Four things to know about pride and humility
- Pride is the root of all evil (Genesis 3:5; 1 Timothy 3:6; 1 John 2:15-17)
- God hates pride (Proverbs 8:13; 16:5; Isaiah 23:9; Daniel 4:29-37; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5)
- God loves humility and favors those who are humble (Proverbs 11:2, 15:33, 18:12, 29:23; Isaiah 57:15, 66:2; Micah 6:8; Luke 14:11; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:6)
- What pride is not:
Acknowledging and appreciating the gifts and abilities God has given you
- The presence of godly desire, ambition and purposeful direction in your life (1 Timothy 3:1)
- Acknowledging the work of God within you
- The pursuit of excellence
- Defending and proclaiming the truth of Scripture
- Knowing more and being wiser than others...and being aware of that
- Pride is deceptive (John 8:31-36; Jeremiah 49:16; Proverbs 16:2, 21:2)
50 Forms of Pride (humility is the opposite of these)
1. Want to be Well Known or Important (Isaiah 14:13-15; James 3:13-16; Romans 12:6)
“I am selfishly ambitious. I really want to get ahead and make a name for myself. I want to be someone important in life. I like having a position or title. I far prefer leading to following.”
“I feel sorry for myself because I am not or do not have what I feel like I need or deserve. Others have what they need/want and I am less than them.”
3. Want to Impress People (Luke 10:38-42)
“I want people to be impressed with me. I like to make my accomplishments known.”
- Clothes or jewelry you wear
- Vehicle you drive
- House you live in
- Where you come from
- Where you work
- Amount of money you earn
- Food you eat
- How spiritual you are
- What you look like (physical appearance)
- What you have accomplished
- What you know
- How many people you know
- What your background is
4. Draw Attention to Myself (Proverbs 27:2)
“I like to be the center of attention and will say or do things to draw attention to myself.”
5. Like to Talk About Myself
"I like to talk, especially about myself or persons or things I am involved with. I want people to know what I am doing or thinking. I would rather speak than listen. I have a hard time being succinct.
6. Deceitful and Pretentious (Psalm 24:3-4, 26:2-4; Jeremiah 48:10; Proverbs 26:20-26)
"I tend to be deceptive about myself. I find myself lying to preserve my reputation. I find myself hiding the truth about myself, especially about sins, weaknesses, etc. I don't want people to know who I really am."
7. Desire Recognition and Praise (John 5:41-44; Matthew 6:1, 23:5-7)
“I desire to receive recognition and credit for what I do. I like people to see what I do and let me know that they noticed. I feel hurt or offended when they don’t. I am overly concerned about my reputation and hate being misunderstood.”
8. Not Fulfilled Serving Others (John 3:30)
“I am not very excited about seeing or making others successful. I tend to feel envious, jealous or critical towards those who are doing well or being honored.”
9. Self-Sufficient (Matthew 4:4; John 15:5; Acts 17:25; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
“I tend to be self-sufficient in the way I live my life. I don’t live with a constant awareness that my every breath is dependent upon the will of God. I tend to think I have enough strength, ability and wisdom to live and manage my life. My practice of the spiritual disciplines is inconsistent and superficial. I don’t like to ask others for help.”
10. Anxious (Psalm 4:8; Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 5:6-7)
“I am often anxious about my life and the future. I tend not to trust God and rarely experience his abiding and transcendent peace in my soul. I have a hard time sleeping at night because of fearful thoughts and burdens I carry.”
11. Self-Focused (Exodus 4:11; Job 10:8-11; Psalm 139:13-16; Isaiah 53:2; Jeremiah 1:5)
“I am overly self-conscious. I tend to replay in my mind how I did, what I said, and how I came across to others. I am very concerned about my appearance and what people think of me. I think about these things constantly.”
12. Fear of Man (Proverbs 29:25)
“I fear man more than God. I am afraid of others and make decisions about what I will say or do based upon this fear. I am afraid to take a stand for things that are right. I am concerned with how people will react to me or perceive my actions or words. I don’t often think about God’s opinion in a matter and rarely think there could be consequences for disobeying him. I primarily seek the approval of man and not of God.”
“I often feel insecure. I don’t want to try new things or step out into uncomfortable situations because I’m afraid I’ll fail or look foolish. I am easily embarrassed.”
“I regularly compare myself to others. I am performance oriented. I feel that I have greater worth if I do well.”
“I am self-critical. I tend to be a perfectionist. I can’t stand for little things to be wrong because they reflect poorly on me. I have a hard time putting my mistakes behind me.”
16. Self Serving (Philippians 2:19-22)
“I am self-serving. When asked to do something, I find myself asking, ‘How will doing this help me?’ or ‘Will I be inconvenienced?’ I am not focused on the needs and interests of others.”
17. Feel Better or Superior
“I feel special or superior because of what I have or do.”
18. Think Highly of Myself (Romans 12:3, 16; James 2:1-4)
“I think highly of myself. In relation to others I typically see myself as more mature and more gifted. In most situations, I have more to offer than others even though I may not say so. I don’t consider myself average or ordinary.”
19. Credit Myself (1 Corinthians 4:6-7; 15:10)
“I tend to give myself credit for who I am and what I accomplish. I only occasionally think about or recognize that all that I am or have comes from God. I don’t consciously transfer all glory to God for any good I have or any good I do.”
20. Self Righteous (Luke 18:9-14)
“I tend to be self-righteous. I can think that I really have something to offer God. I would never say so, but I think God did well to save me. I seldom think about or recognize my total depravity and helplessness apart from God. I regularly focus on the sins of others. I don’t credit God for any degree of holiness in my life.”
21. Feel Deserving
“I feel deserving. I think I deserve what I have. In fact, I think I ought to have more considering how well I have lived or in light of all I have done.”
22. Ungrateful (Luke 17:11-19; Ephesians 5:19-20; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Colossians 3:15-17; Philippians 2:14)
“I often feel ungrateful. Instead of thanking other people, I tend to complain about them. I grumble about what I don’t have or my lot in life. I am not amazed by grace on a regular basis and lack joy in my life.”
23. Captive to Self-Pity
“I find myself wallowing in self-pity. I am consumed with how I am treated by God and others. I tend to feel mistreated and hate being misunderstood. I seldom recognize or sympathize with what’s going on with others around me because I feel that I have it worse than they do.”
24. Jealous and Envious (James 3:13-16)
“I can be jealous or envious of others abilities, possessions, positions, accomplishments or friends. I want to be what others are or want to have what others have. I think I deserve or should have the good things other people do. I find it hard to rejoice when others are blessed by God.”
25. Unkind and Harsh (Ezekiel 16:49; Psalm 17:10; Proverbs 24:17-18; Luke 10:25-37)
“I am pretty insensitive to others. I feel some people just aren’t worth caring about. I have a hard time showing compassion or extending mercy to others. Some people aren’t worth my time and attention.”
26. Love to Reveal My Mind (Proverbs 18:2)
“I like to reveal my own mind. I have an answer for practically every situation and an opinion on every subject. I feel compelled to balance everyone else out and let them know my thoughts.”
27. Know It All (1 Corinthians 8:1)
“I have a know-it-all attitude. I am impressed by my own knowledge and understanding of things. I feel like there isn’t much I can learn from other people, especially those less mature than me.”
28. Like People to Know I Know
“I feel compelled to stop people when they start to share something with me I already know.”
29. Hard to Admit I Don’t Know
“I find it hard to admit it when I don’t know something. When someone asks me something I don’t know, I will make up an answer rather than admit I don’t know.”
30. Don’t Listen to Ordinary People or People I Think Are “Less”
“I have a hard time listening to ordinary people. I listen better to those I respect or people I am wanting to leave with a good impression. I don’t honestly listen when someone else is speaking because I am usually planning what I am going to say next.”
“I interrupt people regularly. I don’t let people finish what they are saying.”
32. Don’t Get Much Out of Teaching
“I don’t get much out of the teaching. I tend to evaluate the speaker rather than my own life. I grumble about hearing something a second time.”
33. Thinking of Others During Teaching
“I listen to teaching with other people in mind. I constantly think of those folks who need to hear and apply this teaching and wish they were here.”
34. Not Teachable (Proverbs 12:1)
“I’m not very open to input. I don’t pursue correction for my life. I tend to be unteachable and slow to repent when corrected. I don’t really see correction as a positive thing. I am offended when people probe the motivations of my heart or seek to adjust me.”
35. Don’t Admit Wrong Doing (Proverbs 28:13; James 5:16)
“I have a hard time admitting that I am wrong. I find myself covering up or excusing my sins. It is hard for me to confess my sins to others or to ask for forgiveness.”
36. Do Not Welcome Correction (Proverbs 15:12)
“I view correction as an intrusion into my privacy rather than an instrument of God for my welfare. I can’t identify anyone who would feel welcome to correct me.”
37. Resent People Who Correct Me (Proverbs 9:7-9)
“I resent people who attempt to correct me. I don’t respond with gratefulness and sincere appreciation for their input. Instead I am tempted to accuse them and dwell on their faults. I get bitter and withdraw.”
38. Contentious and Argumentative (James 1:19-20)
“When corrected, I become contentious and argumentative. I don’t take people’s observations seriously. I minimize and make excuses or give explanations.”
39. Get Angry or Offended With Others (1 Corinthians 6:7)
“I am easily angered and offended. I don’t like being crossed or disagreed with. I find myself thinking, ‘I can’t believe they did that to me.’ I often feel wronged. I hate to be misunderstood by others especially those I respect and desire to think highly of me.”
40. Constantly in Conflicts (Proverbs 13:10)
“I have ‘personality conflicts’ with others. I have a hard time getting along with certain kinds of people. People regularly tell me they struggle with me.”
41. Have Little Esteem or Respect for Others (Numbers 16:1-3)
“I lack respect for other people. I don’t think very highly of most people. I have a hard time encouraging and honoring others unless they really do something great.”
42. Do Violence with My Mouth (Psalm 101:5; Romans 3:13-14; 3 John 1:9-10)
“I am a slanderer. I find myself either giving or receiving evil reports about others. I am not concerned about the effect of slander on me because of my maturity level. I think I can handle it. I only share with others the things I think they really need to know. I don’t tell all. Anyway, the things I say or hear about people are usually true.”
43. Create Dissention (Proverbs 28:25)
“I am divisive. My actions and attitudes separate people rather than unite people. My words frequently undermined the confidence and trust people have in one another. I also tend to resist or resent authority. I don’t like other people to give me orders or directions.”
44. Demean or Belittle Others
“With a motivation to put people in their place or look good myself, I like to demean or put others down. They need my adjustment. This includes leaders. Other people need to be humble and have a ‘sober’ assessment of themselves.”
“I tend to be critical of others. I find myself feeling or talking negatively about people. I subtly feel better about myself when I see how bad someone else is. I find it far easier to evaluate than to encourage someone else.”
46. Self-Willed and Stubborn
“I am self-willed and stubborn. I have a hard time cooperating with others. I really prefer my own way and often insist on getting it.”
47. Independent (Proverbs 18:1; Luke 1:51-52)
“I am independent and uncommitted. I don’t really see why I need other people. I can easily separate myself from others. I don’t get much out of the small group meetings.”
48. Unaccountable (Acts 2:42; Hebrews 10:25)
“I am unaccountable. I don’t ask others to hold me responsible to follow through on my commitments. I don’t really need accountability for my words and actions.”
49. Unsubmissive (Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 5:5)
“I am unsubmissive. I don’t like being under the authority of another person. I don’t see submission as a good and necessary provision from God for my life. I have a hard time supporting and serving those over me. I don’t ‘look up’ to people and I like to be in charge. Other people may need leaders, but I don’t. It is important that my voice is always heard.”
50. Feel Mature
“I really appreciate somebody taking the time to put this paper together. It will really be a big help to my friends and family. However, I don’t really need this because I think I’m pretty humble already.”
How to deal with pride in your life
- Ask God to reveal your pride.
- Ask others to point out pride, realizing your heart is deceitful. Be self-suspicious.
- Confess your pride to God point by point and ask for and celebrate His forgiveness.
- Confess your sins of pride to those you have affected.
- Ask God to give you a hatred for pride and be alert not to allow pride to grow in your heart.
- Think about Jesus’ humility often and deeply. Think about how He has accomplished perfect humility on your behalf and how pride does not have a strangle hold on you. Regularly meditate on the greatness of God. Think little about yourself.
- Ask God to teach you humility and give you a love for anonymity.
- Humble yourself. Serve others more than you are served.
- Remember your war against pride is life-long. It is not a battle won in a day. But as you faithfully put pride to death and put on humility, you will experience greater freedom and, more importantly, greater conformity to the image and likeness of Christ. In so doing, God will be glorified in your life!
Adopted and Adjusted from Brent Detwiler
- Humility is the door (entryway)/root/foundation to our relationship with God.
- Humility is the disposition that makes us available to be blessed by God—He saves, guides and sustains the humble.
- Humility is primarily thinking about ourselves less vs. thinking less about ourselves.
- Humility primarily comes in remembering who God is in comparison to who we are vs. constantly trying to remember who we are in comparison to others.
If everything good comes from God, like a flowing river, how ridiculous of us to think that we need to announce that we are the dam that it went through and need to be acknowledged in the process?
We are simply the mail carriers for anything good that God has written.
- How have you become difficult to work with?
- Has it become difficult to be convinced you are hard to work with (inapproachability)?
- Do you find yourself looking down on people who are different from you (because different from you is obviously wrong)?
- Do you find yourself looking down on people who are like you (because you are obviously superior in comparison)?
- Do you find yourself becoming overly frustrated with someone who is young and yet to have matured?
- Have you surrounded yourself with people who too often approve and say “yes” to you?
- When confronted, are you quick to assure yourself of your own goodness and competency?
- When questioned, are you quick to defend and slow to listen to the truth?
- How difficult is it for you to admit your complicity or participation in failure?
- How skilled are you at placing blame (legitimately and illegitimately) on others than shouldering it?
- Are you better at controlling than serving?
- Do you find yourself resisting work that you think is “beneath” you vs. what is commensurate with your person/experience/position/title?
- Is it painful for someone to tell you what to do?
- Have you inflated your sense of importance/value to the health of your job/family/church/social organization?
- Do you regularly feel that you are “essential” or simply “useful”?
- Are your meetings collaborative or designed for you to make pronouncements to those you work or serve with?
- Are you too busy to spend time with someone who has nothing to offer you?
- How often do you talk about all that you have to do that makes you busier than others?
- Do you presume on others regularly?
- If you evaluated your expectations, how much does entitlement describe them?
- When you tell stories about yourself, are you regularly the “hero” or are they self-congratulating?
- If talking too much is a sign of pride because you want everyone to know what you think, do you need to be quiet?
- Or if being quiet is a sign of pride because it allows you to look down on others, do you need to talk more revealing about your own flaws?
- Do you find yourself caring too much about what people think?
- Do you find yourself caring too little about what people think?
- How difficult is it to receive a gift from someone?
- Do you always expect a gift from someone?
- When is the last time you truly forgot yourself in a situation rather than ensured you were taken care of? Have you ever found joy in self forgetfulness?
- When was a time you were forgotten? How devastating was it?
- Is gratitude the default response when you accomplish something?