We have all been guilty – in one way or another – of bragging, false humility, and being self-conceited. Pride is part of our fallen nature and this is where sin started. When we feel that we can fully rely on our own strength and we no longer acknowledge the need for God, that is actually when pride creeps in and render us totally weak.
Nobody wants to be with braggarts.
Most arrogant people we’ve met, are often excluded from conversations, always the subject of criticism and if they are professing Christians, they have dimmed their lights to the world.
Sometimes we wonder, “Does that person not even know that they come across as too pompous? Have they not recognized that they have driven the conversation only to boastfully talk about themselves and their possessions and made the others cringe?”
Being proud is not only limited to our boastful comments and bragging.
It may also come in different forms: like being highly-critical of others, putting others down to make ourselves look good, or the other way around. We’re overly modest or humble-bragging, and we want others to zone in only on us, like a narcissist.
God sees through us.
We cannot hide anything from Him. He knows exactly what we’re thinking, He knows if it is false humility.
To prevent us from nurturing our ego and become prideful, we must guard our thoughts and actions:
1. Discuss our accomplishments and successes humbly.
We should not exaggerate and just stick to the facts. We love to boast in family conversations or when chatting with our friends, thinking that they’ll understand anyway. What we don’t realize is that we also need to be a good testimony to our family and friends.
2. Engage only in conversations that build each other up and not tear each other down.
We should not take part in gossip or be highly critical of other people. We shouldn’t want to put others down in order to make us looking better. We shouldn’t try to be so opinionated that we blatantly discredit other people all the time. No one is perfect. We are all a work in progress in the eyes of God.
3. Think highly of others and do not focus too much on ourselves.
All of us are given different gifts and abilities. No one is exactly the same, so let’s not expect that they can be like us. Their strength may be our weakness and vice-versa. Let’s not be self-conceited as well. Assess our time in the spotlight: are we dominating the conversation, talking relentlessly about us, our family, our businesses, our possessions, our accomplishments, etc.?
4. Learn to cooperate and know our value.
Remove any ungodly competitive spirit in us that is fuelled by pride, greed, self-interest, and envy. People who tend to compare themselves to another and compete, will not be content and satisfied. Most of the time we want so much to prove that we’re also relevant and competent. Christ is our example to emulate, He never once competed or compared Himself to anyone, not even to His disciples, because He knew His worth.
5. Be authentic.
Let’s not pretend to be someone we’re not. In the time of social media, authenticity is often difficult to be seen. We try to brand ourselves differently in order to look good and be accepted by people. The peer pressure is so much that we’re willing to lose ourselves in place of recognition. We sugarcoat our pride by putting ourselves down to be perceived as humble.
6. Be grateful and content.
A heart of gratitude never has room for pride. Sometimes we tend to complain when actually we are subtly self- promoting.
7. Give the credit where credit is due.
Sometimes we love to take the credit for others especially when the result of an endeavor is successful, when in fact, we were never part of the process.
God hates pride and pride was the beginning of man’s fall. Let us confess and renounce any form of pride in our lives today. Let us not give the devil any foothold. The moment we think that we don’t need help is the moment we need one. If we stay grounded in the Word and strengthen our relationship in Christ, we can learn true humility and be a beacon of light to the world.
“For the Lord takes delight in His people, He crowns the humble with victory.” (Psalms 149:40)