the loving gaze of our Father who simply longs for each one of us to see ourselves through His eyes – no more and no less.
The frontline of the battle against pride is in the mind. We must “take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NASB). To take something captive is a military tactic that we must use to guard against pride. It sometimes seems as if pride can actually crawl into my mind and grab hold of any undisciplined thoughts floating around. Pride then flings those random thoughts into my heart as an attitude laced with burning arrogance and prideful perception of who I am in comparison to others.
We can change our lives by changing how we think. We can dictate the attitudes of our heart by fixing our thoughts on God and His truth. The result is peace, which stands against pride, choosing humility instead. “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you” (Isaiah 26:3). What does it mean to “fix” our thoughts? Webster’s Dictionary defines “fixed” as “rigid, solid or firm.” We must learn to fix our thoughts on the truth of God’s word. We need to be rigid in controlling our thought processes, holding firm to God’s standard for the mind. The result will be a stable way of thinking and living. To prevent pride requires a choice to take charge of our mind.
Run from anyone or anything that promotes a prideful attitude. Eliminate the strongholds of pride in your life. Nail your ego to the cross and declare it powerless. Celebrate the trophy of grace you are in God.
Father, thank You for the grace You give. Thank You that grace covers all my sin with unconditional love and forgiveness. Help me to walk in that grace, turning away from pride and arrogance. Give me a humble spirit that draws others to You. Help me see myself through Your eyes and then live out what I see.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Can you identify areas of pride in your life? Plan to face each one and eliminate it.
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