I met a girl who needed our ministry. She has been homeless before. She has had mental illness, addictions and jail was where she became born again. Much better off, still she struggled with self harm. She was into putting herself in harm’s way on purpose. Some people cut themselves, others destroy themselves with drugs, alcohol or eating disorders. Although now drug free, she would go out walking for miles without her cell phone in the middle of the night, in frigid temperatures upsetting her family. She thought God was telling her to do this. After weeks of ministry and prayer, she actually heard a voice I agreed with as the voice of God. The voice told her the root of her issue was pride. I had not considered pride before. I thought of pride as thinking highly of one’s self. But pride is much deeper and simple. Pride is self-focus. We did a Bible study on pride to ponder this.
Bible Study on Pride
We studied pride in the Bible and in Proverbs 16:18 we found that the source of all (self) destruction is pride. Pride is simply a focus on one’s self. Suicide and anything that causes self destruction must be linked to pride. Destruction, death, sickness and fear are all part of one source. Satan is at the helm and pride is the fuel.
The Fix: The opposite of self focus is God-focus. We need to worship God at all times. His praise should always be on our lips! Thankfulness, confidence in His grace, confidence in His love, belief that our salvation is secure in His finished work on the cross; these are the fuel for focus on God. Take 5-15 minutes a few times a day to thank God that things are as good as they are. Giggling will start the joy rolling. Thankfulness causes joy. Selfish thinking causes depression!
Things that pride causes: The most helpful part of this revelation was learning that pride is at the root of some unexpected things. Wanting God’s approval by our own works is religious thinking and pride. Receiving our salvation by grace is humility. Our righteousness is from God.
Homelessness, self abasement, sickliness, self destruction, self abuse, alcoholism, and drug abuse are actually rooted in pride according to Prov 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction…”
Not receiving compliments. Not receiving gifts. Not receiving healing is from too much focus on self! I had not considered pride in this way before! It’s exciting to find an answer giving a new direction in life. Let His praises be always in my mouth.
Self criticism is pride, perfectionism is pride. Shyness is pride. Embarrassment is pride. Religious and legalistic thinking are pride based. A rejection of grace or inability to receive grace is pride. Boasting of our righteousness in Christ is actually humility!
Practicing Humility Worship God often, not just in church. Thankfulness to God for what you do have, (noting that you are thankful things are as good as they are.) Meditating on what Jesus did by studying Isaiah 53. Look up verses on pride and speak them. Meditate on God. Get your mind off yourself. Handicaps and sickness cause a lot of self focus. I know this is true for me. Focus on what we do not yet have is keeping us from it.
My focus now will be on getting my mind off of myself and on to God. Worshiping God is good for us, not good for God. Humble thyself and He will lift you up. Healing is bound to follow!