Lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. (1 Timothy 3:6)
If you believe pride and arrogance are just small character flaws or personality idiosyncrasies, you may wish to rethink that.
Now, I’m not referring to pride in a job well done. I’m talking about an inflated opinion of importance or superiority. The unrestrained, undisciplined mindset that resists or outright rejects human and divine authority.
Such an unattractive characteristic pushes people away while inviting only trouble. For example, being smug with a police officer during a traffic violation usually results in a stiffer penalty. Being arrogant with your boyfriend’s parents probably leads to a breakup. A snobbish attitude on a sports team typically alienates the other players. Such a puffed up, stuck up, egotistical outlook just doesn’t work well with others.
God Hates it Too
Yes, God hates all sin. But according to Proverbs 6:16-17, in a listing of sins called out as hated and offensive to God, pride tops the list. I think it ranks high because, at its core, pride opposes God’s sovereign supremacy and control. It questions and rebels against God’s authority.
Pride is the reason the devil exists. In what some may call allegorical, Isaiah 14:12-21 describes the fall of Lucifer, also known as Satan or the devil.
Lucifer, whose name means “day star” or “the shining one,” was a radiant creature in Heaven. He enjoyed an exalted position of authority and prestige.
Then pride set in. He started thinking. “I will ascend….exalt my throne…be like the Most High…” So full of himself, he envisioned rising above God’s supreme authority.
In response, God reacted swiftly and emphatically to Lucifer’s inflated perception and rebellion by throwing him out of Heaven. Jesus may have referred to this very event when He said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18).
Severe Warnings Against Pride
No, pride isn’t something anyone should ever emulate, entertain, encourage, or emphasize. God gives several warnings against such a mindset.
- Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).
- A man’s pride will bring him low (Proverbs 29:23).
- The pride of your heart has deceived you (Obadiah 1:3).
- Those who walk in pride He (God) is able to put down (Daniel 4:37).
- God resists the proud (1 Peter 5:5).
- The proud will receive the same condemnation as the devil (1 Timothy 3:6).
Sincere Call to Humility
By comparison, God’s followers are called to walk in humility before Him and with other people. He even explains how and why He wants us to maintain a humble mindset and lifestyle.
- Before honor is humility (Proverbs 18:12).
- By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life (Proverbs 22:4).
- Seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger (Zephaniah 2:3).
- Serve the Lord with all humility (Acts 20:19).
- Therefore, as the elect of God, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering…(Colossians 3:12).
- Be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men (Titus 3:2).
- Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up (James 4:10).
- Be submissive to one another, and clothed with humility because God gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5).
Imagine the kind of world it could become if everyone had a humble mindset in all human interactions. Honor would replace disrespect. Willing service would conquer entitlement. Gratitude would drive out selfishness. Love would overcome anger. Peace would overrun impatience.
Now think how a humble mindset would affect interactions with God. Reverence and praise would infiltrate worry and doubt. Submission and obedience would express reliance on Him. Appreciation and thankfulness would overcome expectations and demands.
Please understand, God isn’t looking for wimpy pushovers. He longs for passionate followers who are courageous and trusting enough to yield to Him, His supreme authority, and His sovereign control.
Father God, don’t let pride blind, deceive, or mislead me. Help me to be authentic, real person You created me to be. Please don’t let me be puffed up with a false sense of importance. I submit wholly to You and rely solely on Your supreme authority. Thank You for sovereignly controlling everything for Your purpose. Amen.