Squeal with delight

I tumbled down the stairs of a small plane.

I had traveled to New Orleans to speak to a group of communications professionals. The opportunity had me nervous but also energized. Although young, I tried to appear confident and poised.

That backfired. My heel caught on a step and took me down, my composure with it.

Embarrassment gushed in like a flash flood. At least it was a small plane so few people witnessed my calamity. I picked myself up, looked at my bleeding knee and greeted the person designated to drive me to the meeting.

Impressive, I know. I’m still puzzled about how my slacks didn’t tear, but my knee did.

Pride leads to downfall and destruction

The dictionary shares a proverb describing pride. If you’re too conceited or self-important, something will happen to make you look foolish.

I imagine you can think of one foolish act driven by pride. It can sneak up on us and lead us down a road we never thought we’d travel.

The Bible says, “Where there is strife, there is pride,” (Prov. 13:10 NIV).

Pride can also destroy a person. “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall,” (Proverbs 16:18 NIV).

Even leadership expert John Maxwell has something to say about pride.

“Leaders who fail to prune their pride will meet demise. That’s not a guess, it’s a guarantee. With pride, it’s not a matter of ‘if’ we will fall, but ‘when.’ There are no exceptions.” – John C. Maxwell, #1 Leadership Expert and Best-Selling Author

Pride opposes God

At its core, pride is opposing God.

The Bible describes others who struggled with pride. Haman, who tried to abolish the Jewish race, found his story didn’t end well. (See Esther 3-7.)

King Saul disobeyed God out of pride and self-importance. He lost his kingdom . . . and his life. (See 1 Samuel 15.)

Satan’s pride led to his downfall, falling like lightning from heaven when he attempted to overthrow God and steal His glory. (See Luke 10:18 ESV.)

The giant Goliath, arrogant and rude, was defeated by a teenager with a sling and a stone. (See 1 Samuel 17.)

Put pride in its rightful place

Pride is dangerous. We need to put it in its rightful place.

Choose humility over pride. Humility brings wisdom. Pride generally leads to negative outcomes. Jesus said, “Pride is one of the many ‘evil things that come from within and defile a person.” (Mark 7:21-23 ESV)

Recognize limitations. Acknowledging our limitations allows others to lead or excel in a particular area.

Resolve conflict. Putting pride aside opens the door for restoration. Admitting you’ve made a mistake can go a long way toward handling conflicts and strengthening relationships.

Be teachable. Maintain an open mind. Listen and learn from others and embrace an attitude of lifelong learning.

Pride tells us to measure ourselves based on our accomplishments. Instead, let’s ditch pride and live in our God-given identity. Grab hold of the confidence we have in Jesus. Know that He works in and through our lives. Day in. Day out.

Anyone can slip up. We never know what’s coming. The key is to stay grounded in the One who gives us all things – including the ability to accomplish whatever task is required.


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