Pride kills life. It will ruin your pleasure of someone else's company. It
murders friendships and tarnishes relationships.
Embedded pride blinds the eyes and stops the ears and makes a way for
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit
before a fall.
The shortened version 'Pride goes before. . .a fall'
misses the harder tone of the word 'destruction'.
Pride gives vent to presumptuous thought. Imagination let loose for self
exaltation. The bible is full of reference to this kind of imagination out of an
. . . proud in the imaginations of their hearts.
Luke 1:51 (see Genesis 6:5, 8:21, Jeremiah 7:24, 23:17
Pride always has an answer: There is nothing said to which it does not give
a reply or judgment.
Pride always thinks it knows better - has heard it before - it is never
Pride changes its story to appear that it was not in error in the 1st place.
It kills your ability to hear God because,
God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
So, how can we know we have pride if it makes us blind?
How can we realise its existence in us when we are blind to it?
I once asked the Lord that very question.
Because I had come to realise I was having a big problem with pride and it
was dominating my life. Killing it.
It was a season which begun or accelerated a home for pride in me as a
result of presumptuous thought. I had begun to believe in my own self
MAKING A HOME FOR PRIDE
In the late 1970s when in my late teens I was studying at a College of
Further Education in Tonbridge a town in the South of England. The Course was
for a Diploma in Automobile Engineering and Motor Retail Trade Management. At
the same time we were covering Motor Vehicle Technicians and Crafts examinations
with the City and Guilds Institutes of London. A 3 year deal. at the end of the
2nd year Motor Vehicle Technicians II and Crafts II exams were carried out and I
recall praying for help (as one does).
I recall specifically asking for help in revising what was needed. On one
occasion this led to revising exactly what was in an exam paper immediately
before that very test.
So it should have been no surprise when the results came through later that
year that 'Distinction' was the mark given for those exams. It had been a
partnership with the Lord in bringing about. That was fair enough until...
A few months later, the news filtered through that I had got the best marks
in the Country for the Technicians Exam and the 2nd best marks in the Country
for the Crafts. This is rewarded by the issuing of Sterling Silver medals by the
City and Guilds body in London.
Now soon after, I started thinking ''Well just one exam fine, but TWO must
mean I must have a certain ability above everybody else...''
O, O, that was a clear invitation for PRIDE as I came to believe that
But Ability is not Availability. My being available to God and His
use of me does not reflect on my ability (or any greatness in me), but His
faithfulness. No matter how able, it is your availability which God looks for. A
heart attitude and a mind set to do God's will knowing that without God we can
do nothing - John 15:5 'without Me you can do nothing'
So, having lived with pride and come to recognise (after a time) I had a
problem with it, I prayed,
Lord, how can I know I have pride in my heart when it
makes me blind to its very presence?
The Lord led me to read Psalm 34:1-3
I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall
continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the LORD;
the humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt His name together.
What he then taught me from was Verse 2
My soul shall makes its boast in the LORD; the humble
shall hear of it and be glad.
My attention was drawn to 'the humble shall hear of it and
be glad', that is to say, the proud shall hear and not be glad.
This got me interested.
What do the proud hear and are not glad about?
When someone shares about what the Lord has done for them (and it has
nothing to do with me), if I am glad for them then I am not proud, but humble.
When I am not glad, but listen with something else to add (to 'their'
story), then I am proud.
This opened my eyes to catching - to noticing - the existence of pride in my
heart. By the act of seeing how I reacted to what others were sharing with me.
By seeing the fruit of pride I could know of its existence.
WHAT TO DO
As I recognised I was not listening to others (listening 'with them') I saw
pride in my heart.
Then, while they were still talking I would cry in my heart to the Lord for
help to really listen. I would make extra effort to concentrate on hearing the
other person. As if the whole purpose of my existence at that moment was to
listen and be there for that person.
Doing that set me on a path of overcoming pride. Sometimes I would confess
'I am sorry, I did not hear properly, please say it again'. I could bless the
person with 'that's great!', 'terrific!', 'Well done!' without adding any more
(of myself - or my own judgment).
OTHER TOOLS TO HELP
You can also 'catch' pride's presence by recognising presumptuous thoughts
active in your mind. By imagination running loose. This is not the same as
visualising or picturing something, but thoughts based on self-exaltation.
Once recognised just confess it to the Lord and move on. It is the work of,
. . . casting down arguments and every high thing
that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into
captivity to the obedience of Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5
If it persists, then a great tool is fasting. I have found this useful
especially if it persists immediately before a time of service or ministry in
the midst of other folk - just to go without food with the intent of humbling my
soul so I can hear God and be generally more effective/of use. David wrote,
. . . I humbled myself with fasting . . .
So, are you listening and glad for your Brother or Sister's
O, to have your heart O God. A 'tender
(2 Chronicles 34:27 cf. Vss 18-28)