Pride is a very common cause of brokenness in all of our lives. Someone has said that “when it comes to pride, it is not a matter of do I have any pride, but rather where do I have it and how much of it do I have.” To some degree or another, all of our lives are broken by pride, and the reason for that is because, when it comes right down to it, pride is a matter of self-worship and we are all naturally worshippers of ourselves.

While we are all broken by pride, the danger of pride is that it can be very deceptive. In Obadiah, chapter 1, God’s prophet Obadiah tells the Edomites the following: “The pride of your heart has deceived you. In other words, pride can actually deceive our own hearts, making us blind to the brokenness of pride in our lives. To help us expose the deceitfulness of pride in our lives, use the following questions to probe your heart and mind regarding pride in your life.

Questions to expose the deceitfulness of pride in our lives:

  1. Do you look down on those less educated, less affluent, less refined, or less successful than yourself?
  2. Do you think of yourself as more spiritual than your spouse, or people in your church, or people in your workplace, or other believers you know?
  3. Are you quick to find fault with others and to verbalize those faults to others?
  4. Do you frequently correct or criticize your spouse, or your pastor, or other people in positions of leadership — your kids’ teachers or youth director?
  5. Are you driven to receive approval, praise, or acceptance from others? Do you always need to have a pat on the back, have someone telling you how well you’re doing or you get discouraged?
  6. Are you a complainer about the weather, your health, your circumstances, your job, the church?
  7. Are you argumentative? Do you have to have the last word?
  8. Do you generally think that your way is the right way, the only way, or the best way?
  9. Are you guilty of pretense — trying to leave a better impression of yourself than is honestly true?
  10. Do you have a hard time admitting when you are wrong? Is it hard for you to say, “I was wrong”? Or do you wait for the other person to admit that they were wrong?
  11. Do you have a hard time confessing your sin to God or others? Not just in generalities. I mean the specifics. Do you have a hard time confessing those?
  12. Do you have a hard time reaching out and being friendly to people that you don’t know at church? Do you stick to your own little group?
  13. Do you quickly become defensive when you are criticized or corrected?
  14. Are you a perfectionist? Does everything have to be perfect, or do you get impatient and irked with people who aren’t?
  15. Do you frequently interrupt people when they’re speaking?
  16. Do you talk about yourself too much? Are you more concerned about your problems, your needs, your burdens than about other people’s concerns?
  17. Do you neglect to express gratitude to God, to your spouse, to others?
  18. Do you get hurt if your accomplishments or your acts of service at home, at your job, or at church are not recognized or rewarded?
  19. Do you have a hard time being told what to do? Do you have an issue with authority?
  20. Is it hard for you to let others know when you need help?

Now what?

If in going through those questions you recognized that you are definitely broken by pride, maybe even more so than you thought, here is the good news: we can do something about it! We can be intentional about moving from pride toward humility. And we know that we can do this because of what we are told in the N.T. book of I Peter, chapter 5, where we are commanded to “humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God.” The following are some practical steps you take in your life to intentionally move from pride toward humility.

  1. Pray that God would search your heart by His Word and His Spirit for any evidence of pride in your life.
  2. Acknowledge and confess your sin of pride to God, and ask Him to replace your pride with a heart of humility.
  3. Spend as much time as possible focusing yourself on and worshipping God (praising, praying, reading, meditating, and fasting).
  4. Study and imitate the life of Jesus — the greatest example of humility we have.
  5. Study and practice the 38 different “One Another” commands in the Bible.
  6. Ask others if you come across as proud in any way.
  7. Acknowledge and confess your sin to others, humbly asking for their forgiveness.
  8. Be quick to forgive others as forgiveness is really a denial of self — self rights, revenge, etc.
  9. Actively submit to authority — the good and the bad.
  10. Try to receive correction and feedback from others.
  11. Choose to serve others. When we serve others, we are serving God’s purposes in their lives, and in doing so we reduce our focus on ourselves.
  12. Cultivate a grateful heart. The more we develop an attitude of gratitude to God, the more true our perspective of self will be. A grateful heart is a humble heart.
  13. Treat pride as a condition that always necessitates embracing the cross. It is our nature to be proud, and it is God’s nature in us that brings humility. Committing to a lifestyle of daily dying to ourselves and living through Him is the foundation for true humility.

“One Another” Commands

  1. Leviticus 19:11 — You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to another.
  2. Zechariah 7:9 — Thus says the LORD of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another.
  3. John 13:14 — If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
  4. John 13:34 — A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
  5. John 13:35 — By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
  6. Romans 12:10 — Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
  7. Romans 12:16 — Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.
  8. Romans 13:8 — Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
  9. Romans 14:13 — Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.
  10. Romans 15:7 — Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
  11. Romans 16:16 — Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.
  12. 1 Corinthians 1:10 — I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
  13. 1 Corinthians 16:20 — All the brothers send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
  14. 2 Corinthians 13:12 — Greet one another with a holy kiss.
  15. Galatians 5:13 — For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
  16. Ephesians 4:2 — with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
  17. Ephesians 4:32 — Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
  18. Ephesians 5:19 — addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,
  19. Ephesians 5:21 — submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
  20. Colossians 3:13 — bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
  21. Colossians 3:16 — Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
  22. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 — Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
  23. Hebrews 3:13 — But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
  24. Hebrews 10:24 — And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
  25. Hebrews 10:25 — not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
  26. James 4:11 — Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.
  27. 1 Peter 1:22 — Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.
  28. 1 Peter 3:8 — Finally, all of you, have unity of mind [live in harmony with one another], sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.
  29. 1 Peter 4:9 — Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
  30. 1 Peter 5:5 — Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
  31. 1 Peter 5:14 — Greet one another with the kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
  32. 1 John 1:7 — But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
  33. 1 John 3:11 — For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
  34. 1 John 3:23 — And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He has commanded us.
  35. 1 John 4:7 — Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
  36. 1 John 4:11 — Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
  37. 1 John 4:12 — No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us.
  38. 2 John 1:5 — And now I ask you, dear lady — not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning — that we love one another.