Summary: I talk about what pride is, how God feels about it, and what to do about it in our lives.

Dealing With Pride

Intro: A minister received a Christmas card with a note in it from a lady in his congregation. He said she was very complimentary about his preaching, & compared him with Billy Graham. She finished by writing, "I think you are one of the really great preachers of all time." Later that day, when he showed the note to his wife, she asked, "Who is that woman?" He replied, "She is a very intelligent woman in the congregation who loves great preaching." He then asked his wife, "How many great preachers do you suppose there really are in the world?" She replied, "One less than you think."Contributed by: MELVIN NEWLAND (

I want to talk to you about something tonight that I claim no mastery over and that is pride. What is pride? Pride means to act arrogantly; a high opinion of ones worth, self conceit. Quote: "Pride, the idolatrous worship of self, is the national religion of hell." Contributed by: Mary Lewis

We all know people that by their actions we would nominate them as prideful people. But let us be careful because pride shows up even in the lives of every person sometimes without us even recognizing it. As a matter of fact there are not a lot of sins out there that we don’t attribute to pride. For example, when one cheats what he is saying is I can’t get caught. This is o.k., it serves my need. When a person lies what he/she is saying is I don’t want to tell the truth because I am afraid that I may look bad. When a person commits adultery what they are doing is acting out of the mentality that they want what somebody else has and won’t stop until they have it. Pride is very competitive by nature. Competitive in the sense that you’ll stop at nothing to make sure you are always on the winning side because you don’t want to look inferior. Or you’ll stop at nothing to make sure you are seen as the most important or the prettiest in the room.

Illustration: A young woman went to her pastor and said, "Pastor, I have a besetting sin, and I want your help. I come to church on Sunday and can’t help thinking I’m the prettiest girl in the congregation. I know I ought not think that, but I can’t help it. I want you to help me with it." The pastor replied, "Mary, don’t worry about it. In your case it’s not a sin. It’s just a horrible mistake." (Haddon Robinson, "Good Guys, Bad Guys, and Us Guys," (contributed by: Darren Ethier (

God has some very explicit things to say about pride that we need to pay close attention to. Let’s look at those verses. Proverbs 6:13 says 16 There are six things the LORD hates.

There are seven things he cannot stand: 17 a proud look…” (NCV). The writer of Proverbs puts pride ahead of murder. It’s not that murder is less severe it’s just than on God’s top ten list of things that he hates, pride is number one. Proverbs 8:13 says, 13 All who fear the LORD will hate evil. That is why I hate pride, arrogance, corruption, and perverted speech.”

So, God hates the sin of pride. He calls it evil. He does not hate the prideful person but he hates the pride in the person. That’s important for us to understand. Why is it that God feels so strongly about pride? Here are some reasons:

· Pride promotes self-sufficiency rather than God-sufficiency. Attitudes like, “I can do it myself, I do not need anyone else” is common with prideful people. Another attitude is I want it my way. Our culture screams this at us all the time. Unfortunately, our self-centered society influences us more than we think.

· Most sin has its roots in pride. Argumentative, lying, cheating

Illustration: I think about most of the disagreements Amanda and I have fought over and to be honest the reason is pride. I remember we had one of our biggest disagreements in the reception hall of a church after the wedding of one of Amanda’s friends. My pride welled up within me and showed forth in my disapproval of wanting to be there. Guys, don’t ever say, ‘you stay here and I will come back and get you.” I learned it’s not a very smart thing to say.

· Another reason God feels so strongly about pride it has the capability of destroying our lives. Pride is a ticking time-bomb.

Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” I like what the Message Translation of this verse says: “First pride—then the crash—the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.”

I think about sports stars who seem to have it all: fame, money, a great career, relationships. Time after time we see one celebrity or sports star after the next who come out and after living the high life and destroying everything they held dear because they thought they were invincible. Chipper Jones, Deion Sanders, Majic Johnson—all these men let there pride take them over the edge and they suffered deeply for it. But some people don’t get the chance to live to tell about it. God is serious about pride’s destructiveness. But, it’s not just in the sports arena. It’s in the business world. How many times have we been reminded in the last couple of years what happens when greed and pride take over. Very powerful men and women who think nothing of themselves can end up losing it all. It’s not just in the business world either.

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