Dealing With Pride
WHAT IS PRIDE?
“A high or excessive opinion of one’s own importance, merit or superiority, whether said in the heart (Isaiah 14:13) or as displayed in behaviour. Pride is a feeling that you are more important, necessary or better than God has made you to be or deserve more than what God has given you. Pride is to believe God to be wrong in His judgement.”
We have previously looked at rebellion. Rebellion is the fruit, but pride is the root. Bravado is one of the branches that can stem from pride, fuelling rebellion. Envy is another branch that can stem from pride, producing the fruit of rebellion. Satan not only envied God (wanting to be like Him) but displayed bravado in his false show of boldness to impress others. His envy and bravado fuelled his rebellion. To desire what someone else has or who they are is to say that what God has given you or made you to be, is not enough. Both bravado and envy are branches which will lead to rebellion (and the termination of your destiny) if not cut off. We can cut off the fruit (rebellion) and even the branches of a tree (envy and bravado), but if we do not deal with what they were rooted in, to begin with (pride), the same will only grow again given time.
1 John 2:15-16 - Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 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.
The pride of life is of the world. If something is “of” something it means it belongs to or has its origin in that thing. Pride does not come from the Father, the Father of lights (James 1:17) and of spirits (Hebrews 12:9); it comes from this world’s systems, practices and thinking, which follow the patterns of Satan’s reprobate mind (2 Corinthians 4:4).
To deal with pride we must be willing to submit ourselves to God so that Jesus (Truth) can transform us by the renewing of our mind. Only then are we able to continue to receive the healing and deliverance from this world, by the power of God, to progress unto the fullness of Sonship.
In James 4:6-7, the Bible declares that God resists (sets Himself against) the proud:
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Verse 7 explains how we can live free of a prideful heart – by submitting to God. What this means is that every thought, opinion, desire and preference we may ever have must be uprooted from our carnal mindset (which is of this world) and be re-rooted in the mind of Christ (the love of God, our Father). This is a choice we make with our will as an act of total and absolute love for Abba.
If we do not go through this process of Sonship, we will continue in a vicious cycle producing no good fruit (Matthew 13:20-22). Of course we can say, “sorry” for our acts of rebellion and the Lord is faithful to forgive us (1 John 1:9); however, we will NEVER be fruitful because our heart (thoughts) are still rooted and polluted by this world i.e. with all the lust of the flesh, and lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16).
Whatever we love; we obey (John 14:15). The solution to pride then is to first receive the love of the Father and second, to love Him and your brother/neighbour unconditionally in return.
1 John 4:19 - We love him, because he first loved us.
Romans 5:1-5 - Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
We receive Abba’s love through the Holy Ghost in our hearts. Through the sufferings we endure for His name sake, His patience is produced in us. His patience compels us to give (serve) more and it is in our Christ-like experience of submission/surrender that we become mature and hope in Him.
Throughout this entire process, where we learn to worship Abba (obedience) and say, “no” to the desires of our flesh, we come to know His love more and more because we have experienced Him intimately, knowing that He never lets us down.
In Romans 5:5, the term ‘shed abroad’ means to pour-out endlessly like a river, perfectly able to meet all our needs (Psalms 23:1). In other words, His grace is sufficient in all circumstances. It is the Holy Ghost Himself that pours out the love of Abba in and through us for the benefit of ourselves and others. This shows us that it is not about our ability to love, but simply about our willingness to allow Abba to love in and through us.
It is only through being transformed by the renewing of our mind that we can begin to understand and flow in Abba’s unconditional love. The Pharisees observed the Father working in and through Jesus, but because of their lack of spiritual understanding (carnal minds) they called the Good Shepherd and King of Glory, “MAD” (John 10:1-20).
PRIDE TOWARDS THE BRETHREN
When we look at pride from a purely vertical perspective (between us and God) most would say that they love God and thus do not operate in pride. But Abba said this: “The spirit of the world (pride) is in the church and I want it out!” He said, “how you treat the ‘least’ in your opinion determines your level of pride.”
How do you treat those who you consider “beneath you” in the Body of Christ? How do you receive children? It’s easy to say that you are not operating in pride if you look solely between yourself and God, but how do you treat His people?
1 John 4:20 - If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
We often want to separate our relationship with God with our relationship with His people, but if we are operating in pride towards one another, we are still operating in pride and thus the love of the Father is not in us. To hate can be as simple as being "unwilling".
Romans 12:1-5 - I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
This scripture above reveals how renewing our mind (being 'of' the Father) will directly influence our view of ourselves and others within the Body of Christ. If we have a correct view of ourselves, then we will ultimately have a correct view of the brethren too. However, if we view ourselves too highly (pride) we will not be able to view others the way Abba sees them either.
There is a correct way that we are called to view each other and that is according to the measure of faith given. We are a Body; therefore, we NEED each other. Everybody has a function and every one of us is needed. If you are of the opinion that others need you, but that you do not need them, then this is pride. It is not only you who has a calling, but every member of Christ’s church does. Others may have a different calling than you, but this does not make anyone more or less significant than you. It is God who decides and we are to honour and respect every member accordingly. If we remain "unwilling" to recognise each other according to the spirit (2 Corinthians 5:16), we are actually remaining in pride because you cannot honour, use or value something that you are ignorant about.
If we are going to function together as a Body, we need to gain Abba’s heart and begin to CARE about the calling and destinies of our brothers and sisters. For too long believers have been so self-centred, caring only for themselves and their ministries and behaving as if nobody else has a purpose. No part is independent of the other and unless we choose to uproot the spirit of the world that we have been operating in and replant our thinking in the FATHER, then we will continue to hinder the full growth of the Body as a whole.
1 Corinthians 12:14-27 - For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
In the world it is “every man for himself”. In the world you are taught to “put 'I' first”, but not in the kingdom. Jesus has given us a completely new mode of Operandi. The Lord desires us all to be great and there is absolutely no problem with this desire; however, the route to this greatness is completely different for us as believers in Jesus Christ than how the world demands it.
Matthew 20:25-28 - But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Greatness in the kingdom of God is to be the servant of all. If you truly desire to be great, you must learn to be the servant of others. This does not mean pulpit ministry, and it doesn’t mean you will never speak from a platform (Jesus did). True ministry is to lay your life down for others; it means to esteem them above yourself. Can you imagine a Body in which everybody is trying to help others succeed? Can you imagine a Body in which we all care to see the gifts and call of others fulfilled that we no longer have to worry about our own? There will be no more room for envy or bravado because we will be operating in love.
Philippians 2:3 - Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Pride keeps us focused on “I” whereas love is about Him. You cannot love the Father without loving His people. And you cannot love His people without loving Christ Jesus.
Mark 9:35-37 - And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all. And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.
Children are too often overlooked by the Body of Christ. They are always somebody else’s issue. But Jesus loved the children! How we value and esteem them is always a good indicator of where our hearts lie. “But children are not my ministry,” some people say. But to love all is our ministry. If we have too much important ministry work to do that we cannot actually help real people we have an issue. Pride is the feeling that you are more important than others or that your ministry is more superior.
It’s time for us to start operating like a Body. Unless every member is functioning and flourishing then as a unit we are not functioning and flourishing; we are all connected and we all need each other. Pride causes us to distinguish ourselves from the rest of God’s people in our mind believing that our calling and function is the most important.
Have you ever hurt your baby toe? Or maybe a finger? They’re so small but the pain can be excruciating. It’s only when you can’t use even a tiny part of your body properly that you notice how necessary it actually is. Just because you might be big or a more visible part of the Body of Christ, don’t make the mistake of thinking you are the only part. If we are going to operate out of the love of the Father and not the Pride of Life, we need to even be "willing" to come to know the functions and callings of those around us. How can you help them? What has God placed in you to help them and vice-versa? How has the Lord called you to operate together? It’s easy to think you are doing all the “work of the ministry”, but still have your thinking rooted in pride. We need to make sure the source of all our kingdom business is the Father and not ‘of’ the world.
Matthew 23:1-12 - Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
Let’s not be like the hypocrites who do all the religious works to be seen of men. But let’s be like our Lord Jesus who gave His life out of His love for the Father.
John 15:12-14 - This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.