What is pride? 

Define pride:  Pride is the cultivation, preservation or exalting of self.  It is a protecting of self.  Pride is commitment to self.  It is building up ourselves in our own eyes or in the eyes of others.  Pride is an excessive belief in one's superiority, worth, merit.   Pride is a root cause of many sins.

What does the Word of God say about pride?  The proud?

            "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way, and the perverted mouth, I hate."  Proverbs 8: 13

            "When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom." Proverbs 11: 2

            "Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord."  Proverbs 16: 5

            "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.  It is better to be of a humble spirit than to divide the spoil with the proud."  Proverbs 16: 18 - 19

            "A man's pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor."  Proverbs 29: 23

            "You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you clothe yourself with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.  Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time."  I Peter 5: 5 - 6

How does pride manifest itself in your life?  Here are some common ways pride often shows itself in our lives:

            A desire to be admired or noticed by others for something (achievement, looks, personality, serving, spiritual life).

            Desire to be recognized or appreciated.

            Boasting.  We take credit for abilities given to me by God.

            Desire to achieve status.

            Selfishness.  Focusing on myself.

Selfish ambition - Doing things or achieving something to look good rather than to glorify God.  Self-advancement.

            Vanity - over concerned with appearance, beauty, looks, and clothes.

            Attempting to look good or appear to be better than we really are.

            Seeking the approval of people rather than God.  Concerned about what others think.

            Comparing myself to others.

            Preaching or exhorting others while being blind to my need to repent and change.  Not recognizing my own spiritual need.

            Not being teachable.  Thinking I know it all or don't need to learn.

            Wanting things done my way.  Unwilling to risk getting close to others.

            Hiding sin from others or failing to confess sin to God.

            Not being willing to admit when I am wrong.  Not asking for forgiveness.

            Justifying our sin instead of just admitting it.

            Criticizing others, finding faults in others.  Being quick to blame others.

            Shame or hurt or embarrassment occurs when my pride (or self) is damaged.

            Bitterness, anger or lack of forgiveness.

Feeling ripped off or hurt when I am overlooked.  Feeling sorry for myself.

            Defending my actions or myself.

            Unwillingness to ask for help.  Self-sufficient spirit.

            Lack of prayer.  Trusting in myself instead of God.

Fear of failure.  Not attempting something out of fear of looking bad if I fail.

            Being unable to rejoice when others succeed.

            Jealous of other's successes, talent, etc...

            Materialism - (having things make me look good or successful).

Other sin - lying (so we'll look good) deception, strife (over trivial matters-we need to be right)

What are the consequences of pride?  Why is pride so serious a sin?  How has pride affected you?


What do we do about pride?

            What do these passages teach us?


                        Philippians 2:1 - 9


                        James 4: 6 - 10


Humility - is having an accurate view of yourself.  We are created with dignity in the image of God. God values us so much He died for us.  We are now children of God and heirs with Christ.  We also need to recognize that God gives everything we have and are to us.  We were created for His purposes not our own.  Our main purpose in life is to glorify God.  We need to see God in all His greatness, power and holiness.  We need to also have an honest and accurate view of our sin. 

Self Examination:

            Think about your own pride?  How does pride manifest itself in your life?  What prideful tendencies do you have?  (Write them down.)


            What are one or two things you can do to develop humility?  What action(s) do you need to take this week to combat pride?

Permission is granted to use this Bible Study outline for personal study and small groups only. 

Study written by Bob Krepps  1994 all rights reserved



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