Pride is defined as:
1. an overhigh opinion of oneself
2. a proper respect for oneself; a sense of one’s own dignity or self worth. (Webster’s Dictionary)
For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one.
He must increase, but I must decrease.”
John recognized that he was to transition his ministry to someone who was far greater than him. It wasn’t about putting himself down, but instead about giving honor to whom honor is due. It is a respect of one’s authority.
An example of pride of life: The Titanic in 1912 was made and called the unsinkable ship. It sunk on its maiden voyage after striking an iceberg.
1 John 2:16
For everything that belongs to the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle—is not from the Father, but is from the world.
One’s boasting can become overconfidence. It’s one thing to say “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13), but there is a fine line when the things that you accomplish becomes more about what you are doing than what God is doing.
Pride is an arrogant manner of living (self-importance)
Pride is made up of pretense (a false claim made is unsupported)
False pride uses worldly sources for strength.
How false pride is developed and how it hurts us–
2 Chronicles 26:3-5
3 Uzziah was 16 years old when he became king and reigned 52 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecoliah from Jerusalem. 4 He did what was right in the Lord’s sight as his father Amaziah had done. 5 He sought God throughout the lifetime of Zechariah, the teacher of the fear of God. During the time that he sought the Lord, God gave him success.
Uzziah allowed someone to teach him to respect and honor God, and it bore out as success as long as he sought God.
2 Chronicles 26:8
The Ammonites gave Uzziah tribute money, and his fame spread as far as the entrance of Egypt, for God made him very powerful.
2 Chronicles 26:9, 11-15
9 Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, the Valley Gate, and the corner buttress, and he fortified them.
11 Uzziah had an army equipped for combat that went out to war by division according to their assignments, as recorded by Jeiel the court secretary and Maaseiah the officer under the authority of Hananiah, one of the king’s commanders. 12 The total number of heads of families was 2,600 brave warriors. 13 Under their authority was an army of 307,500 equipped for combat, a powerful force to help the king against the enemy. 14 Uzziah provided the entire army with shields, spears, helmets, armor, bows and slingstones. 15 He made skillfully designed devices in Jerusalem to shoot arrows and catapult large stones for use on the towers and on the corners. So his fame spread even to distant places, for he was marvelously helped until he became strong.
With all of this, Uzziah became prideful, and it led to his downfall. (While he had every reason to be proud of his nation and the army he presided over, he forgot where those things came from and how he became powerful.) Pride led him to become unfaithful to The Lord. He lost his ability to be honored by God (see v. 18).
2 Chronicles 26:16-21
16 But when he became strong, he grew arrogant and it led to his own destruction. He acted unfaithfully against the Lord his God by going into the Lord’s sanctuary to burn incense on the incense altar. 17 Azariah the priest, along with 80 brave priests of the Lord, went in after him. 18 They took their stand against King Uzziah and said, “Uzziah, you have no right to offer incense to the Lord—only the consecrated priests, the descendants of Aaron, have the right to offer incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have acted unfaithfully! You will not receive honor from the Lord God.”
19 Uzziah, with a firepan in his hand to offer incense, was enraged. But when he became enraged with the priests, in the presence of the priests in the Lord’s temple beside the altar of incense, a skin disease broke out on his forehead. 20 Then Azariah the chief priest and all the priests turned to him and saw that he was diseased on his forehead. They rushed him out of there. He himself also hurried to get out because the Lord had afflicted him. 21 So King Uzziah was diseased to the time of his death. He lived in quarantine with a serious skin disease and was excluded from access to the Lord’s temple, while his son Jotham was over the king’s household governing the people of the land.
Pride led to anger (v. 19)
Pride brings a punishment from God that is visible to others (v. 19)
God’s punishment can be lasting (v. 21)
Pride can cause you to be excluded from worship (v. 21)
Pride will cause you to lose perspective as to your position and where it came from. When fleshly pride is being corrected, anger is often the response. In the end, God will respond in such a way that everyone can see the correction taking place.
King Uzziah was a king at age 16, but he could no longer function as king because of his affliction. He lost his authority and ability to govern the people because of his pride. This is how pride can put one on the sidelines with the inability to function or do what you were originally called to do.
Therefore, pride is their necklace,
and violence covers them like a garment.
You rebuke the proud,
the ones under a curse,
who wander from Your commands.
When pride comes, disgrace follows,
but with humility comes wisdom.
Pride comes before destruction,
and an arrogant spirit before a fall.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. (1 Peter 5:6 NIV)
When you are obedient to God, He will indeed exalt you. Don’t allow pride to keep you from humility…humbling yourself before Him will keep you on the path to godliness and a growing relationship with Him.