PRIDE: ME, MYSELF, AND I (PART 1)
I was blessed to be the speaker at my church yesterday. 2015 has been a great year for me. No I didn’t receive a million dollars but I received some MAJOR DELIVERANCE (and yes I am still a work in progress). The Lord opened my eyes to the MANY ways I struggled with pride and He then showed me ways to walk in humility. Below are part 1 of my sermon notes, I pray it blesses you.
What is pride?
- Consumed with myself.
- I am always looking out for my best interest.
- Pride often asks, what’s in it for me?
- All roads must lead back to ME! It’s all about me, myself and I.
- I become my own “god.” I am more confident in myself than I am in God, so I take matters in my own hands.
- I am not thinking of others.
Where did it all begin?
- Pride started with the devil. He wanted to be God.
- He got Eve in the same way in Genesis 3..”eat of this fruit, and you will be like God knowing both good and evil. He appealed to her pride.
It is always easier to see pride in others. We often struggle with seeing it in ourselves.
I KNOW I AM PRIDEFUL IF:
- I don’t receive correction from others. I scoff at wise counsel and don’t think much of prophetic words that bring correction. A prideful person will often make comments, “God can speak to me directly, I don’t need to hear from you!” While it is true that God speaks to His people directly, He also speaks to us through others.
- I am often correcting others but I do not like to be corrected. A prideful person is always the teacher but never the student.
- If you show me my faults, I become overly sensitive and offended because I think I am exempt from being corrected.
- I often have a rebuttal. A prideful person will often listen to what you have to say and after you are done talking she may say, “I hear what you are saying BUT…” My pride convinces me that I have all the correct answers. Sometimes it is wise to just listen and not always have a response. When I am quiet long enough I can learn a thing or two.
- It is always everyone else fault, I am never guilty.
- I am overly critical of others and I am self-righteous. I often point out what others are doing wrong and how I can do it better.
- I make comments such as, “oh I am a private person that’s why I don’t share my business with people. I was taught to keep my dirty laundry in the house.” I am very vague when I ask for prayer. I rarely give details because I don’t want you to know my business. Sometimes this is being overly concerned with projecting a good image to others. Prideful people don’t like the idea of being accountable to others so they don’t share areas of struggle.
- I can connect with God by myself I don’t need the body of Christ. Again this is putting more confidence in myself; I have this all figured out. I DON’T NEED ANYONE’S HELP…not even God. This is faulty and unbiblical thinking. God created us for community, not to be an island. Jesus the son of God did not do life on His own, He had twelve disciples.
- If I minister to someone, I want her to mention my name when she gives her testimony. I want her to acknowledge how I helped her. IT’S ABOUT ME, NOT GOD!
- I am always looking for how I fit into the story that is being told. If someone is being honored, promoted, or doing well, do you I look for ways to get the credit? I want the person getting the attention to make mention of how I helped, how I gave and all I sacrificed so that she can be where she is today. For the prideful person, it’s not about the individual being honored or about what God has done in her, it is about ME! I have had to be very mindful of this as a parent. The Lord has shown me how I try to get recognition for my children’s success as opposed to giving Him the glory. Am I focused on making a name for myself, or am I focused on making God’s name famous?
- I hesitate to speak well of others who are excelling in the same gifts I have because I am afraid they may steal my thunder.
- I am often looking for feedback telling me how wonderful I am when I minister and get mad when I don’t receive it.
- I am a people pleaser. When I am focused on pleasing others, it is because I want them to have a great impression of me. I say yes when the answer should be no because I want you to think highly of me. It is not about having a heart of service or being a blessing to others, it’s about MY IMAGE. I want you to think highly of me, so I aim to please.
- I am jealous. If I see God promoting and blessing someone with the same gift I have I struggle with rejoicing with them. Why? I am secretly thinking, I pray better, I serve better, I cook better, I sing better, I am a better teacher, I have more revelation than they do…how did they get there before me? I don’t embrace 1 Corinthians 12:2626 :if one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
- I am impatient. I want what I want when I want it. I often whine asking God, “Why haven’t you answered this prayer, do you know who I am God, I shouldn’t have to wait for anything? As a matter of fact, I got it all figured out and there is no need for me to go through a waiting process. I will run ahead of you God…we all know how that story ends, don’t we?
- I am unwilling to get over the past. I am angry at God because of what I went through. I am constantly rehearsing how I was done wrong, and all I did not deserve. Pride blinds me and causes me to focus on the injustice instead of magnifying how God has redeemed my life from destruction.
- I am unwilling to forgive. It’s ok for me to be forgiven but I don’t think too much of you so you are not worthy of my forgiveness. ”
Detriments of Pride. Pride Results in the following:
- Actively resisted by God as stated in James 4:6.
- Read the story of Pharaoh and King Nebuchadnezzar to see what being resisted by God can look like. YIKES!
- Being prideful can sometimes result in physical sicknesses in our bodies.
- Never seeing a harvest from the seeds you sow.
- I feel stuck, nothing I do seem to prosper.
Did you see yourself in any of the above description? Click here for part two on how to combat pride by operating in humility.
About the Author
Anika Jones is a speaker and author of the book Lessons Learned Along The Way: A 40 Day Devotional. She blogs about faith and family at LivingForLater.com and posts weekly videos on her YouTube channels, Living For Later (@livingforlater) and Living Life Now (@livinglifenow). Anika loves speaking about developing intimacy with God and understanding who we are in Christ. She serves alongside her husband in ministry. They live in Illinois with their 6 children.