In today’s blog, I unveil the last 4 of the 13 faces of pride. In parts 4 – 6 of the series we uncovered arrogance and haughtiness, boastfulness, inability to rejoice in the success of others, the fear of men’s faces, rebellion, the critical spirit, unwillingness to admit the need for help, the spirit of entitlement, and perfectionism.
10. Shame. At the root of shame is pride. Shame causes us to keep things hidden for which we need healing. Why do we keep them hidden? We do not want others to know that we did or did not do something because our image will be tarnished in their eyes. This is pride at work. Satan uses shame to keep us in bondage by playing on our fear of what others will think. The spirit of pride in us therefore gives Satan power to keep us from receiving the healing God desires for us.
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (Jas. 5:16)
It becomes evident from this verse that if we continue to allow shame to have power over us we will continue to be wounded soldiers who cannot be used of God because Satan will have legal authority to accuse us. We lose the spiritual authority and power required for us to be victorious in this spiritual warfare to which we have been called as sons of the Living God. Like Jesus, let us be able to say that Satan will find nothing in us with which to exert his power.
I will not speak with you much longer, for the ruler of the world (Satan) is coming. And he has no claim on Me [no power over Me nor anything that he can use against Me]; (John 14:30, AMP)
11. Unforgiving spirit. Many times, people are unwilling to forgive because they feel that others are not deserving of their forgiveness. Forgiving another is tantamount to giving up power over that person. You can no longer speak about the bad thing the person did to you or trash their reputation to others. Pride always wants to deceive you into believing that you are better than others. Therefore, no one is ever worthy enough to receive your forgiveness. The thought going through the prideful mind is, “How dare they do this to me, do they know who I am?”
The opposite is also true. Persons with a spirit of pride also feel no need to seek forgiveness since pride deceives persons into believing that they are never to blame. The prideful person never takes responsibility when things go wrong but is more than willing to accept the praise when things go right. You will recall early on in the series I pointed to the fact that pride was man’s first sin. Satan appealed to Eve’s pride and caused her to sin (Genesis 3:5). We also see pride’s manifestation a little later in the same chapter in the form of the blame game.
And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat? Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Gen. 3:11-13)
12. Unteachable spirit. When a spirit of pride is at work in your life you do not take correction well. This results in lack of spiritual growth and maturity. Prideful persons believe that they know it all or do not want to admit when they don’t know. Either way, they become stagnant. It is not only that they do not want others to teach them, pride also prevents them allowing the Holy Spirit to guide them because, of course, they know where they are going. This goes hand in hand with a face of pride we discussed earlier, unwillingness to submit to authority. This aspect of pride, like all of the others, causes us to walk in disobedience to God’s Word.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. (Prov. 3:5-6)
Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. (Prov. 9:8-9)
But the Helper, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance all things that I have said to you. (John 14:26)
Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid. (Prov. 12:1)
Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, But he who regards a rebuke will be honored. (Prov. 13:18)
13. Judgmental spirit. Pride causes us to easily think the worst of others and to speak the worst of others even without knowing all the facts. The worse others are the better we feel about ourselves. The prideful person is quick to jump into discussions that seek to malign other peoples’ character and will many times steer the conversation in such a way as to show how much better he/she is than that person. In fact, many times you will hear them saying, “Who me, I could never do anything like that.” On the other hand, a spirit of humility says, “But for the grace of God, there go I”.
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matt. 7:1-5)
You may have realized from our discussion that many of these faces of pride actually overlap and feed off each other. It’s like a web of deceit and lies that is skillfully orchestrated by the enemy to keep you from being of use to God because it makes you walk in your own power rather than in the power of the Holy Spirit. Satan knows, more than anyone else, the power of a believer who is filled with and is being led by the Holy Spirit. Consequently, he will do everything in his power to prevent this from happening.
You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. (2 Pet. 3:17-18)
Want to know how to overcome pride? Join me next week for the final blog in this series.