God Humbles the Prideful...

Pray: God help me depend on you in every part of my life. Let me revoke my focus on myself and turn it to you so that I can serve you and others.

Read: Daniel 4

I was a small child when I first experienced a prideful thought. I didn’t really need to learn how to think that way; it came quite naturally to me. I was filled with thoughts that I was better than the other kids. I behaved well. The teachers loved me. I had great friends and I was generally well thought of. I remember one particular time in Ms. Rayburn’s 5th grade math class where my pride got the best of me and really hurt one of my friends.

I was bored and began fiddling with stuff at my desk. I totally understood the content. In my mind, I was halfway in the discussion and halfway headed home when a friend asked a silly question that was clearly and obviously addressed 20 minutes prior. In no exaggeration of the words, I laughed out loud at her in the middle of class. Yes, and at that moment, the “lol” was invented. My friend heard me and looked over with embarrassment and disgust in her eyes. I felt terrible. I had been overcome with my own pride and in the process; I had really hurt my friend. Pride is a powerfully dangerous force.

Pride is a major topic throughout the scriptures and it is no secret that pride and devotion to Christ don’t jive. Proverbs 16:18 informs us that “pride goes before destruction,” and Matthew 6:24 reminds us that we cannot serve two masters, we will love the one and hate the other.

Daniel chapter 4 records King Nebuchadnezzar, ruler of Babylon as one of the most prideful encounters in the scriptures. King Neb, has built himself a world empire and he is bursting with pride. He’s put a lot of work in it. One night he is walking on his balcony and just becomes overwhelmed with how amazing he (himself) is! He literally begins worshipping himself saying…

 “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?" (Daniel 4:30).

Before he was finished saying these things, God struck him and he was made like a beast of the field – he lost his mind and he was made to go out into the woods, to live like a wild animal for probably a couple of years until he grew finger nails like bird claws! Have you noticed pride or arrogance creeping into your life lately?

King Neb was a victim of his own sin…pride. There was no one to blame but himself. He was a victim of his own pride. I think God allows these sorts of events and allows prideful, arrogant people to fall so that they’ll learn to depend on God instead of themselves. I know through personal experience that He does this. We all lose our minds at times and lose focus on what is truly central in the universe, i.e. not us!

God wants to rid our character of selfish pride. He wants us to focus on Him and worship Him rather than ourselves. God and the good news of salvation through the gospel of Jesus Christ are my central motivators in life, but when I fail to remember this on a daily basis, my fall into laughing derision at the expense of my peers becomes the norm. Don’t loose sight of Christ! Experiencing Christ on a daily basis destroys pride and builds healthy dependence on the only one who can always follow through for us. As an added benefit, you don’t get turned into a wild animal, or worse.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What pride are you holding onto that you need to give up?
  2. How is your prideful attitude or actions affecting others in your life?

Memorize: Daniel 4:37