Proverbs 16:18-19 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. 19 Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
I know this verse well… not because I recognized its practical truth and labored diligently to memorize these words. Rather, I was a cocky and arrogant child in my pre-teen and teenage years, so my mother would quote vs. 18 to me often. It got to the point where she didn’t even have to say the words. I’d be bragging about something wonderful I’d done and she’d just echo back at me, “Proverbs 16:18.” The worst was when she’d make me tell her what the verse said!
I hated that verse… but that didn’t make it any less true. That’s how the word of God is supposed to work. It irritates us, confronts our weaknesses, challenges our thinking. And over and over again… when we finally stop resisting, arguing and justifying, and simply accept it… God’s word proves itself to be true.
I have experienced so much pain and hardship in my life because of my pride. In Genesis, we see that God created mankind for fellowship… with Him and with each other. We are relational beings. Pride stands against the very purpose for which we were created. Lucifer lived in the presence of God Almighty and knew His constant fellowship, but pride destroyed that relationship and drove him from Heaven and the Creator’s presence. Adam and Eve walked the Garden of Eden with God in the cool of the day until the serpent tempted Eve with the idea that she could be like God. Her resulting disobedience, fueled by pride, drove her and her husband from the garden… and God’s presence… forever.
When I yield to pride in my own life, it will always affect my relationship with my Heavenly Father. Ultimately, pride says, “God, I don’t need You. I’ve got this!” Problem is, I don’t ‘got this.’ Not even close! I need Him desperately, at all times, in every situation. I can’t depend on God and be prideful at the same time.
Pride also affects my relationships with others. Marriage, parenting, friendships, ministry, the workplace… all suffer when my pride rises up. I put myself before others and we all pay the price.
In the end, pride sets me up to fall. God won’t allow pride to go unchecked. If I won’t confront it, He will. Sometimes, he’ll humble me through circumstances that reveal the emptiness of my vanity. Often though, I’m blinded by my own skewed perspective and trip over my own feet! Either way, if I don’t confront pride, I’ll soon find myself confronting much bigger problems.