Text: James 4:5-6, 10 & 16, Ezekiel 28:12 – 18, Isaiah 14:12 – 17
From the scriptures above, it can be seen that the father of pride is Lucifer (satan) and the fall of a man starts when he or she feels he/she is more than any other person. When a man rates himself or herself according to his or her acquired wealth, position, material things and pleasures of this world. When the vain things of this world are the pilot that drives a man in all actions and words, then automatically that individual has placed himself or herself as an enemy of God with the consequences that are attached to pride Proverb 11:12, Proverb 16:5 & 18
WHAT IS PRIDE?
This is an inordinate self esteem, an unreasonable feeling of superiority because of talents, beauty, wealth, rank, unreasonable talks to eulogize oneself, self importance and the likes.This manifests in form of snubbing, arrogant behavior or ill treatment of others. Feeling of being superior to others or thinking most people are stupid when compared to oneself. Proud people put themselves in opposition to God which is definitely not a good stance. 1 Peter 5:5
Types or Forms of Pride
(1). Self Aggrandizement (Exaggeration): Thoughts such as ‘don’t I look good or great naturally, can’t you respect my position in the church, office or society?
(2). Self Admiration : Look at me, my abilities, talents, assets, look at my spiritual gifts and my ministry. He keeps appraising and praising self.
(3). Self Attention: I have natural view-points you must listen to, I have sound biblical and theological knowledge, I am full, listen to me, it will take years to get you what I worth.
(4). Self Justification: I am always right, naturally my way is always the right way. It is our own policy that is right, my tribe knows the best. I have sound spiritual sense than you. I live always to please God than anyone
(5). Self Sufficiency: I can do it, there is nothing special in what my colleague has done, I have sound leadership quality, I am the one in charge, it is the sound spiritual abilities of my program that can make things happen
(6). Self Seeking: You must give me the respect accrued to my position or authority. Spiritually, I deserve to be placed high even my physical appearance commands respect.
(7). Self Exaltation (Elevation): I deserve to be given award for this great performance. Naturally, I can do it, it should be my credit and glory. I have the spiritual command to do it right than others. It is my endowed procedures and success.
CAUSES OF PRIDE
There are Four (4) main causes of pride
Power Ezekiel 28:2
Wisdom Ezekiel 28: 3-4
Riches Ezekiel 28:4-5
Beauty Ezekiel 28:17
CHARACTERISTICS / ATTRIBUTES OF A PROUD PERSON / PERSONALITY
It is sometimes very difficult to accept that you are proud because pride envelopes itself in smoke unless one can mirror himself in God’s words and grace to see the SIN (pride) and its magnitude. Many people see the speck in other people’s eyes and will not remove the log in their own eyes and they keep acting as if all is normal and well. The following are the features or attributes to mirror yourself as a true child of God and make amendment where necessary
(a). Being unthankful: Proud people always think they deserve the best or what is good only and since they believe it is their right, they have no reason to say thank you. They even feel they deserve better and complain or grumble and are quarrelsome because they believe they acquired what they have from their abilities and deserve more. No one feels easy around this type of person
(b). Anger: Proud people easily display outbursts of anger to prove to others they are the only one capable or they can withdraw to themselves to maintain their class or level. They are always impatient with others and try to form a clique or status group and claim they are trying to avoid anger by forming the group that fits their level.
(c). Perfectionist: They want to be the best at everything. They brag and talk about themselves all the time and have inflated view of their own importance, abilities and talents
(d). Seeking Independence: This kind of attribute find it extremely difficult to work under someone else or to submit to another person’s authority. They have to be their own boss. They always say I don’t need anyone or accountability for my faith and doctrine. They crave and announce self sufficiency and as such, they tend to be greedy, and long to have worldly things by all means to be self adequate.
(e). They display stubbornness, head strong, very rigid and always prove that this is my way and how I want it. They lack good listening ability and use other people’s words to peg them down.
(f). They are men pleasers and men fearers. They are always concerned and consumed about what others might think of them. Despite their proud dispositions, unfortunately they still enslave their mind, feelings and life to what people think they worth and find all means to capture people’s attention to their good abilities and be praised.
(g). Unteachable: They believe they know it all and can’t learn anything from anyone. They feel superior and with this attribute they easily fall into mistakes even minor mistakes that are avoidable and make them to crash down easily. People keep valuable words away from them because they believe they will not accept and when proud people make a mistake, they like to cover up to maintain their ego which make them to continue to stumble from one mistake to another until they explode and fall totally even death can result
(h). They are always hurtful and let people believe that is their nature or being or that is my person you must adapt with or leave. They display a domineering spirit and will not care if they are affecting others with these attributes.
(i). They are jealous and envious because they want to be praised alone and unwilling to commit their abilities to please God neither will they submit to God’s will. If anyone seem to do better than them they put up envy and enmity towards the person
(j). They appear defensive and command respect, they believe it can’t be my fault and like to attack or revenge to defend their ego or justify themselves. They rarely admit their faults or sinful ways or ask for forgiveness. Sorry is never in their language because they feel sorry will punch their ego.
(k). They resist authority and are disrespectful. They are less concerned about the welfare of others. They are unapproachable and they take preference in their choice which assist them to form clique to fit their standard. Pretenders are always attractive to them and they always have pretenders flocking around them because they flow along with the fake dispositions they put across to them and this is one of the factors that make proud people fall easily.
BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF PRIDE
King Nebuchadnezzar Daniel 3:1-7
King Pharaoh Exodus 5:2-9
King Uzziah 2 Chronicle 26:16-21
Moab Isaiah 16:6, Jeremiah 48:29
Simon the magician Acts 8:9-11
CONSEQUENCIES OF BEING PROUD
Contention Proverb 13:10
Dishonor and disgrace Proverb 11:2
Not right with God Habbakuk 2:4
Proud people deny God Psalm 10:3-4
They are prone to down fall and destruction Proverb 16:18, Proverb 29:23, Isaiah 2:11
Pride causes battle within James 4:1
Pride leads to death Proverb 14:12
Pride causes quarrel Proverb 17:10
Pride causes slander James 4:11-12
Pride causes loss of blessings
HOW TO OVERCOME PRIDE
Pride can be controlled and overcome through the following guidelines
Surrender your life to Jesus, let Him be the first and the last in your life
Identify this great weakness and work on it strictly, without accepting you are proud, you can’t come out of it
Always have it at the back of your mind that you can learn from anyone even from a little child and learning is on-going until we enter the grave. Always walk through life as if you have something to learn
See all the acquired things of the world as privileges given to you by God to use for His glory and see them as vain things because we will take nothing back when we die. God giveth and taketh, God lifteth up and pulleth down
Avoid listening to your thought only, seek direction from God always and obey Him and if need be, seek Godly counsel from faithful and experienced ministers of God and always pray
Learn to listen more than talking. Sometimes you admit you don’t know, gather knowledge and experience from people. Learn from other’s fall don’t be a victim to learn
Try to earn respect, don’t command it. Respect everyone both young or old. When you respect others, you automatically earn respect and honor
Be open minded and don’t force your opinion on others
Learn to say sorry and always seek peace with people, appreciate correction in some cases as necessary
Learn to appreciate God and others around you
Pride is SIN. It closes the mind to learning, causes selfishness and jeopardizes the positive and successful roles of a leader. It gives easy access to downfall and total destruction. There is nothing God cannot handle, surrender your life to Jesus Christ and He will break you and re – mould you. He is our maker and can fix up areas that need amendment in our lives. Give your life to Jesus. Confess areas that you have displayed pride and genuinely repent and His grace will be more than sufficient for you in Jesus name. AMEN
Text: James 4:5-6, 10 & 16, Ezekiel 28:12 – 18, Isaiah 14:12 – 17