I can get along with just about anyone…but a haughty, stuck-up, prideful person really gets on my nerves. Or when profanity slips off a person tongue easier than butter on hot corn-on-the-cob, I feel as if I need to clean out my ears. When I encounter these kinds of attitudes I have to send up a quick prayer that goes something like this, “Lord, bless their hearts. Please help me love them like Jesus loves them.” That might sound cliché but it helps me to adjust my attitude towards them. When I love them like Jesus loves them, I can see the person and not the attitude. However, pride is something that is easy to see in other people, but we rationalize it within ourselves and rarely recognize our own prideful hearts. We are all guilty of pride (click to tweet). In fact, we can see some well-known people from the Bible how allowed pride to sneak in and how their pride brought them down.
- King David struggled with pride when he called for an unnecessary census of Israel’s army and chose to place his trust in a strong army rather than in an all-powerful God. (2 Samuel 24)
- Uzziah was a godly king, but when he allowed his own arrogance to overstep, he attempted to take the place of the priest and burn incense before the Lord. God struck with leprosy. (2 Chronicles 26:16)
- Hezekiah took pride in his possession and eventually God stepped in to discipline him. As a result, God’s wrath was poured out him, Judah and Jerusalem. But when Hezekiah humbled himself before God, God turned his wrath away from them. (2 Chronicles 32:24-26)
- Nebuchadnezzar was driven from his kingdom for taking credit for building Babylon (Daniel 4:30).
- Herod was struck dead and eaten by worms because he assumed the status of a god rather than praising the One True God. (Acts 12:22-23)
- Peter boasted pridefully that he would never forsake Jesus, but when Jesus was arrested and put on trial, Peter denied him three times (Matthew 26:33-35, 69-75)
It’s important for us to remember that God loves all people…enough that He sent His son to die for them. So when we read in Proverbs 8:13 that God hates arrogant pride, evil conduct, and perverse speech, it’s the attitude and behavior that he hates. Not the person. In this verse, we see a progression occurring. It begins in the heart with pride and arrogance. Once born there, it births evil conduct and perverse speech. In Matthew 12:34, Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Click to tweet) James wrote, “no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:8) When evil dwells within our hearts, it is revealed in our actions and our words. (Click to tweet) Why? Because every sin always begins with pride. Immorality, anger, greed, drunkenness, lying, jealousy, gossip, stealing…every single sin has pride as its deepest root.
A prideful heart is one that says it doesn’t need anyone or anything to get through life…including God. This person relies solely on themselves and leaves God out of the picture. Pride is a heart condition that replaces God’s reign in one’s life and chooses to seat himself on the throne. He chooses what is right or wrong for himself, ignoring what God has to say. (Click to tweet) The problem with a prideful heart is that it always leads to destruction and God resists a prideful heart. In Proverbs 16:18, we read, “Pride comes before destruction and an arrogant spirit before a fall.” In 1 Peter 5:5, we learn that God resists the proud.
In Proverbs 6:16-17, there is a list of attitudes and behaviors that God hates and the first thing on the list is haughty eyes. Merriam-Webster defines “haughty” as “blatantly and disdainfully proud.” When used in the Bible, the word is always used to describe an evil person that is arrogant, disdainful and setting themselves above others. A person with haughty eyes will look through his own superiority to look down on other people. They believe the world revolves around them and they have no concern for what others think and they certainly do not care about God. However, the Bible tells us that God humbles the haughty (Psalm 18:27).
Over in Proverbs 16:5, Solomon wrote, “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.” An arrogant heart will not love others. It will feast off anger and bitterness and passes judgment. It will ridicule and belittle others. It will criticize and mock. An arrogant heart believes in its own intellect, morality, and spirituality. It is obsessed with self and its own achievements. .
Not only does God hate pride, but He also hates perverse speech. Most of us probably first think of “cussing” or “taking God’s name in vain” when we talk about perverse speech. Certainly that is included. However, what about telling a dirty or inappropriate joke? What about gossiping or lying? What about slandering another person? Would not these also be “perverse”? In Luke 6:44-45, Jesus taught, “For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” (NASB) Basically, Jesus is saying that whatever words come out of our mouths proves what is in our hearts. In Proverbs 6:12, Solomon wrote, “A worthless person, a wicked man, is the one who walks with a perverse mouth.” The Hebrew word for “worthless” is “belial” and it means, “good for nothing in a moral sense.” Interestingly enough, the same word appears in the New Testament. In its Greek form, the word is used as a name for the devil. Since our words are formed and thought out at a heart level, the words we utter put the conditions of our heart on display for all the world to see. This ought to make us stop and think before we speak. Do our words lead others to Christ? Do our words set us apart from the world? If we truly understand and believe that our word express what is in our heart, what impression are we leaving on others? Is God honored by the words we say…even when no one else is around (because He is always there!)?
What are you treasuring in your heart? The choices you make each and every day in your attitudes, behaviors, and words are determined by what is in your heart. We can protect our hearts by changing our treasure. Psalm 119:9-16 tells us: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping Your word. I have sought You with all my heart; don’t let me wander form Your commandments. I have treasured Your word in my heart so that I may not sin against You. Lord, may You be praised; teach me Your statutes. With my lips I proclaim all the judgments from Your mouth. I rejoice in the way revealed by Your decrees as much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts and think about Your ways. I will delight in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.” We need to make sure we are in God’s Word daily, memorizing it, thinking deeply about what it says, and allowing it to change us from the inside out.
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Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants.
Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.
With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities.