The pride of life, in simple terms, is the love of self—placing your identity in accomplishments rather than giving God credit and operating out of the identity He gave you.
It is not uncommon to be asked, “What do you do for a living?” This is because the fallen world values success and achievements over humble works that point to the Lord. The next time you are asked this question, think about how you can credit God for what you have done.
What Does the Bible Say About Pride?
As you can imagine, the Bible has a lot to say about pride. In the book of Proverbs, the Lord warns that pride is a prelude to destruction, a haughty spirit goes before a fall, and arrogance gives way to evil and perverted speech.
On the flip side, we see that humility is a prelude to honor. Biblical humility is described in Philippians 2:3-4 as…
- “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (emphasis added)
This should be a sobering thought to us. Can we say we esteem others better than ourselves? Or do we do nothing with the intent to get ahead (selfish ambition)?
Now, no doubt this is nearly impossible to do all the time. The Father knows that. And this is why He sent His Son to overcome these sins for us so that we can step into His presence.
[Go HERE to read more about how Jesus overcame and how the Lord is perfecting our faith.]
Clearly, God’s Word warns against such pride because it is an open door to have your divine assignment and identity stolen from you. The enemy does not want you; he wants your blessing!
When we start to look at our achievements as our identity, we have stepped over into idolatry.
How Did Jesus Respond to Achievements?
Examining Matthew 11, you find Jesus giving the Father praise for those who received His message. He could’ve taken all the credit in the world, but He humbly thanked His Heavenly Father for revelation and all that was “delivered to Him.”
“At that time Jesus answered and said, ‘I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.’”—Matthew 11:25-27
Jesus finished this proclamation with something else incredibly noteworthy. His burden is light (see Matthew 11:30). Pride leads to heaviness, pressure, and stress. Humility brings freedom and joy.
What Are the Symptoms and Signs of the Pride of Life Operating in Your Life?
Pride always starts in the mind, then goes to the will and emotions. Pride infiltrates our thoughts and affects how we behave, how we see others, and ultimately how we see God. These thoughts need transformation. That’s the work of the Holy Spirit.
Ways Pride May Be Operating in Your Life…
- It is Everyone Else’s Problem | Blaming
When there is a problem with a coworker, family member, or friend, blame is often associated with the issue. Maybe they are blaming you, or you are blaming them—either way, the result is often the same: a strained and spoiled relationship.
Pride is the root of blaming behavior and thoughts. When turmoil is present in our relationships, we have to consider the seed of conceit that is planted.
Ask the Lord to give you a sober mind and reveal the areas you need to lay down at His feet instead of putting on others.
- Harsh Spirit and Defensiveness | Anger
Does it seem you are surrounded by difficult people? Or maybe you feel criticized for everything you do… Pride has a way of masking itself as a victim rather than an overcomer. For some, when these distortions enter the mind, they manifest as harsh words, defensiveness, bitterness, a critical spirit, and an abrasive personality.
If bitterness seems to be following you around and you feel trapped by strife and anger, a prideful spirit is likely the culprit.
Go to the Lord in humble repentance and ask for His strength to overcome.
- Boldness Without Reverence or Humility | Arrogance
Arrogance is the result of a person misusing God’s gifts to elevate his or her own status. We are told we can boldly approach the throne of grace—with confidence (see Hebrews 4:16).
But where is your confidence? Do you bring a reverent and humble heart with your confidence when you go before the Lord? It is in Christ’s finished work on the cross that we can be confident, not in our own abilities.
When we are bold without humility, pride is just around the corner.
We must be aware and intentional about giving God the glory for the work He has accomplished through you.
- Attention Seeking and Recognition | Selfishness
When we seek recognition for God’s work, are we not essentially stealing from Him? Now, understand that you are created by God to do His work and He wants you to find joy in it, but just as with boldness, if we don’t have a thankful and humble heart that walks alongside our recognition, pride will press in.
Follow Christ’s example—operate in a spirit of thanksgiving and resist selfish recognition.
- Position of Man’s Opinion Above God’s | Idolatry
It is easy to do. We want people to like us. We want to belong and feel accepted. As a result, we often put man’s opinion above God’s. But when that opinion does not align with God’s, we enter dangerous territory. It leads us into the sinful place of idolatry.
Pride and idolatry can start to spread like an overpowering weed in our hearts. We start worrying about how others define us, and when we “fit” into their mold, we can think highly of ourselves. We have just put man’s thoughts on a pedestal over God’s definition of who we are in Christ.
Declare and decree who you are in Christ. Mediate over the identity He has graciously given you.
Breaking the Chains of Pride in Your Life
Take each of the distortions and disarm them with God’s Word. Come before the Righteous Judge and break the chains of pride. Maybe this is an issue that runs deep within your family line. Perhaps this is the reason why the habit is hard to break and even seems to be a normal way of thinking. You may need to go into the Courts of Heaven and cancel generational curses.
Praise His holy name, repent, forgive, and call upon the promises of the covenant! Click HERE to find out how!
The Bible is useful for teaching and correcting (see 2 Timothy 3:16-17). Ask the Holy Spirit now to cleanse your heart and renew a right spirit within you. Let these words wash over and penetrate those hidden places in your heart.
You belong to the Lord and you are not a slave to sin anymore! You have the power to overcome!
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”—2 Corinthians 10:4-6
Schedule your 1-on-1 prayer appointment today! We would love to come into agreement with you for your breakthrough and freedom from the spirit of the pride of life!
Did you miss the other articles in this series? You can get caught up by clicking on the links below.