Text: “And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:27-28
Pride is an overvaluation of self. The “self-confidence syndrome” is an indirect masking of pride. Real confidence is defined in 2 Corinthians 3:5 thus, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.” Philippians 2:3-4 adds, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
How rich, pretty, wise, intelligent, smart, fast, or great are you that someone else somewhere does not surpass? The fact that there is still an area of limitation in your life defeats your claims of being the best in whatever you are priding in. Those who are proud do so because:
1. They compare themselves with someone else;
2. They are myopic, thinking that what they are celebrating is the best;
3. They focus on the mistakes and weaknesses of others so that their own strengths can be amplified;
4. They think of themselves higher than they really are;
5. They are not exposed, else they would have seen that there is more to life than whatever they think they know;
6. They don’t desire greater heights than where they are;
7. They are surrounded by sycophants;
8. They are chiefs among a bunch of fools and failures, thereby making them seem to be the best;
9. They are one-eyed people in a city of the blind;
10. They have made themselves abominable to God (because a proud man is an abomination to God); etc.
The Bible uses very strong terms to describe pride and the proud.
1. “And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?” (Job 38:11), that is, the proud shall eventually be limited and stranded;
2. “Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low…” (Job 40:12), that is, there is an already a decree in motion to demote the proud;
3. “The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things” (Psalm 12:3), that is, God Himself will cut off the pride of the proud;
4. “Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous” (Psalm 31:18), that is, the proud will be silenced;
5. “Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from Thy commandments” (Psalm 119:21), that is, the proud are cursed;
6. “Let the proud be ashamed…” (Psalm 119:78), that is, a decree is in motion to put the proud to shame;
7. “Though the Lord be high, yet hath He respect unto the lowly: but the proud He knoweth afar off” (Psalm 138:6), that is, the proud is estranged from the Lord;
8. “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: A proud look…” (Proverbs 6:16-17), that is, pride is an abomination to God;
9. “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2), that is, shame is a nemesis for pride;
10. “The Lord will destroy the house of the proud…” (Proverbs 15:25), that is, the proud will have neither rest nor posterity;
11. “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished” (Proverbs 16:5), that is, the destruction of the unrepentant proud man is irreversible;
12. “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18), that is, pride opens doors to destruction;
13. “An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin” (Proverbs 21:4), that is, pride is a sin;
14. “A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit” (Proverbs 29:23); and
15. “Behold, I am against thee, O thou most proud, saith the Lord God of hosts: for thy day is come, the time that I will visit thee. And the most proud shall stumble and fall, and none shall raise him up: and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all round about him” (Jeremiah 50:31-32); etc.
In case you still feel too special to be talked out of your pride, please visit the Professor of Animal and Plant Science who spent 7 years in the forest as an animal himself. He was Nebuchadnezzar. He was the first mortal in Bible records to be addressed as “King of Kings”, and that was even done by a prophet of the Most High King (Daniel 2:37). It was his pride that sent him to the forest, not as a researcher, but as an animal. If you admire his experience, continue in your pride.
God bless you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.