Before you look at someone else and say, “Hey, they have pride,” or you look at the people of the Bible and their destruction because of their pride, take some time to examine your own heart, and see if there is any pride in your own heart.
There are many factors that lead to pride, one of them is selfishness, and another is judgmental, critical nature.
I’ll start with the judgmental, critical nature. The judgmental and critical nature starts with insecurity. We don’t like how we feel about ourselves because we don’t see what God sees in His eyes when He looks at us. We see the icky lies that the enemy has been provoking us to believe about ourselves, but then we start to believe them after they have been repeated over and over and over again in our heads like a record player. When you begin the Christian walk you are supposed to build yourself up in the faith by a church that supports the growth that you have by feeding you with the Word of God, and you also have to begin to build a relationship with God yourself. But somewhere down the line, we begin to think, ok, “I know it all” and we begin to judge people for the things we don’t like about our old selves. Someone once said that godly men may try to have a conversation with an evil man and they will have nothing to talk about because [my interjection here] – they have no common language. At some point all of us begin to become judgmental and critical in nature, and it takes a real life transforming experience with Jesus, and the Word of God, to change us. When we think we have reached a certain of level of “maturity” and of “holiness”, then we will be knocked down a few blocks because we know that we really don’t know it all, but it is God who warns of this pride. That’s why He says in Isaiah, “My thoughts are higher than your thoughts, and My ways higher than your ways.”
This pride of lucifer was shown in Isaiah 14 –
For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
So it is very dangerous to get like that. So before you go and think that “lucifer had pride, but I don’t have pride” that may be prideful itself because a humble person will never admit that they are humble. There’s a difference between knowing who you are [in Christ], and speaking that with boldness like Jesus did, and showing false humility, which I am not going to go into because I don’t think I can even wrap my mind around that one. But basically we don’t know it all, and only God does. We can learn from all of the anointed teachers of God’s Word,if they are truly sticking to God’s Word, but if they are not then we should look at ourselves, and say, “have I led anyone astray? Have I led them down the wrong path? Have I made them feel condemned?” “Those that judge others, in the same measure you will be judged” Jesus says, and He also says, “Why do you look at the speck in the other person’s eye and do not see the plank in your own eye, first remove the plank in your own eye then you will clearly be able to see the speck in the other person’s eye.”
Let’s pause there for a second…Ask yourself, which areas am I struggling with the most in my relationships with people? What don’t I like about people? For me I don’t like it when people teach unbiblical doctrine, or doctrine that is opposed to what I have been taught, and when people condemn others with the Word of God, and so I need to say, Lord, where do You want me to change in this area?
Also another thing that you should do is ask Lord, if I am not acting out of Agape Love, then help me, teach me, show me the way. In this sense I am using the term unconditional. Are you still going to love the person despite what they do no matter how much they offend you? That is something to think about. IF YOU’RE NOT THERE YET IT’S OK – DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP ABOUT IT. One of the things that needs to be discussed is the difference between loving yourself, selfishness, and pride.
Loving yourself, means loving the person that God created you to be in the image of God, with the spirit of God dwelling inside of you.
Selfishness is a fleshly – and when I say fleshly I don’t mean body, but the sinful nature of man – attitude which feeds on which sinful nature of man in the oldself, and obsesses about how to meet your own needs to the point that you don’t think about or care about or live for others, but it’s all about you, and what you want, and what you need. We all have certain areas of life where we are a little bit selfish because we still are tempted to sin, but the more we line up with the Holy Spirit, the more we will not be able to, and the GOOD NEWS IS GOD FORGIVES US IF WE DO ACT SELFISHLY BECAUSE HE KNOWS THAT’S NOT THE NATURE HE PUT IN US. (The ones who are sincere born again believers)
Pride is exalting yourself above God, and saying that you are better than God and that you know better than God and that you can control your life better than He can and it also has to do with thinking that you are better than anyone else.
A judgmental nature and pride is detestable to God. If we don’t want to see judgment in the last days, then don’t judge. If we don’t want see ourselves crumble and eat grass like Nebuchadnezzar did in the last days then submit and surrender to God.
Sometimes we have issues of receiving forgiveness and forgiving and that is rooted in insecurity about ourselves. We can’t see the good in others because we can’t see it in ourselves. We may love God, but unless we truly see that God loves us and created usin His image and when we received Christ, we took on the nature and characteristics of Christ [righteousness, holiness, perfectness] then we have a flawed perspective and that perspective needs to be dealt with. You can learn all this in head knowledge and you can read the Bible all you want that true heart transformation then you will have to put on the right lens of perspective. There are teachers that can give you a proper lens and perspective that can help you see the Light of Christ and what it means by True Christ Like Love, and then there are others who will always look down on people who are less than they are and deem them, “not worthy” of our attention.
It’s very hard these days to see Christians who behave like Paul did, who was not carnal at all, but also treated people with love, respect and care for the sheep and rich in the wisdom in the grace of God, but then there is Jesus who is our perfect example, our perfect witness of the Holy Spirit. One of my favorite verses in the Bible talks about how Paul in his person may seem weak and limited because of physical infirmities, but in his writing he is bold. Many times that’s the way I feel. In person you may not be able to see the same thing that you see in my writing.
How do we rectify this problem? We put our focus on the Lord, and move in whichever way the Lord leads us. The Lord moves us in mighty ways, but we don’t need to feel guilty about anything that we do because the Lord loves us tremendously and He is just waiting for us to come to Him with our problems. We need to run to Him. Remember He knows us better than we know ourselves.