Life Lessons: Pride and Humility

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Life Lessons

Pride and Humility

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Humility means having a proper view of oneself in relationship to God and others. It is the ability to put the needs of others above your own, respect the opinions of others and possess a willingness to work as a team instead of always having to wield personal control on every situation.

Pride, on the other hand, is an exalted viewpoint of one’s own self-importance. Pride is a state of mind that always sees one’s own needs and opinions as superior to others. A prideful person treats others as inferior and is easily offended. Pride is a primary cause of destroyed relationships, personal and collective failure and a root of evil.

Points to build on

A prideful person can’t grow in wisdom because he values his own opinion even when he is wrong. Wisdom is learned through a humble spirit.

Proverbs 11:2 Proverbs 11:2When pride comes, then comes shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.
American King James Version×
: “When pride comes, then comes shame, but with the humble is wisdom.”

Pride leads to constant strife and conflicts.

Proverbs 13:10 Proverbs 13:10Only by pride comes contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
American King James Version×
: “By pride comes only contention, but with the well-advised is wisdom.” Notice the link between being “well-advised” and wisdom. A humble person is willing to consider the advice of others.

A humble person realizes his or her spiritual poverty before the righteous Creator.

Proverbs 15:33 Proverbs 15:33The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility.
American King James Version×
: “The fear of the LORD is the instruction in wisdom, and before honor is humility.”

Proverbs 16:5 Proverbs 16:5Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
American King James Version×
: “Everyone who is proud in the heart is an abomination to the LORD…”

Pride eventually leads to bitterness and loss.

Proverbs 16:18 Proverbs 16:18Pride goes before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
American King James Version×
: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

Proverbs 18:12 Proverbs 18:12Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honor is humility.
American King James Version×
: “Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor is humility.”

Proverbs 29:23 Proverbs 29:23A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit.
American King James Version×
: “A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor.”

It is better to associate with the poor and humble than share wealth with the proud.

Proverbs 16:19 Proverbs 16:19Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
American King James Version×
: “Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.” It is common for people to honor the proud in business, sports and entertainment as heroes.

Application

Pride is difficult to detect in ourselves because it is a refusal to admit wrong or see a need to change.

Humility begins with a deep understanding of how worthless we are as corrupt human beings before the Creator. Jesus told the parable of the tax collector who wouldn’t even look up to heaven but cried out, “God be merciful to me a sinner!” The Pharisee was so self-confident in his own goodness that instead of praising God his prayer was filled with self-praise.

Humility is experienced in how we think and feel. A humble person has no need to constantly defend himself or an emotional need to control others. A humble person’s thoughts aren’t always centered on his or her needs and wants, or constantly needing the spotlight. Instead, the humble person also thinks about what is good for others, is willing to share and sometimes endures wrong for the greater good.

Humility is exhibited in how we treat other people. A humble person sees the value in others as children of God and treats them accordingly.

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