What does the Bible say about pride?
Job 35:12 There they cry, but none giveth answer, because of the pride
of evil men.
Ps. 10:4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek
after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
Prov. 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy,
and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
Prov. 11:2 When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is
Prov. 13:10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised
Prov. 14:3 In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips
of the wise shall preserve them.
Prov. 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before
Prov. 29:23 A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold
the humble in spirit.
1Jn. 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the
lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of
Gifted people in the Bible that paid a dear price for their pride:
Satan (Isa. 14:12-19; Eze. 28)
Uzziah (2Chron. 26)
Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 4)
Symptoms of Pride
Constantly believes you can do a better job than others
Always wants to win the argument, or at least win back some respect
Jealous of others--when someone is better than you, this is the normal
Not trusting that others can do the things right--they are incompetent
Gets angry easily--because you think others are not doing it right or fast
Feels others owe you something--they rely on you all the time...
Watches out for your own interest--others are not as important as you are
Likes to hang out with others who respect you or acknowledge your superiority
Has a strong urge to assume visible leadership and be commanding
WHY is Pride a Problem? (Note: not WHEN)
Brings disobedience--you would not obey some command or teaching that you
think is not perfect, or that hurts your pride. Obedience and submission
are opposite of pride.
Fails to acknowledge the true source of your talents--God. When this
happens, you will be less likely to obey God, to listen to His teachings
and guidance, and to do His will.
Looking down on others/hurting others' feelings
Hinders learning--you can't learn if you don't think others can teach you
something, or what they say are not worthy of your evaluation.
Excessively demanding--why not, you know what to do.
Wants to earn things on your own strength--yet salvation is by grace through
faith. When you don't rely on God for your real strength, you will
find work far more difficult and less enjoyable. You will be bitter
at others because you spend too much of your time on them.
Irritates those around you--and so you lose friends and make enemies.
Your real friends may tell you about your problem with pride, but others
will just laugh at you or criticize you behind your back.
Pride vs. Self-Esteem
Pride is a bit different from self-esteem. God
does not ask us to feel sorry for ourselves constantly. He told us
that we are sinners and we need His salvation, but He also told us that
we become children of God and sanctified people (1Pet. 2:9). We can
be proud of what we are IN CHRIST, even though we did nothing to deserve
it. Low self-esteem can be very destructive. In fact, low self-esteem
can sometimes pretentious pride--forcing yourself to look good in order
to hide your own feeling of inferiority.
Humility--Why is it a Godly Trait?
Without humility, we can't fully understand God's salvation,
which is based on humility, self-sacrifice, respect for His own creations,
and unlimited love. If we seek to be more like Jesus, then we need
to learn from his life of servanthood, his leadership through sincere ministry
of the weak, the poor, and the oppressed. Jesus has every reason
to be proud (he is God!), but he displayed the deepest humility by allowing
himself to be crucified.
Can You Serve God and Others with Pride?
Pharisees were proud religious leaders who thought of
themselves as working the God's work. Today we tend to make the same
mistakes. We may be serving God while hoping for recognition.
We may serve others because we think they are less spiritual than we are.
We may help others because we feel like they need to rely on us.
Ask yourself if you sometimes feel that:
people ask you to serve others because you are more spiritual or mature
people should come to you for advise, and if they don't, they must be too
proud to do so
God must be very happy with what you do for others, and so it's OK that
others don't understand
it's OK to suffer persecution from that person now... wait till the Judgment
others don't ever acknowledge your spiritual achievements
This lesson was developed by George Huang. Got a question or
want to publish this lesson? E-mail
Last updated: 4/22/00