The pride condemned in the Bible is not to be confused with self-respect and dignity. The Bible clearly shows that we must love and respect ourselves (Matthew 22:39; Ephesians 5:28).
Arrogance and too high of an opinion of oneself is a sin (Romans 12:3). Proverbs 21:4 says, “A haughty look, a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked are sin.” When Solomon listed seven things which the Lord abhors, he mentioned “a proud look” first. Some suggest that it is put first because it is at the bottom of all disobedience. Not only is pride sinful, it leads to other sins.
Pride Leads To Stubbornness and Rebellion
Nowhere is this more evident than in the example of King Saul. Saul was plainly commanded by God to go and to utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites. Saul, in his stubbornness and rebellion, spared the Amalekite king and the best of the animals for sacrifice. When Samuel rebuked him for his error, he reminded King Saul of what it was that qualified him for the crown to begin with: “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the Lord anoint you king over Israel?” (1 Samuel 15:17). While Saul was humble, things went well for him. Then, the power which went along with being king went to Saul’s head. Samuel showed Saul that it was pride which led him to “do evil in the sight of the Lord” (1 Samuel 15:19). How much of our own disobedience is traceable to the pride which fills our hearts?
Pride Leads To a Refusal to Confess Our Sins
It is not difficult to say “we all sin”, or “he sinned.” But we find it hard sometimes to say “I have sinned.” After David had committed adultery with Bathsheba he humbly confessed his sin by saying, “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:13). Confession is good for the soul, but hard on pride. Do you need to confess sin to God or to a brother whom you have wronged? Empty yourself of pride so that you may do the right thing.
Pride Prevents Conversion
Jesus taught, in Matthew 18:3-4, that in order to be converted one must humble himself as a little child. The problem with the Pharisee who prayed, “God, I thank You that I am not like other men – extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector . . .”, was that he exalted himself and trusted in himself that he was righteous (Luke 18:13). In order to be converted a person must be humble enough to admit that he is a poor, miserable, pathetic sinner.
God’s kingdom is made up of people who have humble, submissive, ruleable spirits. Admit that “the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). Willingly place yourself under the rule of Christ the King.