How can pride destroy us?

Question: “How can pride destroy us?  Pride is the opposite of humility and the greatest of all sins. How can we control or eliminate pride?”

Bible Answer

Pride is the opposite of humility.  Pride is the greatest of sins and the basis of all sins, and leads to one’s destruction while humility is pleasing to God and leads to salvation.  Pride was first observed when Lucifer, an archangel, became proud of his beauty and capacity and started to think of himself as being better than God. His pride led to rebellion against God and his continued pride will end in the lake of fire.     


Pride is undue confidence in and attention to one's own skills, accomplishments, state, possessions, or position. Pride is easier to recognize than to define and it is easier to recognize in others than in ourselves.  Some of the synonyms for pride include arrogance, presumption, conceit, self-satisfaction, boasting, and high-mindedness. A proud person often has a low estimate of the ability and worth of others and therefore treats them with either contempt or cruelty.  Some have considered pride to be the root and essence of sin.  God clearly considers pride a sin.

Haven't we all belittled someone in order to lift ourselves up?  It is OK to feel pleased about something we have achieved, but it is when we exalt ourselves above others and brag to others that we become proud in the biblical sense.

Source of pride

What is the basis or source of pride?  The Bible says:

For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world (1 John 2:16).

Pride started with Satan.  How you have fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! … For you said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne … I will sit also upon the mount … I will ascend above the heights…I will make myself like the Most High (Isa. 14:12-14).

You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you.  Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor.  So I threw you to the earth (Ezekiel 28:15, 17).

Pride started with Satan and came into the world through Adam and Eve.  Pride is now one of Satan’s greater weapons.

Pride is

Questions to help point out pride

Pride: It’s all About Me

If you are conceited, vain, or self-righteous, you likely want others to know how great you are. There are different ways you can do that. Three key terms for these strategies are boasting, showing off and selfish ambition.

And How does God look at Pride

I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech (Proverbs 8:13).

For the sin of their mouths, the words of their lips, let them be trapped in their pride (Psalm 59:12).

When pride comes, then comes disgrace; but with the humble is wisdom (Proverbs 11:2).

Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished (Proverbs 16:5).

The same pride that destroyed Lucifer is daily destroying much of mankind. A man's pride will bring him low, but he who is humble will obtain honor (Proverbs 29:23).


Humbleness is the opposite of price. God emphatically says that when you are humble, you are free from pride and arrogance. While you know in your flesh you are inadequate, you also know who you are in Christ.  Just as pride is the root of all sin, so humility is the basis of all virtue.

Two of the greatest Bible characters possessed humility.

Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth (Numbers 12:3).

Jesus said, I am gentle and humble in heart (Matthew 11:29).

By leaving heaven, coming to earth, and taking the form of man, Jesus demonstrated an unfathomable humbleness. Throughout His life on earth, Jesus demonstrated a spirit of humility, saying that he came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Matt. 20:28). On His last night with the disciples, Jesus took off His rabbi robe and put on a servant’s towel and washed the disciple’s dirty feet (John 13:1–11).

Jesus was humble and gentle of heart and surely we should try to be like Him, for Jesus declares blessing on those who are humble. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5).

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves (Philippians 2:3).

…for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great (Luke 9:48).

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:4).

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up (James 4:10).

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time (1 Peter 5:6).

Being humble does not mean you are being a wimp. When you truly understand who you are in Christ, you will no longer feel that you need to defend yourself.  Rather, you will be able to be a peacemaker without needing to fight for your rights. You will be able to walk humbly in the power of God’s Holy Spirit, not your own personal power. Godly humility is being comfortable with whom you are in the Lord and therefore putting others first. The meaning of humility in the Bible is to so love others that you place them first, as being more important than you are. I like Pat Robertson’s definition of love.  “Love absorbs evil without fighting back”.

How do you gain the mind of Christ and humble yourself? You need to make a decision to adopt Jesus’ way of thinking, His values and attitudes. For this to happen, you need to regularly pray for the Holy Spirit to change your heart, for it is impossible to do it in your own strength.  

We must be honest and realistic about who and what we are and our dependency on God.  We cannot be humble and unloving and we cannot be loving and prideful.  Being humble and loving go hand in hand.  

God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble (James 4:6). Not only does God show favor to the humble, but God opposes the proud.

Truly, humility is our friend, bringing us closer to God and His Word.  When we detect pride, we need to repent and give it to God.  Developing humility does not happen overnight, but with perseverance and prayer, you can be the humble person that God is looking to bless.  

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