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Pride and Conceit

By J. Stephen Lang -- People can take pride in practically anything -- their looks, possessions, intelligence, job, sophistication, family connections, even their religion. Does God deny us the enjoyment of being attractive, of owning a home or car, of having a good education, of having some achievements in life? Of course not. None of these things is wrong in itself. When the Bible talks about pride and arrogance, it is talking about making an idol -- a god -- of these things. It is talking about thinking of ourselves so highly that God has no place in our lives.

Stop acting so proud and haughty! Don't speak with such arrogance! The LORD is a God who knows your deeds; and he will judge you for what you have done.

1 Samuel 2:3

Love the LORD, all you faithful ones! For the LORD protects those who are loyal to him, but he harshly punishes all who are arrogant.

Psalm 31:23

Don't be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn your back on evil. Then you will gain renewed health and vitality.

Proverbs 3:7

The LORD despises pride; be assured that the proud will be punished.

Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall. It is better to live humbly with the poor than to share plunder with the proud.

Proverbs 16:5, 18-19

Haughty eyes, a proud heart, and evil actions are all sin.

Proverbs 21:4

The day is coming when your pride will be brought low and the LORD alone will be exalted. In that day the LORD Almighty will punish the proud, bringing them down to the dust.

Isaiah 2:11

"I, the LORD, will punish the world for its evil and the wicked for their sin. I will crush the arrogance of the proud and the haughtiness of the mighty."

Isaiah 13:11

"Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked; but the righteous will live by their faith."

Habakkuk 2:4

"God blesses those who realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them.

"God blesses those who are gentle and lowly, for the whole earth will belong to them."

Matthew 5:3, 5

Jesus prayed this prayer: "O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding the truth from those who think themselves so wise and clever, and for revealing it to the childlike."

Matthew 11:25

"Anyone who wants to be the first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else."

Mark 9:35

The world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the Father. They are from this evil world.

1 John 2:16

The worst kind of pride is spiritual pride. Jesus understood this, knowing that people who appear religious can be incredibly vain. One of his classic parables looks at this problem, promising a blessing not on the spiritually proud but on those who humble themselves before God.

Jesus told this story to some who had great self-confidence and scorned everyone else: "Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a dishonest tax collector. The proud Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: `I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else, especially like that tax collector over there! For I never cheat, I don't sin, I don't commit adultery, I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.'

But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, `O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.' I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For the proud will be humbled, but the humble will be honored."

Luke 18:9-14

The Book of God's Promises -- Copyright, 1999 by J. Stephen Lang. All rights reserved, used with permission.

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