Are you a prideful person? Of course not. That’s not something we think about ourselves. Do you know some prideful people? How about someone who is always at the center of conflict? I think pride and conflict sometimes go hand in hand.
In fact conflict is never higher than when one or both of the participants are filled with pride. Oh yes, pride. That monster inside that says, “Look at me and my experience. Look at what I’ve accomplished. I’m the best and I’m right and anyone who disagrees is an idiot.” OK, maybe pride isn’t always so direct, but we do tend to take offense at the suggestion that our way is not the correct way.
I think pride is the part of us that wants to gain, obtain and remain. We want to gain favor with people. We want to obtain wealth and status. We want to remain on top as long as possible. I think these are at the core, some basic human desires. The key thing is that they benefit ME. When it comes to conflict, people who are prideful are usually looking out for their own ego. They are more concerned with the way other people see them than the ones who disagree with them. They want to be proven right and are willing to fight for it.
Psalm 138:6 (NLT) Though the Lord is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud.
There is absolutely none greater than God, yet He aligns Himself with the humble and distances himself from the proud. In fact, another scriptures says that God actually opposes the proud (James 4:6). The simple truth that pride insists upon its own way, while humility is more willing to yield. God has never forced someone to follow Him, but gently guides us toward truth.
As long as we think we have all the answers, we are headed for certain destruction. Pride will eventually destroy relationships, careers and most importantly our eternity.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV) If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Humility is a vital component of repentance. To seek the Lord is to recognize that you have need of the Lord. To turn from your wicked ways is to recognize that your way is the wrong way. Please take note that the scripture says if God’s people will humble THEMSELVES.
Humility is a process we must initiate. As we age, most people do not naturally become more humble, at least not without some humiliation. As we get older, we tend to get set in our ways and our thinking patterns become more rigid and concrete. Changing enough to admit we are wrong is often like taking a sledge hammer and breaking that concrete. It’s not an easy, nor enjoyable process.
Today I just challenge you to examine your own life. If you haven’t caught on by now, I believe we should ALWAYS be examining our lives, open to receiving correction from the Lord. We don’t naturally see ourselves as prideful people, but perhaps there are some areas in your life where you are a bit rigid and resistant to the tug of God on your heart to change.
Always be open to the Spirit’s prompting, even if it seems like a small thing that wouldn’t make much of a difference. Never underestimate how even a small change can impact the quality and effectiveness of your life. Let us continually strive to lay our lives before the Lord and yield to His pans.
Let us make every effort to be humble.