When we think of sin, certain things immediately come to mind. From stealing to murder or witchcraft, many believe that these actions shouldn’t be associated with those who claim to follow Christ. Yet, there are other sins that tend to go unaddressed but have serious consequences. The sin of pride is one that can derail our lives before we even realize it is a struggle. Pride can be the culprit behind many actions from having a lack of compassion, to being abusive to others, to the destruction of ministries. Pride always leads to destruction (Proverbs 16:18).
Billy Graham said it like this,
When pride controls our lives, we end up thinking we are better than anyone else. Prideful people also have little love or compassion for others and are only interested in themselves. Most of all, a prideful person thinks they have little need for God, believing their way is always best. This is why pride is at the root of almost every other sin, because we think we can ignore God’s ways. No wonder the Bible says, ‘The Lord detests all the proud of heart’ (Proverbs 16:5).
Pride is simply a sin Christians can no longer ignore! Although we tend to easily recognize pride in other people, we must also search our own hearts to see if we have allowed this sin to take residence in our lives. If left unchecked, we will find that our self-centered ways will begin to impact every area of our lives.
With this said, here are 6 ways pride may be ruining your life.
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1. Pride can lead you to make poor choices based on wanting to maintain your image.
Some choices we make may not be centered on logic or the leading of the Holy Spirit. Instead, pride leads can lead you to make choices based on fear of embarrassment or wanting to be seen in a superior manner. From staying in an abusive relationship to continuing to run a business that is clearly failing, pride will lead you to remain in situations that are unhealthy for you and everyone else involved. To “save face” those who are prideful are willing to suffer longer and endure internal torment rather than look bad in front of others. In some cases, this leads to more damage and even ignoring obvious promptings of the Lord. Whenever we place our image over God’s will, we become a slave to pride. In doing so, we cheat ourselves out of the blessings God has for us and the beauty of allowing God to take the lead in our lives.
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2)
2. Pride can cause you to be unapologetic.
Although “being unapologetic” has become a popular catchphrase, it is not acceptable to live a life where you never take ownership of your actions. There are times when we are all wrong and hurt those we care about. Yet, getting a prideful person to apologize is practically impossible. Accepting that you are wrong requires humility and a willingness to change. However, rather than apologize for their actions, the prideful person may insist that their poor behavior is the other person’s fault and never take responsibility for hurting the other person.
According to Psychology Today, “Pride prevents us from acknowledging our human vulnerabilities. This shame-driven pride makes us too uncomfortable to say, ‘I’m sorry, I was wrong, I made a mistake.’ When pride rules, we believe we’re always right.”
Having this attitude in a relationship will prevent the parties from truly being vulnerable and growing in love and togetherness. If you can’t say “sorry,” you may have a deep-seated pride problem.
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3. Pride leads to comparison and lack of contentment.
One sneaky way pride appears in our lives is through comparison or jealousy. Although it may seem like comparison is simply focusing on what another person has, it simultaneously causes us to place ourselves as the center of attention. We find ourselves asking questions like, “Why me?” or “Why can’t I have that?” Suddenly, the other person’s victory becomes your defeat. Rather than living thankfully for how God is moving in their life, those with pride form a sense of entitlement and believe that God owes them the same blessings. This same jealousy can lead us to strife, shifting friendships, gossip, and doing things we will regret.
“For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” (James 3:16)
4. Pride can cause you to be inconsiderate.
Are you always late? Do you fail to think about how your actions will affect the other people involved? Are you a person of little integrity, failing to show and complete things you have agreed to? An inconsiderate person tends to be self-centered. Expecting other people to wait for you, not being where you are expected to be or harboring the belief everyone else must accommodate your needs is prideful. Instead, the Lord calls us to care about the needs of others and to consider how our words and actions will impact other people. We are no more important or superior to anyone else in God’s eyes. The way we want our time, energy, and money to be honored, we must honor in the same way for others.
“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31)
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5. Pride causes you to trust your thoughts more than God’s truth.
One way that you can fall into pride is by believing that you have all the answers. When you exalt your concept of what is moral above God’s truth, this is pride! In your own way, you may justify poor choices, immoral behavior, and prejudices, even when it clearly contradicts God’s word. This is prideful as it centers what is true and right based solely on our opinions and personal experiences.
Much like the person who claims racism doesn’t exist because they never experienced it, the prideful person decides that their beliefs and personal encounters must be the way the right way. Even the Word of God is subject to their values. Yet, though we serve a God who knows all and has seen it all, the prideful person exalts their ideas of right and wrong even above their Creator’s! Before long, we accommodate the gospel to our lifestyle instead of accommodating our lifestyle to the gospel. This may be a struggle for you if any of the following are true:
- You ignore anything in the Bible that pushes you out of your comfort zone.
- You watch, condone, and talk about things that knowingly contradict the Bible.
- You see God’s Word as a suggestion, outdated or irrelevant if it’s not convenient.
- You use the phrase, “That’s not my conviction” as an excuse to do what you want.
- You only focus on Bible verses that inspire and ignore those that convict or lead to life change.
- You get angry when God doesn’t give you what you feel you deserve.
“Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them.” (Proverbs 26:12)
If we aren’t careful, pride can become the underlying issue in our lives.
6. Pride destroys relationships.
Those who suffer from pride believe life is all about them. Oftentimes, those who struggle with pride are unable to compromise, have compassion, or be agreeable in relationships. Instead, the relationship revolves around what they need, feel, or think is right. Whether you are in a friendship or marriage, the person who suffers with pride will often draw the focus back to themselves and play the victim when things are not going right. Rather than admitting when they are wrong, a self-centered person will only see the other person’s flaws. If your relationships are struggling, seek the Lord and ask if your pride could be hindering your connections.
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:13-14)
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Originally published Wednesday, 07 July 2021.