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Pride Destroys

Dear Friend,

All too recently I found myself standing in my pantry between the pancake mix and mild enchilada sauce, telling my husband as I choked back tears, “I just felt embarrassed.” (Or something pretty close to that. You know how I am about details.) But let me back up and explain, as most of my normal “pantry conversations” involve either: “Where did I put that?” or “Now what did I come in here for?”

Earlier that day my husband gently and tactfully addressed something I had done that morning. I thought I did a pretty good job hearing him out (not something I always do well) and trying to be understanding. That lasted until I had some time by myself. Then things went downhill pretty fast.

I felt hurt and then mad. I began going through it in my head, rerunning the incident and analyzing it. Next, I began scrutinizing his past (annoying) behavior preparing my rebuttal. Oh yeah, this was going to be good. That brings us to that moment in the pantry.

Well, I don’t remember what I was getting in the pantry, but I’m pretty sure God showed up about the time my husband did, because right about then I had an epiphany. My pride had gotten poked when my husband confronted me earlier that day. When I looked past my hurt pride and the reaction that pain motivated, I realized I just felt embarrassed that I had messed up. 

As I acknowledged my embarrassment to my husband in the pantry that day, my desire to have my “say” and defend myself evaporated. Consequently, when I no longer heeded my pride and that obstacle was removed, I was able to receive his embrace and encouragement. Our day moved on without rebuttals, revenge, or a hurt ego because we were able to address the real issue without my pride staying in the middle of things, causing problems. 

I know God holds a very strong (negative) view on pride. And as I look back on that situation, I get more of an idea why. If God wouldn’t have stepped in, pride would’ve wreaked havoc on my relationship with my husband that day. Come to think of it, pride has never done me any favors.

Pride makes us vulnerable. We walk around with a very real weakness, as it doesn’t like to be touched. Oh, I know, pride has tried to persuade us, might I say pretty convincingly, that it’s a place of strength, but it’s not. It wants us to protect it, even at the expense of hurting others. My pride was extremely sensitive to my husband’s gentle correction. It kept me from simply taking it in, making the necessary adjustments, and continuing to move forward. 

Pride makes us vulnerable to a skewed perspective. When our pride gets bumped, we see the situation out of “pain” or other “feelings.” Pride is vengeful. If it gets confronted, it lashes out like a cornered feral cat. It plots and seeks to inflict pain, or it seeks to dole out what it views as “justice.” 

Pride pits people against each other instead of allowing the situation to be addressed, a solution reached, and the problem overcome. Pride seeks to be right instead of seeking to be restored. 

Proverbs 16:18 is often misquoted. We hear that pride goes before a fall, but the verse actually states:

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (NKJV).

Don’t feel too badly if you’ve switched the words around - a haughty spirit has to do with being arrogant, prideful, or being conceited. So it could be said that pride does bring us down. But what I want to point out is that it DESTROYS. God doesn’t want us to walk in pride, and one of the reasons is because it’s destructive. Take a moment to let that sink in.

So what’s a girl (or boy) to do? Embracing humility comes to mind. Over and over again the Bible says to “humble yourself.” In fact, it surprised me that it so often was worded that way. Couldn’t God humble us? Sure He could, and He helps us with this. But knowing how sensitive our pride is, isn’t it amazing that God would encourage us to do it ourselves first? I know I would rather have a go at it before anyone else got involved. 

If you’re concerned that you may have some pride in your life, simply ask God to reveal it to you. He’ll reveal it even when we don’t ask sometimes. Ha! (Yup, speaking from experience here.) When you come across pride in yourself, you may have any number of reactions – disgust, sorrow, anger, denial, embarrassment, etc. After it happened to me a few times (Man, I’ve got to stop all these confessions.), I began to feel relief when God allowed me to see it. He only shows me hard things about myself to free me from it. The momentary uncomfortableness is worth the end result. 

Besides asking God to show us pride in ourselves (that we often easily overlook), here are a few practical things to consider: Has someone, whether on accident or purposefully, embarrassed or hurt you, and you thought you should return the “favor”? When someone addressed an issue concerning you, did you want to remind them of their shortcomings? Have you ever felt better about yourself after seeing someone else mess up? (If so, you were feeding that monster. Yes, I’ve fed the beast, too, before.) These are just a few things to help uncover pride.

Well, I’m back to standing in my pantry not remembering why I’m in there. But if God spots any other overly sensitive, touchy areas in me – anything that doesn’t resemble His Son – well, I know Him to be a gentle, loving Father, so let’s do this. 

James 4:10 (NKJV) “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

With a little less pride,



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