Recently my college ministries curriculum took us to the topic of Pride and I got to thinking about how much of a problem it is if you want to be a real Christian. Not only that but if you want to be a successful Christian, a good spouse, a real friend, a follower of God. I could go on, but as you see pride is a hindrance in every area! Let me explain…
Let’s start with the basics: salvation. In order to be saved you must
1. Recognize your need for a savior because of your sins.
2. Call on Christ to save you.
3. Believe in Him.
All three of these steps require that you not be prideful. How can a prideful person say “I am broken on the inside and cannot fix myself”? How can the prideful person say “God, help me”? How can a prideful person follow anyone but themselves? This becomes a serious issue and I now believe it’s one major reason why many do not accept God. Yes there are many others like doubt that He exists, love of sin etc. but in a way you can narrow those down to pride as well.
Going back to the beginning of sin you can even say that pride was the first sin! Satan was prideful enough to believe He could take God’s place, run heaven, and rule the universe better than Yahweh. He tried and was kicked out obviously but pride nonetheless was the beginning of sin.
Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.
In my nearly 2 years of marriage I’ve found that oneness means selflessness, preferring your spouse above yourself (Philippians 2:3). It requires sacrifice and laying down of your selfish desires and at times even your ok desires. All of these things cannot happen if prides roots have grown deep in your heart. Pride makes it all about you and that is not what marriage or any other relationship should be modeled after.
So if pride can hinder someone from being born again as well as furthering their relationship with God and others what can we do to make sure we don’t slip in to this dead end of pride? Be humble! Humbleness is the opposite of pride and it is what allows God to use you, to show His greatness through you (and your weakness). It’s the only way to go.
James 4:10 – Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.
Luke 14:11 – For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
I would much rather God lift me up or promote me than my own abilities which will in time fail and I will find myself being humbled in a very unpleasant situation. The times I have felt the closest to God, the most useful to the Kingdom, and the happiest is when I felt so small compared to God’s greatness. When I simply obeyed instead of trying to handle it on my own I was able to see God do great and unexpected things that I will never forget.