How to know pride is sneaking into your life?
From Daniel: A 14-Day Devotional
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?
- 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?