James 4:5-7 (New Living Translation)
What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the spirit God has placed within us is filled with envy? But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.” So humble yourselves before God.
Pride is a powerful enemy of healthy relationships.
Its weapon is self-deception—when pride rules us, we fail to see ourselves as we truly are. Pride blinds us to our faults and accentuates our virtues. It rewrites our memories to downplay our shame and guilt and shifts blame to others. It justifies envy, fuels fear, and motivates selfish, hurtful behaviors.
Pride cripples our relationships by crowding out healthy assets, such as generosity, kindness, and self-control. It protects our fragile ego that cannot celebrate someone else’s success without feeling in some way diminished. We measure our worth against others, and according to pride’s sensitive scales, our value rises when others are brought low. Pride teaches us that our authentic selves must be hidden and sometimes sacrificed to maintain an enviable public persona.
God opposes the proud because pride aligns us with forces that oppose him: greed, hypocrisy, lust, selfishness, jealousy, hatred, discord, and affinity for evil. When we are enslaved by pride, we displace God from his rightful place as Lord of our lives. Unavailable for his work, we focus instead on what we want, and we abuse or manipulate others to achieve our purposes.
FATHER, when I feel pride urging me into conflict with others, help me to see Jesus. No one had more reason to boast than he, yet he chose the humble way of a servant to show us how your kingdom works. Teach me my worth in you so that I can stop lying to myself about who I really am. Expose my prideful habits and how I hurt others. Make me like Jesus, humble and obedient and open to your healing grace.
Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Peter 5:6-7; 1 John 1:8
Why did the Son of God choose the humble way of a servant rather than the prideful way of kings?