Hidden pride ∙
The LORD detests the proud; they will surely be punished. – Proverbs 16:5
17 The path of the virtuous leads away from evil; whoever follows that path is safe.
18 Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.
19 Better to live humbly with the poor than to share plunder with the proud.
20 Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the LORD will be joyful.
21 The wise are known for their understanding, and pleasant words are persuasive.
22 Understanding is a fountain of life to one who has it, But the discipline of fools is folly.
It is safe to say that people have diverse emotions, both good and bad. Most of them are apparent and readily observed: happiness, joy, sadness, anger, etc. However, some are not so obvious. Regrettably, we are frequently oblivious to them. They are hidden within. Pride is one common emotion that the possessor little notices. Why is this so? Many expressions of pride are easily recognized: an overinflated ego, self-righteousness, boastfulness, and arrogant behavior. However, some forms of pride go virtually unnoticed. One is the hidden pride of understating yourself.
This form of pride often results from shyness, a lack of self-confidence, or low self-esteem. It manifests itself when we play down and refuse to receive compliments from others. When someone says something affirming our appearance, vocabulary, accomplishments, knowledge, experience, intelligence, etc., we often defer and say nothing in response.
“Our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is a long journey that begins at salvation and ends in heaven. Our walk is strewn with adversity, hazards, and dangers to overcome or avoid. One such obstacle is pride. It is a spiritual landmine. It is analogous to an explosive device buried in the ground to wreak horrific physical harm or death. Hidden pride is embedded and often unrecognized in our hearts” (Stanley). When it “explodes,” it causes spiritual damage. Our lives, relationships, and walk with the Lord are often profoundly impacted (Stanley).
“Our enemy Satan lays spiritual landmines in our path to trip us up, and one of his most effective ones is pride. Therefore, it’s imperative that we learn to detect it quickly in order to guard against sin. Often, we are slow to see and admit that we have a problem with pride because it tends to hide behind feelings of inadequacy” (Stanley).
The story is told of a new child of the King in his early twenties. He was in college and had always been very shy. He picked up a Christian book by “chance.” The book discusses various seemingly inconspicuous things that were sinful. In one of the paragraphs, the author said that shyness was a sin. Why so? Because shyness was essentially self-centered. This had never occurred to him before, and he immediately repented of his sin of shyness and determined never to be intimidated again by his own weakness.
REFLECT & PRAY
The proud man is placed in the very worst company in Proverbs, heading the ‘seven abominations’ in Proverbs 6:17 (Kidner).
Father please reveal all of the hurtful and wicked ways within my heart. I see the hidden pride within, acknowledge it, and release it to You.
How grievous is the sin of pride? The answer is surprising and unexpected. The Father puts pride in the same category as murder (Stanley)! The proud are placed in the very worst company in Proverbs, heading the seven abominations in Proverbs 6:17 (Kidner).
All sins are not equal. And there are seven that the Lord detests the most above all others. There are six things the Father hates. He calls them abominations. “An abomination refers to anything that is abhorred or regarded as disgusting” (UBS). The Hebrew terms translated as “to Him” do not reflect the original Hebrew. Something crucial to understanding the emotional impact on the Father is omitted. The original Hebrew literally says, “to His soul.”
Ponder that for a moment and consider.
When we are guilty of these seven sins, we actually cause the Father “pain,” “sorrow,” and “disgust” in the deepest recesses of His being. In modern English, we would say, “we bring tears to His eyes” or “we break His heart.”
I would hope that no child of the King that deeply loves Him wants to do that knowingly. When we truly love someone, the last thing we wish to do is harm the person we care about.
16 There are six things the LORD hates – yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent,
18 a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong,
19 a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family.
The Hebrew term translated as haughty eyes is rum which literally means high, lofty, or exalted. Metaphorically it has the sense of being raised up, haughty, or proud. The expression haughty eyes refers to a proud look suggesting arrogance, a proud look.
The Scriptures are crystal clear; the Father hates human pride.
James 4:6 God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. The same thought is found elsewhere in Scripture Proverbs 3:34 and 1 Peter 5:5.
“Proverbs 16:5 says, ‘Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord.’ That’s why we cannot serve Him while clinging to our own self-importance. When God is given second place in our life, the work of the Holy Spirit is hindered. Then we make foolish mistakes because we are focused not on Him but on ourselves” (Stanley).
How can we actualize this in our lives and reduce our pride and arrogance? We take action. We practice taking the focus off of ourselves. Instead, we are to focus on the Father and make Him the center of our lives.
“The key to overcoming pride is to fix our eyes on God and the depth of His character. He alone is worthy of all exaltation” (Stanley).
Micah 6:8 O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?
© Dr. H 2022