Both James 4:6 and 1 Pet. 5:5 quote the writer of Proverbs in 3:34 and tell us that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
Humility increases your capacity to receive more grace from God and qualifies you to be used greatly by God.
I find it interesting that both James, who was the Lord’s brother, and at first, did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God, and Peter who had many obvious pride issues quoted the same verse. It seems like they had learned some hard lessons about pride.
The Bible has so much to say about pride and because the increase of grace is in proportion to our measure of humility, it would be well worth our time to give some careful study and reflection to this vital theme.
Pride has to do with a person’s high and lofty estimation of himself. Everybody has to deal with pride. It is always seeking entrance and rule in our hearts. There is a lot more pride in us than we think. It’s very subtle and we need revelation to see it.
Pride is also the nature of the devil. That alone should motivate us to resist it and want no part of it.
On the other hand, there are many blessings attached to true humility and that ought to increase our desire for it. When you understand what true humility is and what it will open up to you, you will earnestly desire it and be motivated to make it a high priority in your life.
It is impossible to walk closely with God when you are full of pride. The least bit of falsehood, pretension, and smugness will hinder your fellowship with Him. The Bible says that God hates pride.
There are many symptoms of pride. Let us look at some of them so that you can identify the spirit of it and receive more grace in your life and grow in true humility.
1. Do you try to project and maintain a false image of yourself?
2. Are you constantly promoting yourself?
3. Are you slow to admit when you’re wrong or when you don’t know something? Is it difficult for you to say, “I don’t know”.
4. Are you hesitant to ask questions, but quick to give all the answers?
5. Are you slow to acknowledge others’ successes or envious of them?
6. Are you slow to be impressed with others accomplishments or status?
7. Do you always presume that others are interested in what you are saying?
8. Do you frequently defend yourself and make excuses for your behavior? Are you content to leave your justification in the hands of God?
9. Are you bossy and use coercion to get your way?
10. Do you have to have the preeminence and be the best, the first in everything?
11. Are you always trying to be different?
12. Are you teachable?
13. Are you ungrateful and unappreciative, especially for the little things?
14. Does your pride scream when someone gets credit for what you did?
Here is a great verse: “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him” (Jn. 7:18).
- Are you always speaking of yourself and seeking your own glory – for others to be impressed with you? Why is that important to you?
- Why is it important to you to tell others about your accomplishments and successes? Important people you know and places you’ve been?
- Does it bother you when people don’t recognize you and acknowledge you? Why?
- Do you show genuine interest in other people and in what they are saying? Why not?
Pride can only be detected when you begin checking the hidden and underlying motives of your heart?
Train your heart by asking yourself the “Why” of your thoughts, feelings, words, and actions.
Why do you feel the way you do?
Why are you doing what you do?
Why are you saying the things you say?
Why are you hurt? Angry? Aggravated?
Why did that bother you?
If you start paying attention to your heart like that, you will surely begin to grow in humility in a way you haven’t before.
Here are some proverbs on pride that will cultivate an increased awareness in you.
“These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood…”(Pr. 6:16-17).
“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate” (Pr. 8:13).
“When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom” (Pr. 11:2).
“The Lord will destroy the house of the proud, but He will establish the boundary of the widow” (Pr. 15:25).
“Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; though they join forces,[a] none will go unpunished” (Pr. 16:5).
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Pr. 16:18).
“A haughty look, a proud heart, and the plowing[a] of the wicked are sin” (Pr. 21:4).
“A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor” (Pr. 29:23).
Let us humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord and receive more of His grace in our lives.