No, looking in the mirror isn’t necessarily prompted by pride. It could be insecurity or simple common sense. Maybe you’ve got spinach in your teeth!
When I look in the mirror it’s to make sure my hair isn’t sticking out—unless that’s my style for the day. It’s also when I tell myself, this is the best it will ever be, so be glad!
But, if you know your Bible, you’re aware that PRIDE is not an attitude that honors God.
In his book, Spiritual Leadership, one of my favorite authors, J. Oswald Sanders, gave a test for pride. It isn’t just for leaders—it’s something that challenges all of us. Ask yourself:
- How do I react when someone else is asked to do something I expected to do?
- How do I react when someone else gets the praise and attention and I am forgotten?
- How do I react when someone outshines me (or my spouse, or children?) in their gifts and accomplishments?
- How do I react when someone less “important” than me wants my time and help?
Our human reactions of disappointment, or feeling unimportant, or “less than” come from our emotions for various reasons. But pride is a response of anger, disdain, even arrogance. It comes from an inner attitude that thinks: I am better than you. I am more successful than you. You are not worthy of my time or attention.
As a speaker and author, I sometimes hear publishers or event planners commenting that certain people are not easy to deal with. Success has changed their view of themselves from God’s servants to celebrities who expect a certain level of treatment.
This ugly temptation to think more highly of ourselves, to believe we’ve made it by our own smarts or efforts, is a sneaky way Satan can derail any believer from holding fast to the truth:
It is God who gives us life, our abilities, and our opportunities. Of course we work hard, we press on to achieve the goals God sets before us. He doesn’t wave magic wands and tell us to laze around while He does everything. He works in us and through us, as we work with Him.
The transforming work of the Holy Spirit is to make us more like Jesus.
- He described Himself as “gentle and humble in heart” (Matthew 11:29).
- He laid aside His rightful claim to be served, serving the lowest of society.
- He responded to people’s needs with compassion.
- He treated the interruptions of others as opportunities to bless.
Rather than allowing what you’ve done or who you are in the eyes of others to produce an ugly prideful attitude, ask God to help you “clothe yourself with humility; humble yourself under God’s mighty hand; and in humility consider others better than yourself.” (1 Peter 5: 5-6; Philippians 2: 3)
Want to be lifted up by God? Fill your heart and mind with Him, not yourself
Ultimately, every kind of success comes from Him.
Qu. There’s a PRIDE that reveals itself in healthy self-respect, and a PRIDE that reveals itself in arrogance and insensitivity. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being a healthy respect for yourself and others; 1 being arrogant and insensitive) where would you place yourself?
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Poppy recently spoke at Jefferson Baptist Church on the importance of friendship. Listen in to the podcast recording!
Photo credit: DollarPhoto Club