As they discuss the issue with other colleagues, the possibility of Jackie losing his job dawns on him and he says, “I don’t know how I would be affected by this downsizing. I feel a scared because I haven’t got any savings and my wife and I had triplets last month. I wonder if God will help me!” Johnnie, on the other hand, says with confidence, “my firm belief is that if this bank chooses to retain only 4% of its staff after the downsize, I should be one of the staff retained. However, if for any reason I am asked to leave, I know that God has something great in store for me out there. Who knows? I could end up owning a company bigger than this bank.”
Johnnie’s colleagues give him an incredulous look as he completes his statement, and one of them says to him – “Johnnie, you are such a proud guy!” and there are agreeing nods across the room.
What do you think? Do you feel Johnnie’s statement is an expression of pride? Possibly! But what does pride mean? I have seen many believers misplace the meaning of pride to the extent that it is even the humble that is regarded as proud these days. Let’s look at one striking way the Bible explains pride: “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud …” 1 Timothy 6:3-4 (KJV)
Anyone who does not bring his ideas and reasoning under subjection to God’s word is a proud person. If the Word says you should treat others with love, and you look down on your fellow man and treat them with disdain, you are proud. If your spouse hurts you and you refuse to forgive, you are esteeming your own judgement over God’s, so you must be a proud person. Similarly, if the Word says you are healed, righteous and all-sufficient in Christ, but you proclaim and act contrary to this, you are equally proud.
In the scenario above, Jackie demonstrated pride because he seemed to esteem his ability more than that of God; he did not see God sustaining him outside of his bank job. He may have been aware that God clothes even the lilies of the field that do not toil, but he considered his ‘case’ more complex; he had not brought himself under the doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As a believer, if the world thinks you are proud, then it is likely that you are yielding to the words of our Lord Jesus Christ – because the world sees differently. The reverse may be the case. Stop acting timid, lily-livered or stupid under the guise of humility. Herald the word of God with confidence and courage. Be humble in the sight of the Lord (not the sight of the world) and He will exalt you in due time.
– Tope S. Aladenusi