Of all the deceitful traps of the devil, perhaps none is more dangerous than pride. Proverbs 16:18 warns, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (NKJV). We read in 1 Peter 5:5 that “God resists the proud” and in Proverbs 16:5 that “everyone proud and arrogant in heart is disgusting, hateful, and exceedingly offensive to the Lord; be assured [I pledge it] they will not go unpunished” (AMP). Such strong words in Scripture cannot be ignored; pride is obviously to be avoided at all costs!
Prideful people are ones who do not seek the help of God, because they feel they have no need. Pride involves placing confidence in your own ability instead of in God’s ability. It is a feeling of superiority and involves placing yourself in a level of prominence that only God should hold. When we maintain that type of attitude, trouble is sure to follow!
When we read the Bible’s accounts of the kings who ruled Israel and Judah, we find that a major determinant to their success or failure was whether they displayed pride or humility. We see how God blessed the kings when they cried out for His help and trusted in Him. However, when they became so confident in their own ability that they led without the Lord’s counsel, He caused destruction to come upon them.
One king who experienced both sides was King Uzziah. When Uzziah first assumed the throne over Judah, he acted in a manner that pleased the Lord. Second Chronicles 26:5 explains that “as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper” (NKJV). God helped him to conquer many cities in the surrounding region, and as a result, Uzziah’s fame spread to far lands.
Sadly, however, the Bible tells that “when [Uzziah] was strong, his heart was lifted up” (2 Chron. 26:16). Uzziah entered the temple to burn incense before the Lord, a practice which God had reserved strictly for the priests. He disobeyed the law of the Lord, perhaps deciding in himself that his greatness had earned his right to do so. When the priests confronted the king about his prideful mistake, Uzziah became furious, and God struck him with leprosy. Uzziah remained a leper for the rest of his life and lived in an isolated house until his death.
This account demonstrates the truth of God’s word that those who become prideful will fall. We should take heed to this truth and carry a heart of humility instead. We must always remember that anything we’ve ever accomplished is only possible through the help of God. We are nothing without Him! Instead of depending on our own strength, we should humbly look to the Lord for help. The Bible teaches that God “gives grace to the humble” (Prov. 3:34). That means that in humility, we receive His ability to accomplish what we could never do on our own. Let’s all humbly look to God today to receive His grace.