Sunday, June 28, 2009
While it is important to think well of yourself, there is a danger to think too highly of yourself. The Bible speaks a good deal about pride. In the New Testament, in the book of Romans 12:3 we are told: "...Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you." This is good advice, because thinking too highly of yourself will lead to pridefulness, and with pride there comes many problems.
So what are the problems that arise when one is proud? One issue that can arise is disgrace. Proverbs 11:3 says, "When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom." Disgrace comes because at some point in the process, when someone is prideful, they will tend to misjudge the situation or problem, and fall short. With this there is great embarrassment, because the person went in spouting off words of great confidence. Second, there is conflict. Proverbs 13:10 tells us, "Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice." Pride leads a person to think that they know it all. When this happens, they fail to seek or accept advice from others. If others try and give them counsel, it often turns into a conflict because the person shuts themselves off from the knowledge given by people. Third, it can lead to destruction. Again, looking at the book of Proverbs, we are told in Proverbs 16:18, "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." To be proud will lead us to have the wrong focus. We focus on ourselves, our own desires, our own plans. Because of this, we lack the wisdom we need to succeed, and thus will experience a fall.
So how do we keep from being prideful? I believe the answer is accountability. We don't practice accountability much anymore, but it is very beneficial in spiritual growth. Accountability is like having a sidekick. You might remember how Ed McMahon was a sidekick to Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show. Every so often McMahon would put Carson in his place with a nice little jab. These little jabs would keep Johnny from getting a big head.
Because pride keeps us from being godly, we need to let God lead us to those who will keep us accountable and will encourage us to be godly. We need to have others who can point out the pride in us, and challenge us to be more humble, and to rely on God more. It is difficult to admit we are prideful, and to see that pride in ourselves. Ask a trusted friend if they will help you with this. It will make a big difference in your life.