A feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements.

This is the definition of pride according to dictionary.com.

Pride can manifest itself in many ways. It can be in the explicit form of boasting and showing off to others about our own achievements. It can also be rejecting help from others even when we desperately need help because of the fear of being perceived as incapable. However, many times, it can also be manifested in our false humility. For instance, when someone affirms us for our gift that God has graced upon us, we may choose to shy away from the affirmation.

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. (1 Peter 5:5 ; James 4:6)

Do you see persons wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for fools than for them. (Proverbs 26:12)

As seen in the scriptures, pride is a rejection of God where we choose to not receive His grace, love and forgiveness. It is choosing to say, “God I don’t need you because I can save myself.” Perhaps when we are tempted to be prideful again, we should intentionally remind ourselves that Jesus “emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness” in order to save us. (Philippians 2:7)

Many times, we are unaware of our pride because it can disguise itself perfectly as an angel. For example, even self-condemnation is an external manifestation of our pride. This is because we are shining the torchlight on ourselves and not shining it on Jesus. We become so self-centred that we forget about others.

What can we do then to be less prideful?

The crucial ingredient for humility is to be obedient to God. It is saying, “God, whatever you want me to do, I will do it even if I don’t understand.” I admit, it is difficult and definitely a struggle but the Lord will never fail us. He knows our heart through and through and only by emptying ourselves completely just as He did, we can receive true joy and liberation.

It is perfectly fine to fail, perfectly fine to feel disappointed and perfectly fine to feel discouraged because God will always run to pick you up.

By Rebecca Tan