Ok, I’m going to go ahead and say it – I struggle with pride. And I’m not proud of it! But to be honest, I think we all struggle with pride in some form. Pride can be deceptive, so we may not even be aware of it.
Here are some ways pride deceives us:
1. Pride deceives us into believing we’re self-sufficient.
When things are going great in life, we can develop the attitude of, I don’t need God’s help right now. I’ve got things under control. I can handle this on my own.
- Less time spent with God: When I’m feeling self-sufficient, I don’t feel a need to turn to God for help.
- A lack of thankfulness: When things are going great, I can forget that He is the Giver of all good things and wrongly think I’m the source of these blessings. As a result, I stop giving thanks to Him.
2. Pride deceives us into believing we’re in control.
We like to think we’re in control of our circumstances, and we like being in control, but God often has to remind us that He is the One ultimately in control.
Warning sign: Trusting myself more than I trust God
How do you handle a situation that is not going as you had hoped or planned? Do you try to fix it yourself, or do you look to God and trust His sovereign hand in it?
3. Pride deceives us into believing we’re better than others.
We’re often deceived into believing we’re more gifted or more talented than someone else, we dress better, we have a nicer house, a better husband, more money, or we’ve done something to bring on our good fortune.
Warning sign: Looking down on others and building ourselves up in comparison, seeing ourselves as better than others
4. Pride deceives us into believing we are the source of our blessings (not God).
We sometimes forget that God is the source of our blessings, and we attribute things as coming from ourselves instead. We may believe that we’re where we are because of what we’ve done, not because of God’s hand in it.
Warning sign: When my words revolve around Me, Me, Me. Look at what I’ve done. Look at who I am.
Do we thank God for all we have and what we’ve been able to do, or do we pat ourselves on the back? Do we want the glory and adoration of others, or do we sincerely want to give God the glory?
Charles Spurgeon gave some great advice on how to fend off pride before it hits us. “Wash your face every morning in a bath of praise.” When we praise God, it takes our attention off ourselves and puts it where it needs to be, on Him. Pride can deceive us, but praise can protect us from the deception of pride.
What warning signs would you add to recognizing the deception of pride?