The Root of Everything Evil
- Most people do not consider themselves proud or vulnerable to pride. Yet, this is one of the major categories of sin the Bible says is in each of our hearts.
- 1 John 2:15-17 (NASB) “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”
- Pride is the first sin and the most serious sin. Pride is our greatest problem. Not the devil. Not low self-esteem. Not our upbringing or injustices suffered.
God Hates Pride
- God hates pride; we must learn to hate what God hates and to love what God loves. How much do you hate pride?
- Proverbs 8:13 “To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behaviour and perverse speech.”
- Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
- Proverbs 16:5 “The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.”
- Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
- God is not out to hurt your pride he is out to kill your pride.
Pride is Serious
- God is opposed to the proud. You don’t want God as your opponent.
- James 4:6 “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.””
- 1 Peter 5:5 “Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'”
- Luke 14:11 “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.””
- The way up is the way down. Completely the opposite of the world. Humble yourself and you will be exalted; exalt yourself and you will be humbled.
Humility is Critical to Receiving God’s Grace
- Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
- Proverbs 15:33 “The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honour.”
- Proverbs 18:12 “Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honour.”
- Proverbs 29:23 “A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honour.”
- Isaiah 57:15 “For this is what the high and lofty One says—he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
- 1 Peter 5:6 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”
- Isaiah 23:9 “The LORD Almighty planned it, to bring low the pride of all glory and to humble all who are renowned on the earth.”
- God resists the proud in order to show them their need of him. This results in his glory.
- 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
- We must change the source of our lives. You are weak whether you know it or not. Abiding is how you live the Christian life.
What Humility is Not
1. Humility is not denying the gifts and graces God has given you.
- It is important to know what you are gifted in. Realize you are called to help and serve others.
- Humility is not putting yourself down. It is being sober in your assessment and walking in the acknowledgment of God’s grace. It is using what God has given you for his glory.
2. Humility is not a lack of direction, desire and godly ambition.
- It is not wrong to want to be used of God or advance in the kingdom of God. God wants to use you to do great things for him. God is not glorified by a losing or defeatist mentality.
3. Humility is not denying the work of God within you or in the church.
4. Humility is not the pursuit of mediocrity.
- You should pursue excellence but not with the motivation of calling attention to yourself or trying to impress people.
- Humility allows you to enjoy the gifts of God without trying to impress others.
5. Humility is not denying or backing away from the truth.
- You are called to be righteous and humble. You are responsible to speak the truth in love without being self righteously critical.
Pride is Deceptive
- The devil does not come up to us with a red flag and tell us we are proud.
- Jeremiah 49:16 “The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks, who occupy the heights of the hill. Though you build your nest as high as the eagle’s, from there I will bring you down,” declares the LORD.”
- We need help to see the fruits of pride in our lives. What is the real issue behind your behaviour? Are you examining your heart and motives for pride? What really needs to change beyond outward behaviour?
- Proverbs 16:2 “All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD.”
- Proverbs 21:2 “All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the LORD weighs the heart.”
- Humility is the door to true freedom. How do you deal with things in your life? At the symptom level, problem level, or root level?
- John 8:31-36 “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
Fifty Fruits of Pride
1. I tend to be self sufficient in the way I live my life. I don’t live with a constant awareness that my every breath is dependent upon the will of God. I tend to think I have enough strength, ability and wisdom to live and manage my life. My practice of the spiritual disciplines in inconsistent and superficial. I don’t like to ask others for help.
2. I am often anxious about my life and the future. I tend not to trust God and rarely experience his abiding and transcendent peace in my soul. I have a hard time sleeping at night because of fearful thoughts and burdens I carry.
3. I am overly self-conscious. I tend to replay in my mind how I did, what I said, how I am coming across to others, etc. I am very concerned about what people think of me. I think about these things constantly.
4. I fear man more than God. I am afraid of others and make decisions about what I will say or do based upon this fear. I am afraid to take a stand for things that are right. I am concerned with how people will react to me or perceive my actions or words. I don’t often think about God’s opinion in a matter and rarely think there could be consequences for disobeying him. I primarily seek the approval of man and not of God.
5. I often feel insecure. I don’t want to try new things or step out into uncomfortable situations because I’m afraid I’ll fail or look foolish. I am easily embarrassed.
6. I regularly compare myself to others. I am performance oriented. I feel that I have greater worth if I do well.
7. I am self-critical. I tend to be a perfectionist. I can’t stand for little things to be wrong because they reflect poorly on me. I have a hard time putting my mistakes behind me.
8. I desire to receive credit and recognition for what I do. I like people to see what I do and let me know that they noticed. I feel hurt or offended when they don’t. I am overly concerned about my reputation and hate being misunderstood.
9. I want people to be impressed with me. I like to make my accomplishments known.
10. I tend to be deceptive about myself. I find myself lying to preserve my reputation. I find myself hiding the truth about myself, especially about sins, weaknesses, etc. I don’t want people to know who I really am.
11. I am selfishly ambitious. I really want to get ahead. I like having a position or title. I far prefer leading to following.
12. I am overly competitive. I always want to win or come out on top and it bothers me when I don’t.
13. I like to be the center of attention and will say or do things to draw attention to myself.
14. I like to talk, especially about myself or persons or things I am involved with. I want people to know what I am doing or thinking. I would rather speak than listen. I have a hard time being succinct.
15. I am self-serving. When asked to do something, I find myself asking, “How will doing this help me, or will I be inconvenienced?”
16. I am not very excited about seeing or making others successful. I tend to feel envious, jealous or critical towards those who are doing well or being honoured.
17. I feel special or superior because of what I have or do. For example:
my physical giftings
my spiritual giftings
my intellect or education
being a Christian
my position or job
18. I think highly of myself. In relation to others I typically see myself as more mature and more gifted. In most situations, I have more to offer than others even though I may not say so. I don’t consider myself average or ordinary.
19. I tend to give myself credit for who I am and what I accomplish. I only occasionally think about or recognize that all that I am or have comes from God.
20. I tend to be self-righteous. I can think that I really have something to offer God. I would never say so, but I think God did well to save me. I seldom think about or recognize my complete depravity and helplessness apart from God. I regularly focus on the sins of others. I don’t credit God for any degree of holiness in my life.
21. I feel deserving. I think I deserve what I have. In fact, I think I ought to have more considering how well I have lived or in light of all I have done.
22. I often feel ungrateful. I tend to grumble about what I have or my lot in life.
23. I find myself wallowing in self-pity. I am consumed with how I am treated by God and others. I tend to feel mistreated or misunderstood. I seldom recognize or sympathize with what’s going on with others around me because I feel that I have it worse than they do.
24. I can be jealous or envious of others abilities, possessions, positions, or accomplishments. I want to be what others are or want to have what others have. I am envious of what others have thinking that I should have it or deserve it. I find it hard to rejoice with others when they are blessed by God.
25. I am pretty insensitive to others. I feel that some people just aren’t worth caring about. I have a hard time showing compassion.
26. I have a know-it-all attitude. I am impressed by my own knowledge. I feel like there isn’t much I can learn from other people, especially those less mature than me.
27. I have a hard time listening to ordinary people. I listen better to those I respect or people I want to leave with a good impression. I don’t honestly listen when someone else is speaking because I am usually planning what I am going to say next.
28. I like to reveal my own mind. I have an answer for practically every situation. I feel compelled to balance everyone else out.
29. I interrupt people regularly. I don’t let people finish what they are saying.
30. I feel compelled to stop people when they start to share something with me I already know.
31. I find it hard to admit it when I don’t know something. When someone asks me something I don’t know, I will make up an answer rather than admit I don’t know.
32. I don’t get much out of teaching. I tend to evaluate a speaker rather than my own life. I grumble in my heart about hearing something a second time.
33. I listen to teaching with other people in mind. I constantly think of those folks who need to hear the teaching and wish they were here.
34. I’m not very open to input. I don’t pursue correction for my life. I tend to be unteachable and slow to repent when corrected. I don’t really see correction as a positive thing. I am offended when people probe the motivations of my heart or seek to adjust me.
35. I have a hard time admitting that I am wrong. I find myself covering up or excusing my sins. It is hard for me to confess my sins to others or to ask for forgiveness.
36. I view correction as an intrusion into my privacy rather than an instrument of God for my welfare. I can’t identify anyone who would feel welcome to correct me.
37. I resent people who attempt to correct me. I don’t respond with gratefulness and sincere appreciation for their input. Instead I am tempted to accuse them and dwell on their faults. I get bitter and withdraw.
38. When corrected, I become contentious and argumentative. I don’t take people’s observations seriously. I minimize and make excuses or give explanations.
39. I am easily angered and offended. I don’t like being crossed or disagreed with. I find myself thinking, “I can’t believe they did that to me.” I often feel wronged.
40. I have “personality conflicts” with others. I have a hard time getting along with certain kinds of people. People regularly tell me that they struggle with me.
41. I am self-willed and stubborn. I have a hard time cooperating with others. I really prefer my own way and often insist on getting it.
42. I am independent and uncommitted. I don’t really see why I need other people. I can easily separate myself from others. I don’t get much out of Group meetings.
43. I am unaccountable. I don’t ask others to hold me responsible to follow through on my commitments. I don’t really need accountability for my words and actions. I think I can take care of myself.
44. I am unsubmissive. I don’t like being under the authority of another person. I don’t see submission as a good and necessary provision from God for my life. I have a hard time supporting and serving those over me. I don’t “look up” to people and I like to be in charge. Other people may need leaders but I don’t. It is important that my voice is heard.
45. I lack respect for other people. I don’t think very highly of most people. I have a hard time encouraging and honouring others unless they really do something great.
46. I am a slanderer. I find myself either giving or receiving evil reports about others. Often times the things I say or hear are true about other people. I am not concerned about the effect of slander on me because of my maturity level. I think I can handle it. I will only share with others the things I really think they need to know. I don’t tell all.
47. I am divisive. I tend to resist or resent authority. I don’t like other people to give me orders or directions.
48. I like to demean or put others down. I often think people need to be adjusted and put in their place. This includes leaders. Other people need to be more humble and have a “sober” assessment of themselves.
49. I tend to be critical of others. I find myself feeling or talking negatively about people. I subtlety feel better about myself when I see how bad someone else is. I find it far easier to evaluate than to encourage someone else.
50. I really appreciate somebody taking the time to put this paper together. It will really be a big help to my friends and family. However, I don’t really need this because I think I’m pretty humble already.
By Grace Rid Yourself of Pride
1. Ask God to illuminate your heart so you can begin to see the fruits of pride in your life. Ask friends to point out the fruits of pride in your life realizing your heart is exceedingly deceitful.
2. You must meet the qualifications if you are to go on in God. Humility is the attitude upon which everything else is built.
3. Ask God to convict you point by point (Psalm 139:23-24) and trust that he will. You don’t want or need general condemnation, only specific, godly conviction.
4. Confess your pride to God point by point and ask for his forgiveness. Just as importantly, ask him to cleanse you of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
5. Don’t ask God to humble you — the Scriptures say to humble yourself (1 Peter 5:6). Humility isn’t an emotion; it’s a decision of the will to think and act differently. Vine’s Expository Dictionary defines humble as “low lying.” Ask yourself how you could be low lying or put others before yourself in various situations, and then do it. Respond to opportunities God gives you to humble yourself or honour others.
6. Confess your sins of pride to those you have effected and to your friends. They can help to hold you accountable and bring the on-going correction you will need. Be open, honest and transparent about your life and sins.
7. Ask God to give you a holy hatred for pride and its fruits in your life. Be continually on the alert. Don’t allow pride to grow in your heart. Sow to the Spirit, not to the flesh.
8. Remember your war against pride is life-long. It is not a battle won in a day. Yet, as you faithfully put to death, pride, and put on, humility, you will experience greater freedom and more importantly greater conformity to image and likeness of Christ. In so doing, God will be glorified in your life!