by Pastor Troy Dorrell
The Bible says, “Only by pride cometh contention” (Proverbs 13:10). That truth is borne out in our lives in so many ways. We typically think of this in regard to our relationship with others and the difficulties we have with other people. Certainly, pride is the source of angst in many relationships where troubles exist between two people. We may argue and fuss with one another over differences of opinion or because of hurt feelings, but when our feuds become protracted and last longer than they should, the issue itself is no longer the stumbling block, but rather our pride.
There are other arenas as well where pride causes contention. Sometimes, it manifests itself in simply wanting our own way. When we are introduced to change at home, at work, or in our church family, and we have to be accommodating or accepting of something different, we often have trouble with it simply because we are not getting our way. So we get mad or angry and have a bad spirit—not so much over the issue, but because I am not getting what I want the way I want it. A diagnosis would reveal that the sordid attitude is nothing more than a result of our damaged pride.
Pride is simply thinking too highly of oneself, of insisting my way is the only way, and being self centered. This whole attitude is the antithesis to what Jesus expects of us, as articulated by the Apostle Paul in Philippians chapter 2. There, we are told to be others oriented and servant minded. Jesus Himself serves as our example by being willing to temporarily let go of Heaven, step down to earth, and submit Himself to His Father’s plan. How readily do we do those three things: let go, step down, and defer to the needs of others? It does not come naturally to us, but it is something we need to work on each day.
When we learn to be humble people, the benefits will be manifold: we will be happier people, we will get along better with others, we will have a healthier self image, and we will navigate life with much more comfort and joy. Humble people tend to be happy, good-natured people; and that’s the kind of people Jesus wants us to be.