Pride – one of the 7 things God hates.
God hates pride. We know that from the book of Proverbs. In this book, Solomon writes about wisdom, prudence, understanding, and how to live. He specifically mentions six things God hates, actually seven that are detestable to Him.
As a child and even as I grew older, I rather assumed those things were not something of which a Christian could be guilty. For God hates sin, and those of us who belong to Him could not possibly be guilty of doing or being something He hates! Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Recently I decided to take a close look at all seven of these things. I’ve read this scripture every year for the past dozen years, but I’ve never dug deep under the soil of these verses to find what is hidden there. Join me on this seven-week journey to learn more about the things God hates – and why.
Haughty eyes and a proud look, these are signs of arrogance. When we stick our noses up in the air at other people, we are arrogant, haughty, and proud. God hates this about us. Jesus told a parable of the Pharisee and the publican (tax collector).
The story illustrates pride in a literal way. The wealthy leader of his time prayed out loud, comparing himself to someone he considered lowlier than himself. As he prayed, he listed the ways in which he was not like that other man, how all the things he did warranted favor with God.
The publican, on the other hand, recognized his sinfulness and couldn’t even raise his eyes to heaven. All he could say was, “Be merciful to me, a sinner.” How opposite of pride this was!
Jesus said those of us who exalt ourselves are proud. He also said that God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. When we experience His grace, can we not say then that God has given this to us?
Symptoms of pride
Signs that we have pride in our lives can be evidenced by these things:
- comparing ourselves to others. Yes. If we need to compare our marriage, money, house, job, kids, church, or practices with others, we have pride.
- bragging about accomplishments. Yes, that’s exalting ourselves. When we need to make sure someone knows who we know, what we’ve done, or where we’ve been, we are bragging. That, too, is pride. How much we’ve made on a job, how much we saved by haggling, how we skimmed off an amount – that’s pride. Both doing it and bragging about it is prideful.
- keeping mum about trials and problems so no one (or hardly anyone) knows because we don’t want people asking or getting involved. Yes. That’s pride. While it’s true that sometimes we don’t share information because we can’t trust our audience to keep our confidence, there are times we won’t share because we don’t want others to know what we are facing; we don’t want others to help bear a burden; we want to face it alone because we don’t want others to know information that reflects badly of us. That’s pride.
- helping others in ways that broadcasts our involvement to others so all will know that we have helped. Sure, we might make some sacrifices along the way because we want to help – but we make sure people know (either by what we do or how we do it) to give us the credit. Oh, that’s pride, too. When we find joy in helping others without anyone finding out, we can know our pride is gone.
- humble pride. Putting ourselves down so others can elevate us is prideful. Making certain others know of our spirituality by acting humble is prideful. Not acknowledging compliments because we think accepting compliments is prideful. In reality, when we do something because of our “humility”, we’re really not humble. Our motive reveals our humility or pride.
- refusing to compliment those who have succeeded – whether it’s in business, weight control, accomplishments of kids, or blessing others because of their gifting – that’s pride. When we can’t bring ourselves to bless someone with a genuine compliment, we’re filled with self instead of the Spirit of God.
Root of Pride
Pride comes from the root of SELF. When I am proud, it’s all about me, what I want, where I hurt, and how I can survive. Self digs in, digs down, and produces the unhealthy fruit of pride. The more we continue to focus on “self” and do the things listed above, the greater the struggle to get rid of pride.
The cure for pride.
This object of God’s hate is easy to recognize and talk about, but so difficult to eliminate from our character. Sometimes it really is hard to see pride in ourselves. Yet, if we are going to root it out, we must identify pride for what it is: being full of self.
Admit it’s there, and call it by its name. Confess it to God and ask for His forgiveness. Make a conscious effort to push pride away by deliberately going against your Self. This means closing the door to the habit of comparing and bragging. Open the door to genuine compliments. Start helping others when no one can find out. Begin handing out genuine compliments and, when others pay you a compliment, express thanks without explaining how hard it was, how you really are not that talented, or how “it was nothing.”
The truth is that we are born with that evil seed already imbedded in us. To live a life worthy of God’s calling, we must root out selfishness and pride. We are never free from the danger of its growth. Recognizing that fact is a prerequisite for annihilating the emotion. It’s a continual fight and, while we might lose a battle, we can still win the war!
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