There are two types of prideful people.
There are those who are loud, obnoxious and clearly arrogant.
And then there are those who may outwardly seem meek, yet inside, the majority of their thoughts are disguisingly prideful.
I think typically we believe arrogant, prideful people to be those who are boisterous and clearly self-centered, simply by the way they walk, talk and act.
But I realized that it goes much deeper than that.
It was two summer's ago when I found myself relaxing under a summer's evening breeze upon the grass, while soaking up the message during a Sunday night youth group.
During the summer we switch it up by meeting at different people's houses and enjoying the beautiful, outdoor weather with games, snacks and of course, Biblical truth and fellowship.
This summer night was one that caught me off guard. My youth pastor took the evening off from speaking and instead, the pastor of the church I attend gave the message.
His message was about God opposing the proud, but giving grace to the humble. (James 4:6)
As he began his message, he started out similar to how this blogpost began, talking about differing types of prideful people.
I personally believed at the time that prideful people are those who are blatantly obvious.
It never stuck me that, in fact, I was prideful. I am prideful.
I suffer from silent pride. Inwardly, I constantly am at a conflict concerning what people's opinion of me is, what a person thinks of me, how I appear when I do a certain thing, say a certain thing, what impression I will or will not make. Even down to the littlest things, which pains me to think about, that I could be so shallow and prideful. Lately, I've begun to realize what a struggle it is for me. Typically, I used to be more shy, and I still am to some extent, but often times, my pride issue mainly consisted of constantly wondering what people thought of me - in the sense of whether or not I would fit in, or be liked. Being a homeschooler, typically there are quite a few stereotypes that are attached to it, and so I wondered if I was actually normal amongst the public/private schoolers.
Pride is a deadly thing.
The type of pride I deal with is not a pride that assumes I am better, but a pride that assumes I may not be good enough. In dealing with this struggle, it is easy for me to get wrapped up thought-wise in whether I will be good enough to someone. By thinking this way, I stop trusting in God, and stop believing that He is the source of my value and identity, and begin believing that it is other people's opinions that determine whether or not I am "good enough". I know there are probably quite a few people who can relate to this.
Quite honestly, I believe that silent pride is far more spiritually dangerous than the loud, known pride. While they both can create a path of destruction, loud pride is one that can be easily noticed and reported to the specific individual. Yet, silent pride is one that is under the surface, hidden within the heart of an individual and not left out in the open for all to view.
So what's a girl (or guy) to do?
God's truth always prevails.
First off, we know that God clearly opposes AND disciplines those who are prideful:
Proverbs 16:5 "Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; Assuredly, he will not be unpunished." Secondly, I think the core issue with silent pride is that it has a determination of making the individual believe that God isn't good enough, that He truly cannot satisfy you, at least not to the deepest and strongest desires of the heart and soul.
And I am so glad to be able to prove this thought wrong. :)
Psalm 145:16 "You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing." YEAH, that's right. That's MY God! He satisfies all who love and are faithful to Him.
I've learned through this personal struggle that ultimately it is something that draws me towards God. Honestly, my thoughts are right. I'm not good enough. I'm nothing. But God, well, He's everything!
I don't want people to see me, Rachel, anyway. I want to be nothing, so that to others, they see Jesus.
And yes, God does oppose the proud, for pride is a sinful and selfish thing.
BUT, He always gives grace to the humble.
Maybe you struggle with silent pride too, or even the loud pride.
2 Peter 2:19 says that man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. For me, this rings loud and clear. Pride in any form is certainly something that eventually will become your master if you don't master it.
So let us rejoice, because Jesus died and conquered the grave, overcame the world and has mastered sin, so that we may be free!
Check out your heart. Check out your thoughts. Are you secure in Jesus? Are you satisfied in what He provides? Or are you trapped by the world's logic?
God satisfies. Live the freedom that He has provided.