Proverbs 16:18, 19 NIV
“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.”
The dictionary/worldly meaning of Pride is conceit, self-esteem, egotism, vanity, vainglory, imply an unduly favorable idea of one’s own appearance, advantages, achievements, etc. Pride is a lofty and often arrogant assumption of superiority in some respect. Conceit implies an exaggerated estimate of one’s own abilities or attainments, together with pride, is a lethal combination. Self-esteem may imply an estimate of oneself that is higher than that held by others. Egotism implies an excessive preoccupation with oneself or with one’s own concerns, usually but not always accompanied by pride or conceit: His egotism blinded him to others’ difficulties. Vanity implies self-admiration and an excessive desire to be admired by others: His vanity was easily flattered. Vainglory, somewhat literal, implies an inordinate and therefore empty or unjustified pride: puffed up by vainglory or boast. The opposite is humility.
The spiritual meaning of Pride is a demonic control of any person, to enable them to disobey God. It is a spirit of usurp, insurrection and wickedness. A proud person is arrogant, selfish, lies, cheats, refuses truthful instructions from others, and does not care about the feelings of others. Pride believes the lies of the devil against God, a destroyer of relationships, marriage, family, and peace. Pride listens to evil, assumes evil, and does evil. Any person with pride can kill without reason, simply to prove and protect their ego. Pride was the first sin. The sin in heaven where Lucifer (now Satan) assumed to be like God (Isaiah 14:12-15). Pride is in the heart, expressed through words. “And he (Jesus) said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” (Mark 7:20-23). So through a mere conversation, one can tell your spiritual foundation.
The difference between pride and boldness is that pride is evil, boldness is holy. Boldness defends good while pride builds evil. Boldness is the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, the utterance to speak the truth regardless who it offends. On the contrary, pride hates the truth, and will do anything to stop it. A bold person accepts corrections, humbles him/herself. The pride rejects it, fights it, and can even kill to defend their actions. Example is the king Hezekiah when corrected by the prophet! “Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah.” (2 Chronicles 32:26). When you are humble, that removes God’s anger, and heal the meek.
“Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18) “The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined. The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” (Psalms 10:2,4). Since the proud does not know the spiritual boundaries, they go after the weak who were made strong by the Lord. That gets them in trouble, defeat and anguish.”When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2)
I have been in this spiritual walk for sometime now. As the leader of a church, I have seen many proud, sick, hopeless people come to church… fight the preacher, the gospel, God, and then left. Some will draw others to themselves, deceive them, and move them away. Years after, their future became worse than their past. “Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.” (Proverbs 13:10). The bold and humble on the other han, their future is always better than their past; more life, health, increases, joy, peace, etc.
“A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.” (Proverbs 29:23). Since pride is pushed by a man’s will, it contradicts God’s will. God always wins! This leaves nothing but shame to the proud.
As a believer, you must reject pride. Because we are dealing with spiritual matters, being proud blankets our discerning ability. In pride, we may even ignore life-saving counsel. “Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.” (1 Timothy 3:6). All pride in the eyes of God is treated the same. Reason being, the father of pride is Satan, and he is the real enemy. When you are proud, you become the agent of the Satan; the enemy to the word of God, and the children of God, you and me.
Believe it or not, all that you are fighting for, defending and wading for is vanity. That will one day come to an end. Remember this, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1 John 2:16-17). As your assignment, check the end of all tyrants, dictators, mobsters, fraudsters, shyster, gang-bangers, etc.
Dealing with pride starts with admitting it first. An in-denial person can not make changes, regardless how effective the solution is! Do you feel that you are a proud person? Do you know how to correct yourself? Do you want to change? MY OPINION: Meditate on this scripture for a week, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8). When you think of others as you think of yourself, you will be humbled. Avoid any relationship that feeds your weakness, or encourages your prideful habits. Try to stay positive, even if it means to lose a friend! Remember that if your friends are not willing to go through this change with you, they will definitely fight you. So pray for them, as well as yourself.
“Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me.” (Psalms 36:11)
Stay blessed. Amen.
Scripture of the day: He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight. ~ Luke 16:15
From Pastor Peter Okereke Jr.
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