Biblical Definition Of Pride
Pride is the root of many of the problems that we face. It is, “self-respect or improper and excessive self-esteem known as conceit or arrogance (gotquestions.org).” Pride can be defined as elevating one`s opinions and thoughts above God`s authoritative Word. It shows its ugly face in many forms, and one of these forms is relying on your own strength and wisdom to be successful. In any given situation, we can be sure that God knows what is best because He is all-knowing and all-powerful. When we begin to do things our own way rather than how God wants us to do things, we can be sure that we will fail. Pride can be the downfall of a person or a nation. God`s word tells us that pride goes before destruction (Proverbs 16:18). In Isaiah, we read about how Satan was cast out of heaven because of pride (Isaiah 14:12-15). Solomon speaks of the pride of fools in Proverbs and second Chronicles describes a king who became proud and that pride led to his destruction. Pride is refusing to see yourself as God sees you. Ultimately, pride is extreme love and focus on oneself. “That kind of pride that stems from self-righteousness or conceit is sin, however, and God hates it because it is a hindrance to seeking Him (gotquestions.org).”
Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty Spirit before a fall.”
The Story Of Uzziah
Both the Old and New Testament gives us a picture of the destruction that a prideful spirit can bring about. Second Chronicles twenty-six tells the story of a man who became king of Judah at just sixteen years old. He reigned in Jerusalem for fifty-two years and, “did what was right in the sight of the Lord…He sought God…and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper (2 Chronicles 26:3-5).” The chapter goes on to describe how Uzziah was successful in war and his fame started to spread as far as the entrance of Egypt because of his strength. He was innovative and intelligent, and he helped Judah prosper. He built towers and fortified them, dug wells, had livestock, farmers, vinedressers, and he was the commander of a whole army of men. Uzziah prepared shields, spears, helmets, body armor, bows, and slings for his army. His fame spread far and wide, all over the ancient world (vs. 8;15).
Second Chronicles 26:16, “But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed against the Lord his God by entering the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.”
Biblical Definition Of Pride: The Downfall Of Uzziah
It`s evident that Uzziah prospered while he sought to obey the Lord, but as soon as he abandoned God`s word and relied on his own strength, he failed immediately. Uzziah decided to enter the temple and burn incense on the altar. This was wrong because God had set it up in a way that only the priests were allowed to burn incense on the altar. Uzziah attempted to go into the temple himself, therefore, abandoning the clear instruction that God had given. When Uzziah attempted to do things his way, he was implying that his ways were better than God`s way.
“So Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him were eighty priests of the Lord—valiant men. 18 And they withstood King Uzziah, and said to him, ‘It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have trespassed! You shall have no honor from the Lord God.’ “
Uzziah had a censer in his hand to burn incense and he was struck with leprosy as he stood beside the incense altar. Uzziah was thrown out of the temple and he remained a leper “until the day of his death (vs. 21).” It`s important to note that Uzziah was doing something that was considered a “good thing.” The problem was his heart behind the action. He took the liberty of going outside of what God had set up and sought to do something that God had not ordained for him to do. Uzziah wanted to do something that God had set up for the Levites to do and for him to attempt to take on that role was wrong.
How Does God View Pride?
God is clear about how he views a prideful heart. There are several passages of Scripture that tell us how God views pride. Proverbs 8:13 says, “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.” Proverbs 6:16-17 says, “These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood.” Psalm 10:4, “In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.”
How Should We Respond?
In humility, before the one true God. We should humble ourselves before the almighty God, acknowledging and revering Him for His majesty and glory. He alone is worthy of all praise, honor, and glory. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His ways are better than our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). We should view ourselves the way that He views us and strive to live in a way that is pleasing to Him. As a believer, my focus should be on Jesus and who I am because of Him.
C.S Lewis once wrote, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.”
Colossians 3:12 says, “Therefore, as God`s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
I Peter 5:6 says, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
God wants us to have a relationship with Him and our pride gets in the way of that relationship. At Ethnos360 Bible Institute, we value God`s word and we value bringing our thoughts in line with His word. At EBI, you will spend two years sitting through chronological Bible teaching, learning about God`s desire to have a relationship with all people. Request your free information packet today!