The Perils of Pride


The Problem of Pride

By Pastor Dan Hickling

“Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.” Revelation 3:17 (NKJV)

When we look at the Bible with a wide-angle lens, when we pull back and view the running narrative from Genesis to Revelation, we come to the following conclusion: We’re our own worst enemy.

We do have a formidable foe in the form of Satan, who is identified as our accuser (Revelation 12:10) and adversary (1 Peter 5:8). But God’s Word tells us that his effectiveness as our enemy is predicated on a problem deep within the human heart, the problem of pride.

We’re not talking about the kind of pride that’s healthy, which is when we esteem someone or something with honor. What we’re talking about is esteeming ourselves as superior despite the realities revealed to us in God’s Word. In reality, all of us are born into a sinful condition and are in desperate need of God’s forgiveness, mercy, and grace. There’s no place for boasting in ourselves or living under the false premise that we are self-sufficient or fine apart from Him. Any notion to the contrary is pride, and it will destroy us quicker than anything else.

Scripture is filled with sad examples of this, particularly when we read the letter Jesus sent to the church of Laodicea in the Book of Revelation. This church was on the verge of collapse because it had collectively succumbed to spiritual pride. They believed they had “arrived” to the point of self-sufficiency. But Jesus tells us in the passage above they were actually, “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.”

Pride had blinded the Laodiceans to their condition, which is why it’s so lethal. It warps our ability to see truth, which sets us free. In fact, when Jesus told the Jewish leaders that the truth would set them free, they demonstrated how prideful they were by declaring, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone” (John 8:33 NKJV). If you know anything about Jewish history, you know that they had been in bondage many times. Pride blinded them to the reality everyone else could clearly see.

We’re no different; pride will turn us into our own worst enemy if we let it. May we stay close to Jesus, who reminds us of our unending need for Him and whose very presence protects us from the power of pride.