What Does the Bible Say About Pride?
Pride is a complex emotion, and the Bible addresses different aspects of it in various passages. The kind of Pride that stems from self-righteousness or conceit is considered sinful while feeling Pride in one's accomplishments or those of a loved one can be viewed differently.
See also: Bible Verses About Humility
This article delves into what the Bible says about Pride, explores the consequences of this emotion, and shares engaging Christian quotes to inspire humility.
- What is Pride according to the Bible?
- Pride: A Double-Edged Sword
- The Consequences of Pride in the Bible
- Notable Figures Who Fell Due to Their Pride in the Bible
- Additional Bible Verses About Pride
- Christian Quotes on Pride and Humility
- Famous Quotes About Pride
- Key Takeaways: Lessons from Scripture on Pride
- Final Thoughts: The Importance of Humility
What is Pride according to the Bible?
According to scriptures, Pride can be understood as excessive self-esteem or an inflated sense of one's importance, often accompanied by arrogance and a disregard for others.
Pride is considered sinful when individuals rely on their abilities and achievements rather than recognizing their dependence on God's grace and mercy.
The Bible teaches that this kind of Pride can distance us from God and ultimately lead to our downfall.
- Proverbs 11:2: "When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom."
- Proverbs 29:23: "One's pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor."
The Bible emphasizes the importance of humility, which is the opposite of sinful Pride. Humility involves recognizing our limitations and acknowledging our successes and blessings come from God. By cultivating humility, we can deepen our relationship with God and fully experience His grace.
Pride: A Double-Edged Sword
The Good Side of Pride
- Galatians 6:4: "But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor."
- 2 Corinthians 7:4: "I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great Pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy."
- 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20: "For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy."
- Proverbs 14:3 - "A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride, but the lips of the wise protect them."
- Proverbs 17:6 - "Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children."
- Romans 11:13 - "I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry"
- Isaiah 60:15 - "Although you have been forsaken and hated, with no one traveling through, I will make you the everlasting pride and the joy of all generations."
God's Disdain for Pride
- Proverbs 8:13: "The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate."
- Psalm 10:4: "In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, 'There is no God.'"
- Proverbs 16:5: "The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished."
- 1 Peter 5:5: "Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'"
- Proverbs 18:12: "Before destruction a man's heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor."
The Consequences of Pride in the Bible
Pride Leads to Destruction
- Proverbs 16:18-19: "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud."
- Isaiah 14:12-15: "How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.' But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit."
- Obadiah 1:3-4: "The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, 'Who can bring me down to the ground?' Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down," declares the LORD.
Pride Hinders Our Relationship with God
- James 4:6: "But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'"
- Proverbs 3:34: "Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor."
- 1 John 2:16: "For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world."
- Isaiah 25:11 - "They will stretch out their hands in it, as swimmers stretch out their hands to swim. God will bring down their pride despite the cleverness of their hands."
- Isaiah 37:23 - "Who is it you have ridiculed and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel!"
Notable Figures Who Fell Due to Their Pride in the Bible
- Satan (Lucifer): Satan, initially known as Lucifer, was a high-ranking angel who fell from God's grace due to his pride (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-17). He desired to be like God and sought to usurp His authority. As a result, Satan was cast down from heaven, and he continues to oppose God and His people to this day.
- King Nebuchadnezzar: The Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, became prideful and boastful of his achievements (Daniel 4:28-33). He failed to acknowledge that his success was a result of God's blessings. Consequently, God humbled him by causing him to lose his sanity and live like an animal for seven years. After this period, Nebuchadnezzar recognized God's sovereignty and was restored to his throne.
- King Saul: Saul, the first king of Israel, succumbed to pride as he began to rely on his own strength and wisdom instead of following God's guidance (1 Samuel 13:8-14). His pride led him to disobey God's commands and ultimately resulted in the loss of his kingdom to David, a man after God's own heart.
- King Uzziah: Uzziah, a prosperous and powerful king of Judah, became prideful as his fame and wealth grew (2 Chronicles 26:16-21). His pride led him to enter the temple and attempt to burn incense, a role reserved for priests. As a result, God struck Uzziah with leprosy, and he remained a leper until his death.
- Pharaoh: The Pharaoh of Egypt during the time of Moses refused to acknowledge God's power and authority, resulting in his heart being hardened (Exodus 5-14). His pride and stubbornness led to a series of devastating plagues and ultimately the death of Egypt's firstborn sons. Despite witnessing God's might, Pharaoh's pride led to his own destruction as he and his army drowned in the Red Sea.
Additional Bible Verses About Pride
- Leviticus 26:19 - "I will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze."
- Job 20:6-7 - "Though the pride of the godless person reaches to the heavens and his head touches the clouds, he will perish forever, like his own dung;"
- Psalm 31:18 - "Let their lying lips be silenced, for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous."
- Isaiah 2:11 - "The eyes of the arrogant will be humbled and human pride brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day."
- Psalm 47:4 - "He chose our inheritance for us, the pride of Jacob, whom he loved."
- Psalm 56:2 - "My adversaries pursue me all day long; in their pride many are attacking me."
- Psalm 73:6 - "Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence."
- Proverbs 13:10 - "Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice."
- Ecclesiastes 7:8 - "The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride."
- Isaiah 4:2 - "In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel."
Christian Quotes on Pride and Humility
- "Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you." – Andrew Murray.
- "True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less and thinking of God more." - C.S. Lewis
- "Pride is a barrier that prevents us from experiencing God's love, while humility opens the door to it." - David Jeremiah
- "Sin came through the pride of Lucifer and salvation came through the humility of Jesus." - Zac Poonen
- "It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels." - Augustine
- "God is not proud. He will have us even though we have shown that we prefer everything else to Him." - C.S. Lewis
- "If I had only one sermon to preach it would be a sermon against pride." - G.K. Chesterton
- "God can never entrust His Kingdom to anyone who has not been broken of pride, for pride is the armour of darkness itself." - Francis Frangipane
- "The essence of Gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less." - Tim Keller
- "Pride thrust Nebuchadnezzar out of men's society, Saul out of his kingdom, Adam out of paradise, Haman out of court, and Lucifer out of heaven." - Thomas Adams
Famous Quotes About Pride
- "Conceit not so high an opinion of any one as to be bashful and impotent in their presence." - Thomas Fuller
- "Pride will spit in pride's face." - Thomas Fuller
- "Poverty and affliction take away the fuel that feeds pride." - Richard Sibbes
- "A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves." - Henry Ward Beecher
- "None are more unjust in their judgments of others than those who have a high opinion of themselves." - Charles Spurgeon
- "Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man." - C.S. Lewis
- "That venomous worm of all goodness, vain glory." - Robert Leighton
- "The chief occupational hazard of leadership is pride." - John Stott
- "Pride, perceiving humility honorable, often borrows her cloak." - Thomas Fuller
- "A proud faith is as much a contradiction as a humble devil." - Stephen Charnock
- "One of our troubles is we are not willing to humble ourselves. We are not willing to give up our opinions as to how things should be done." - Mordecai Ham
- "Pride builds walls between people, humility builds bridges." - Rick Warren
- "According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride." - C.S. Lewis
- "So long as we are full of self we are shocked at the faults of others. Let us think often of our own sin, and we shall be lenient to the sins of others." - Francois Fenelon
- "Pride may be set down as "the sin" of human nature." - Charles Spurgeon
- "Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real." - Thomas Merton
- "Pride had rather go out of the way than go behind." - Thomas Fuller
- "In the midst of a world of light and love, of song and feast and dance, Lucifer could find nothing to think of more interesting than his own prestige." - C.S. Lewis
- "Pride slays thanksgiving, but a humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grow." - Henry Ward Beecher
- "Next to ingratitude the most painful thing to bear is gratitude." - Henry Ward Beecher
Key Takeaways: Lessons from Scripture on Pride
- Recognize the difference between healthy Pride and sinful Pride.
- Understand that God opposes the proud and exalts the humble.
- Remember that Pride can lead to destruction and distance us from God.
- Embrace humility and acknowledge our dependence on God's grace.
- Give glory to God for our accomplishments, knowing that all we have comes from Him.
Final Thoughts: The Importance of Humility
Pride is a powerful emotion that can either uplift us or lead to our downfall. By examining the biblical teachings on Pride, we can learn to embrace humility and cultivate a deeper relationship with God.
We must strive to be humble in our thoughts and actions, recognizing that our accomplishments are only possible through God's grace.
- 1 Corinthians 4:7: "For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?"
- 2 Corinthians 10:18: "For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends."
As Christians, we must guard against the Pride that leads to destruction and strive for humility that deepens our relationship with God.
By reflecting on the Bible's teachings and embracing the wisdom of Christian quotes, we can find inspiration to walk humbly with our Creator.