How To Stop Pride From Destroying Your Life

Keith KettenringBible Insights, Christian Living, Ministry Leaders, The Uncommon Journey

I was sitting with a college president a number of years ago at a Black Angus Steakhouse. The topic of a recently fallen prominent Christian leader came up. The president commented that perhaps a reason for the man’s failings was that, “He began to read his own press releases.” In other words, he started to believe what others where saying about him which inflated his ego and led to his fall. It can happen to any of us. But, “successful” leaders are especially vulnerable to the sin of pride.

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Basic Principles

  • Pride must be attacked indirectly. You can’t just stop being proud. You methodically destroy the underpinnings of pride and it begins to collapse.
  • Pride is so pervasive and characteristic that you have difficulty seeing it in yourself. You need to be open to ways that God is humbling you – suffering, trials, words spoken by someone, words written in Scripture or a book, pain, or failures.
  • Pride is what you think of yourself. It is self-perception. But, when you learn to live from your heart you gain a proper perspective on all things including how you view yourself.
  • Pride must be dealt with intentionally and rigorously. It is too powerful to be treated casually. Battle it every day for a lifetime.

As a Christian you are aware of pride’s devastating power.

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom” (Proverbs 11.2).

Yet, you may feel powerless to do anything about it.

Help for dealing with pride

  1. Think of pride in new terms. The word “pride” has lost much of its magnitude and punch. It is good to substitute other words to heighten your understanding of its destructive power. Words like Self-importance, Self-sufficiency, Self-love, Egotism/egoism, Arrogance, Conceit, Bluster, Haughty, High-minded, and Vanity/vainglory portray pride as it really is.
  2. Endure suffering. Suffering is one of God’s ways of humbling you. Embrace it. Learn from it. (James 1.2-4)
  3. Place yourself under the wise guidance of another and learn obedience (1 Pt 5.5). It’s humbling to do something just because you’re told to. That you don’t obey anyone but yourself tells you something.
  4. Put your trust in God alone not in proud people (Ps 40.4).
  5. Serve others in small ways (Jn 13.13-17). Jesus washed His disciple’s feet. Do something for another anonymously or without desire for recognition. Serve the poor and those in need.
  6. Pray (James 4.10). Kneel, prostrate, or bow when you pray. These movements of humility in prayer act upon your mind and heart. In repentance, ask for a spirit of humility. “Lord, open the eyes of my heart to see the truth about myself.”
  7. Be vigilant. You will always carry with you a sense of “self-something.” Acknowledge that fact. Don’t be surprised when pride shows itself. Admit it. Denying your pride keeps you in darkness.
  8. Be thankful for all things. Instead of feeling hurt when ignored or prideful when praised, be thankful either way. This is the single best way to deal with pride. Say, “Thank you, Lord!” for ALL things.

Where will you begin? Pick out a couple ways to deal with your pride and put them into action. Share your journey below.

Dr. K