Why God Opposes Pride: Part 1–Humility Month

Why God Opposes Pride: Part 1–Humility Month May 18, 2024

When pride comes [boiling up with an arrogant attitude of self-importance], then come dishonor and shame, But with the humble [the teachable who have been chiseled by trial and who have learned to walk humbly with God] there is wisdom and soundness of mind. Proverbs 11:2 (AMP)


Today in Springfield, Illinois, the capital of the state in which I live (for real, it´s not Chicago), they celebrated Pridefest, in anticipation of Pride Month. The weather was sunny and beautiful today for thousands of people to converge on Downtown Springfield for such family-friendly events as the Pride Parade (yes, you can tip the drag performers), The Race for the Runway Drag Show for ages 10-17, and face painting and fairy hair for the kids.


It should come as no surprise that not all the citizens of Sangamon County are on board with this.


Many would be surprised to learn, however, that the offense of Pride Month does not stem primarily from the celebration of deviant sexual practices,  or even from the appropriation of the symbol of God’s promise for their rainbow flag.


The most egregious transgression of Pride Month is the elevation of pride itself.


No fewer than 18 times here at Truth Mission we have identified pride as the mother of all sin. Since humility is the polar opposite of pride, we have decided to designate June as Humility Month. Instead of railing against Pride Month and the people who celebrate it, we would humbly (see what I did there?) like to offer an alternative that might just yield a better result.


Pride vs. Humility–Finding the Best Package Deal


(This section is inspired by a June 12, 2022 post from friend and fellow blogger Karen Pennington, author of An Anointed Mess: Discovering the Daily Adventure of Grace as well as the devotional 10 Healing Truths from God’s Word. Click here to read her original post.)


Having worked in property and casualty insurance for nearly 12 years, I am accustomed to the concept of bundling. People want a package deal to offer greater value and/or benefits.

In other areas of life, however, a package deal can come with unnecessary baggage. According to the verse at the top of this post, one of the worst examples of bundling is pride and shame. As Jesus Himself said:


All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted. Matthew 23:12 (NRSVUE)


Pride essentially involves making an idol of ourselves and our own way of thinking. In doing so, we place ourselves ahead of not only other people, but God Himself. It can manifest itself in a multitude of ways, including workaholism, unforgiveness, gossip, and criticism just to name a few.

When we arrogantly try to elevate our sense of importance, we are actually highlighting our own inadequacies. As Jesus also said:


Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. John 15:5-6 (NLT)


The thing is, this is completely unnecessary. We are all made in the image of God. As such, we all have inherent value beyond measure. So why would we need to try to build ourselves up beyond that?

By contrast, true humility means surrendering our feeble attempts at self-justification and self-promotion. In return, God allows us to see ourselves and those around us through His eyes—the eyes of love and grace.

This seems like a much better package deal to me.


God is God and You are Not

Open hands atop an open Bible
Wenping Zheng / Getty Images

Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre: Thus says the Lord God:

Your heart has grown proud,
and thus you say, “I am a god;
I sit on a godly throne
in the heart of the seas.
But in reality you are a man, and not a god,
even though you compare your mind
with that of a god.
Are you as wise as Daniel?
Is no secret hidden from you?
By your wisdom and your intelligence,
you have amassed great wealth for yourself.
You have deposited gold and silver
into your treasuries.
Because of your skill in trading,
your wealth has greatly increased;
and as a result of your riches,
your heart is filled with arrogant pride.

Therefore, thus says the Lord God:

Because you consider your wisdom
to be equal to that of God,
I will bring foreigners against you,
the most barbarous of all the nations.
They will draw their swords
against the beauty of your wisdom
and defile your splendor.
They will hurl you down to the pit,
and you will die a violent death
in the heart of the seas.
Will you then still say, “I am a god,”
when your murderers confront you?
No, you are a man, not a god,
in the hands of those about to slay you.
You will die the death of the uncircumcised
at the hands of foreigners.

I have spoken, declares the Lord God.
(Ezekiel 28:2-10 NCB)


Placing ourselves in front of God is bad enough. However, in the passage above, the prince of Tyre was making himself EQUAL to God. Definitely a career-limiting move on his part.

The word “pride” in verse five above is accompanied by the word “arrogant.”  These two words frequently hang out together. It is never a good thing when they do.

Arrogance is a rejection of wisdom.  It results from a person elevating incomplete knowledge to a level it does not warrant.

Everyone knows a lot about a few things and a little about many things. A person blinded by arrogance does not make the distinction between knowing a lot and knowing a little.

Pride, then, is arrogance in action. This occurs when a person professes that their incomplete knowledge is equal or superior to Wisdom and Truth. When left unchecked, this pride can proliferate into a god complex, whereby a person esteems his own intelligence to be unlimited.

This is asking for trouble.

Only God is God


Now it´s not likely that you or I will ever find ourselves ruling a city-state in the Middle East, but pride can creep into the life of anyone in any situation. It rears its head not just when you´re on top, but even when you are at rock bottom. Consider the story of Job.

In a single day, Job lost all his children, all his property, and all of his servants. Everything but his wife and his life. Then, to make matters worse, his entire body was covered with painful sores. Yet, he never sacrificed his faith or integrity.

Even so, there´s only so much a man can take, even a righteous man like Job. He goes off on a six-chapter rant, justifying himself and complaining about why he doesn’t deserve his circumstances. Then God answers, with seventy-two verses of sarcastic questions, ending with this:


“Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? Or will you yield? Do you—God’s critic—have the answers?” Job 40:2 (TLB)


After a bit more chastening, Job responds:


“You said, ‘Listen and I will speak! Let me put the questions to you! See if you can answer them!’

“But now I say, ‘I had heard about you before, but now I have seen you, and I loathe myself and repent in dust and ashes.’” Job 42:4-6 (TLB)


Job exchanged his unintentional pride for intentional humility. As a result, God restored to him double what he had lost, and he lived to a ripe old age to enjoy it.


Strength in Surrender


So as we can see, pride makes us enemies of God, but humility sets things right again. By surrendering our pride, we open up Blessing Blvd. to traffic. God hears our prayers and answers them according to His will.

This is what we need to remember when our circumstances go south. Because they will. In fact, if you take a look at the world around us, they already are.

It is so difficult to look at the chaos of our society and believe that God is in control. But He is. It is WE who aren’t. Because it´s not our job.

For only God is God.


(To be concluded. Please click the Free Newsletter Link to be notified when that happens.)


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