It was interesting to find out that the main antonym for pride is humility. Humility is defined as having a modest opinion or estimate of one's importance or rank or status. When we hear of someone described as being humble, it sometimes gives the impression of a doormat. Humility can also be expressed as lowliness - a modest expression of attitude or behaviour or meekness - modest patience. Submissiveness, (which in my opinion is greatly misunderstood in the christian church), is defined simply as being humbly (modestly) obedient.
Pride on the other hand has many faces. It is not only a good thing but also a good feeling to be proud of one's accomplishments in life. Pride shows it's negative side when we have and display an exaggerated opinion of ourselves or abilities. In other words, when "I am 'It' and 'All of that' and 'More than this' become our nick-names!
Such arrogance is bad enough when we compare ourselves with other people as we try our best to show them for example, that we are far superior to them (according to our measuring scale). However, when we bring this before God, that' a big no, no! (Don't get me wrong - arrogance is not acceptable even before our fellow men and women.) When we are proud before God, we tell him that we are self-made! If we become an 'It' and 'All of that' and 'More than this', we have just declared that we are gods unto ourselves and dethroned the almighty God!
Mr. and Mrs. Pride are the ones who know it all, have it all and are self-made, owing their achievements to no-one except themselves! In short, they are gods unto themselves! Now, as we all know, God does not mind lowering himself for us, as he did when he came off his throne, came down to earth and dwelt as man amongst us - for our sakes. It is when we do the de-throning, sharing or taking his glory, that we get into trouble. Since there is only one God, any other god IS therefore an idol! The proud man also belongs to this group. In Isaiah 42:8, it is written:
I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. (English Standard Version)
One may think that pride is not such a big deal but Proverbs 6:17 tells us that pride is one of the things that the Lord hates. Pride gives us an overly pompous idea of who we are and/or what we have, to the extent of believing we cannot fall (Obadiah 1:3). Proverbs 16:18 informs us that pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall (NIV). I love the way 'The Message Bible' puts it:
First pride, then the crash- the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.
To prove how true this scripture is, 2 Chronicles 26 gives us the perfect example. It's about Uzziah who became king at the young age of sixteen and depended on God in the early days of his reign. As a result, God gave him success in all his endeavours and made him powerful - the reason for his fame. However, when he became powerful, pride set up home with him. He thought he was 'It' and 'All that' and 'More than this' and decided to carry out a priestly duty - the burning of incense, which only consecrated priests were allowed to do. Had he been wise, he would have asked for forgiveness and got out of the temple quickly. Oh no! Instead, he stood there in the temple of God, ranting and raving. I suppose he was reminding the priests who were against his senseless action exactly who he was. God dealt with him right there and then: First pride, then the crash- the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.
This confirms what Proverbs 11:2 tells us: When pride comes, then comes disgrace.... King Uzziah was stricken with leprosy and spent the rest of his life as a leper, excluded from the house of the Lord. The rewards of humility include being guided in what is right (Psalm 25:9), crowned in victory (Psalm 149:4) and favoured (Proverbs 3:34).
PRAYER: Dear Lord, please give me the grace to be humble and resist anything that will dethrone you in my life, in Jesus' name, Amen.
(P.S. If this article has blessed you, do share it with someone.)
Till next week, keep on walking in Christ.