Hi. Welcome to Through Faith & Grace, this is a blog about some of the many thoughts, feelings and experiences I decide to share with you. If you’ve been following, it’s wonderful to have you back. Grab your coffee or tea and take a seat.
The problem with pride
Pride, by far is my biggest flaw. It creates this unnecessary arrogance and self-righteousness in me. To make sure we’re on the same page, I am defining pride as thinking I am better than other people to the point where I either pat myself on the back too much, shoot everyone else down or a mixture of both. And with my struggle of pride, “better” can be replaced with “more righteous”, “more reasonable”, “more loving” and “more Christ-like”. With me thinking I’m more like Christ and therefore better than others, it actually makes me less like Christ – oh the irony! It’s a problem. Being prideful is a terrible problem. This is the type of pride is arrogant and refuses to recognize God’s sovereign role. A better explanation can be found here if you’re still confused.
I can’t tell you how long I’ve struggled with pride, but definitely since I was a kid.
How it affects everything
Because I believe I know better, because I believe I am more reasonable, because I believe I almost always know the right thing, it greatly hurts several of my relationships. Because of pride:
- I am quick to judge others
- I speak more than I listen
- I lack trust in anyone who doesn’t do things my way (including God…how silly of me!)
- I expect others to be just like me and if they aren’t, they should desire to
Need I say more? Pride sucks. It’s a sin. And that’s just a taste of what I think of others, I could easily put together a list of how pride makes me view myself. Essentially, in my worst state, pride makes me say:
- “I’m not perfect, but I’m good enough. You might even say I’m one of the best things since Jesus”
- “The sins that I struggle with aren’t nearly as bad compared to everyone else”
- “God…although You’re all-knowing, I think my way is better this time around”
- “Why can’t everyone just be and think like me?”
- “I’m the most reasonable person here”
It hurts my heart to see how this sin prevents me from connecting with people. It hurts my heart to see how this sin stunts my faith growth in becoming more Christ-like. It hurts my heart to see how this sin creates resentment within all my relationships and within myself.
Why bring it up now?
For the longest time I’ve know that pride is one of the things I heavily struggle with and I’ve just been ignoring it and trying to excuse it. I’d say something prideful and instead of apologizing, asking for forgiveness, and truly wanting to change my ways, I just accepted that pride is just a part of who I am. Similarly, it’s like someone who struggles with theft, deceit, addiction, etc. and using the “I was born/raised this way excuse”. I don’t doubt the honesty in that sentence, but that doesn’t justify your bad behavior.
Recently, I’ve been questioning who God wants me to become. I’ve been questioning my heart and my mind. I’ve spent so much of my life trying to “fix” and judge others and although I’m late to the party, I realized that I’m not nearly as close to perfect as I think I am. I am not nearly as loving as I believe I am. I am not nearly as Christ-like as I believe I am.
What the Bible says about pride?
Key Verses on Pride:
- 1 Corinthians 13:4 – Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant
- Galatians 6:4 – Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else…
- James 4:6 – But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.
- Philippians 2:3-4 – Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
- Proverbs 11:2 – When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
- Proverbs 13:10 – Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.
And believe it or not, this is only a few of the several verses on pride. Pride is dangerous. To my fellow Christian or fellow skeptic, here’s a more detailed response…(The Bible on pride)
Essentially God hates pride and it’s because it’s destructive. It’s a sin. Although God sees my problem, He doesn’t love me any less. He wouldn’t love me any more than He already does even if I was the most humble person. Even if I was born perfect, born without any flaws, He still wouldn’t love me any more than He already does. Although God sees my sins, He continues to show me grace. He wants to teach me how to be more humble. He forgives me when I mess up. I want to change my heart and my mind. I want to learn and truly know that I’m not all that. I want to learn how to properly love and the start to doing that is by being less judgmental. The start to being less judgmental is by being more humble. The start to being more humble is to be more like Jesus.
When I struggle with pride, I must repent. That’s the first step. Although I struggle with pride, I need to remember I’m made in God’s image. He hates pride, but He loves me. I’m God’s kid and He loves me unconditionally. Here is my game plan: Pray, read & reflect.
Pray: I can’t allow myself to underestimate the power of prayer. I’ll be continuously praying for change. I’ll be continuously praying for wisdom, guidance and endurance to work through this bad character flaw. I’ll be praying when I take two steps forward and I’ll be praying when I take one step back. “Pray without ceasing. Rejoice always.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18.
Read: With pride being such a common and deadly sin, the Bible is a great place to start when it comes to becoming more humble. Proverbs warn us of the dangers of pride and Jesus is the perfect example of humility. Not sure what book I’ll start with but maybe the book of John as it talks about Jesus’s life.
Reflect: It means a lot of things, but for me specifically, it’s making the effort to be self-aware of the thousands of thoughts I have throughout the days. I need to catch myself when I stumble. I need to repent and ask for forgiveness when I become prideful. Reflection also includes talking to my small group and my accountability partner about my struggle with pride. Reflection includes being brutally honest with myself.
What does this mean for me? What does this mean for our relationship?
Unless you feel God is tugging on your heart and telling you otherwise, you don’t need to cut ties with me. Please don’t cut ties with me. Be patient with our relationship. Remind me of God’s overwhelming love and His never-ending grace.
Let me be clear, it isn’t your job to “fix” me. I need to find my fixing in Him. If there’s one huge way you can help me, it’s through prayer. Pray that I can let go of my pride and latch on to humility. Trust me, I’ll be needing prayers on humility for the rest of my life, truly.
Other than that, help keep me accountable. If I’m being prideful, confront me on it. Now I ask that you question your own heart before confronting me. Matthew 7:3-5 makes that clear. I ask that you confront me out of love and grace, not out of anger or bitterness. Jesus is the perfect example of confronting others in a loving way. I pray that if you do confront me, I can have the humility and the wisdom to see that it is coming from love. Other than that, I humbly ask that you pass down any wisdom and advice on the transformation from pride to humility.
What’s the takeaway?
I think there are a couple things you can take away from this entry. One is that I’m a human that struggles with many different things and pride happens to be one of them. This is not your typical “God is so good because of _____” posts because as a Christian, we still struggle. Is He still good? Always. Do not be deceived by the notion that living the Christian life is easy and filled with endless gifts, rainbows, and unicorns. I would argue that it can sometimes be harder to live as a Christian. It can be incredibly difficult to see God’s goodness when we live in an imperfect world with billions of imperfect people. It is hard to trust Him when He doesn’t make sense. We all have our own hardships and Romans 5:3-5 talks about the importance of trials.
Secondly, regardless if you struggle with pride, it’s fairly likely you struggle with some other sin. I struggle with pride and I also struggle with many other sins that I chose not to talk about today. That being said, I hope my vulnerability reminds you that you’re not the only one struggling with certain sins. I hope that through my vulnerability, maybe you have the strength to be brutally honest with yourself, with your accountability partner, and/or with your small group over something you’re dealing with. We all need prayers. You aren’t alone. God loves you. Yes, you’re a sinner. I’m a sinner, but our sins are forgiven through Jesus. To my atheist and to my devoted Christ-follower…He loves you. He loves you. He loves you. He loves me. He loves all of us.
What are you struggling with?
With all that being said, welcome to my life. Welcome to my blog. I hope you care to stay. Follow my journey and you get the whole roller coaster as I continue to figure out what it means to live through faith and grace. Thank you for reading. Thank you for allowing me to be vulnerable with you.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love – not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 1 John 4:9-10
Part 2 – My Prayer for Humility