Session 5

How to know pride is sneaking into your life?

From Daniel: A 14-Day Devotional

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Daniel 4

None of us like to be told we’re wrong. We like it even less when the other person turns out to be right.

Remember, the business deal everyone said was too good to be true? Or the relationship everyone warned you about that ended badly? Or that time in high school when the urge to “live a little” turned into a misdemeanor — just like they said it could. 

Refusing advice is a form of pride. It’s the haughty spirit Proverbs 16:18 says leads to destruction. And, it’s the pride that led to Nebuchadnezzar’s downfall in Daniel 4

Daniel pleaded with Nebuchadnezzar to change his ways, saying, “King Nebuchadnezzar, please accept my advice. Stop sinning and do what is right. Break from your wicked past and be merciful to the poor. Perhaps then you will continue to prosper” (Daniel 4:27, NLT).  

Twelve months later, Nebuchadnezzar still hadn’t changed, and everything God revealed came to pass (Daniel 4:28-30). It’s easy to read Nebuchadnezzar’s story and assume it could never happen to us. But no one is immune to pride. 

We don’t have to be rulers to build kingdoms. We do it every day in big and small ways. We build companies, playgroups, online communities, and Snap streaks. Then, like Nebuchadnezzar, we stand back and admire our accomplishment, saying “Look at me! What a great thing I’ve done!”    

The truth is nothing we have and nothing we build is ours, but for the grace of God. When we work hard, when we build communities, the goal is not to draw attention to us but to Him.  

It took hitting rock bottom for Nebuchadnezzar to acknowledge that God alone deserves our praise (Daniel 4:34-35). But we don’t have to wait for an inevitable fall. God loved Nebuchadnezzar enough to send a warning through Daniel. And God loves each of us enough to show us a better way through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. 

When God brings pride to our attention, it’s not to shame us but to save us. How much heartache could we miss if we were to listen and repent?

Reflect: 
  • When was the last time someone offered you advice, but you refused to listen? What did you learn through that experience?
  • What, if anything, do you find yourself taking pride in? What would it look like to use the attention from that success to point others to Jesus?

5 of 14

Devotionals From This Study

to Discover More

Session 1

How determined are you?

When you hear the word “resolve,” what comes to mind? Maybe you pictured a determined athlete, a 2-year-old who doesn’t want to back down...

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Session 2

Do you need God to do the impossible?

Have you ever found yourself in a seemingly impossible situation? Perhaps a relationship was in a rocky place. Maybe your finances were i...

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Session 3

Are you using your abilities to make much of you?

Ever notice how some people are just naturally good at certain things?  The numbers person leaves others in awe at her ability to c...

Read Devotional

Session 4

What happens when you stand up for your faith

Government officials and commoners alike are gathered in the public square for the unveiling a new statue. A trumpet blows, the order is ...

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Session 5

How to know pride is sneaking into your life?

None of us like to be told we’re wrong. We like it even less when the other person turns out to be right. Remember, the business deal eve...

Read Devotional

Session 6

Are you following Jesus for the right reasons?

Ask people from three generations to describe what Batman looks like, and you’ll get three different answers. With each iteration, Batman...

Read Devotional

Session 7

How to respond when you’re thrown to the lions

At the beginning of Daniel 6, things are looking great for Daniel. He becomes one of three administrators over the 120 newly appointed sa...

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Session 8

We are the champions

Jesus’ coming is foreshadowed throughout the Bible. In Daniel 7, Daniel’s dream gives him a glimpse at what’s to come: “...the holy peopl...

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Session 9

What you can’t see when work is in progress

Art galleries are full of masterpieces that began with a simple brush stroke. We stand in awe at the finished product, but rarely do we g...

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Session 10

Who do you run to?

As kids, we ran to our parents’ room to escape the monsters under the bed. But what becomes our safe place as we get older? Where do you...

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Session 11

Where to find peace when you’re scared

When was the last time you were really scared?  As a child, you might have woken from a bad dream only to find yourself staring int...

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Session 12

God hears our prayers

We’ve all done it. A call drops, but we keep talking. Sometimes it takes a few seconds and sometimes it takes a few minutes, but eventual...

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Session 13

What if turmoil is an opportunity?

Do you remember where you were on 9/11? An overwhelming sense of uncertainty and fear dominated our country on that day and for many more...

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Session 14

We don’t have to fear the end of the world

The Bible is not silent about the end times — that is, what will unfold on the earth shortly preceding Jesus’ return to the earth. Daniel...

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