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DEVOTIONAL: What Does The Bible Say About Pride?

The Lord resists the proud; but he gives grace to the humble.  –Proverbs 3:34 (BST)

In the old days of pipe organs, a person was required to sit in a small box under the organ and pump the bellows to provide air to make sound. Due to the small size of the compartment, this job was usually done by a child. The story is told of a famous organist who had played the first half of a concert to the thunderous applause of the audience.

As the second set after the intermission was to begin, the boy who pumped the bellows peeped out and asked the organist, “Are we ready?”

“Are we ready?!” the organist snapped back? “I am the master musician. All these people came to hear me.”

Satisfied that he had put the little lad in his place and to resume the concert, the organist hit the keys. But, to his shock, no sound came out. Awkward silence filled the hall. At which point the cheeky boy poked his head out and asked again, “Are we ready?”

Despite his great musical gifts, that organist had a deep flaw of pride. So self-centered, he forgot he couldn’t make a sound without the little fellow working the bellows. Although young and out of sight, without the boy’s involvement, nothing happened.

Although the Bible does not use the exact phrase “seven deadly sins,” the early church saw these as the evil root that all wrongdoing springs from. Interestingly, pride is the first, followed by greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth.

The Old Testament prophet Isaiah (29:16 NLT) explained our role as created beings to be like a clay pot, and the creator God is like the potter. Isaiah described the relationship using this word picture: “How foolish can you be? He is the Potter, and he is certainly greater than you, the clay! Should the created thing say of the one who made it, ‘He didn’t make me’? Does a jar ever say, ‘The potter who made me is stupid’?”

As we begin to understand that God is our creator, that every breath we take is a gift of His grace, and that all we have is ultimately a blessing from His hand, our arrogance should yield to thankfulness and humility. In many places the Bible calls us to forsake pride and humble ourselves. Here are a few such verses.

  • But he gives us more grace. This is why it says, God stands against the proud, but favors the humble. -James 4:6 (CEB)
  • Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. -James 4:10 (CEB)
  • This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.   -Jeremiah 9:23-24
  • Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves. -Philippians 2:3 (BSB)

Want to have more of God’s grace and power in your life? Humble yourself before Him, seek to obey His word, and let God promote you.




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