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How to Overcome Pride Biblically

how to overcome pride biblically

July 16, 2024

Originally posted on August 10, 2023 @ 12:39 pm

Pride, often described as the root cause of all sin. It is a deceptive and hidden trait that can hinder a believer’s spiritual growth. In this article, we will explore how to overcome pride biblically, causes of pride, signs of pride, and biblical examples of pride, to mention but a few. I pray this article blesses you and ministers to your Spirit. 

They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the Lord: but such as are upright in their way are his delight.

Proverbs 11:20 KJV

how to overcome pride biblically
How to Overcome Pride Biblically 3

What does pride mean?

Pride is used to refer to many things. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, pride is described as:

  •  reasonable self-esteemconfidence and satisfaction in oneself 
  • A pleasure that comes from some relationship, association, achievement, or possession that is seen as a source of honour, respect, etc.
  • exaggerated self-esteem: CONCEIT

From the biblical perspective, pride is characterized as an excessive focus on oneself, needs, and desires. It elevates one’s desires and interests above God’s will while disregarding the needs of others. Pride is a selfish behaviour motivated by greed, self-gratification, and the flesh. However, there are instances in the Bible where pride is motivated by self-confidence in God’s ability and powers. 

What are spiritual gifts?

Biblical Examples of pride

There are several examples of pride in the Bible that tells us about the consequences of arrogance and self-centred behaviours. Here are some examples:

  • Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12-15): Lucifer, known as Satan, was an angel created beautifully and gloriously. He was prominent in heaven, and all respected him. He became prideful, thinking he was equal to God; he desired to exalt himself above God, which led to his rebellion and his fall from grace. 
  • King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4: 30-33): kings in the biblical era had power, and they enjoyed authority and dominion. Nebuchadnezzar was the mighty ruler of Babylon. One day he was walking on his rooftop admiring his kingdom, and he became boastful of his abilities and achievements. God humbled him. He lost his sanity and behaved like an animal, living in the wild until he acknowledged God’s sovereignty.
  • Pharaoh of Egypt (Exodus 5:2): Pharaoh showed pride by not allowing the Israelites to leave Egypt. He probably kept them there to prove his superiority and prowess to the world. His arrogance brought terrible consequences upon the Egyptians, and he even lost a son. 
  • King Saul of Israel (1 Samuel 15:17): Saul was the first king of Israel. His generation was supposed to continue ruling Israel, but he ruined it with an act of disobedience. He was supposed to destroy the Amalekites as ordained by God, but he made a prideful decision to keep the flocks and the king. This event led to God rejecting him and electing a man after his heart, David. 
  • Goliath (1 Samuel 17:42-44): Goliath was a Philistine giant who mocked the Israelites and challenged them to battle. The Bible described that he was nine feet tall, which is huge. He was proud enough to challenge the God of the Israelites, little wonder God sent a shepherd boy to defeat him.
  • King Herod (Acts 12:21-23): Herod Agrippa was praised and likened to God in one of his public addresses, he accepted the praise, and immediately he was struck down and eaten by worms. 

These biblical examples of pride serve as reminders of the dangers of pride and how God sees pride. God wants us to be humble, and if we must portray pride, our pride should be rooted in what God can do. This kind of pride is focused on being confident in God. An example of this is David’s response to the taunts of Goliath (1 Samuel 17:25); he responded by proudly saying the things God had done through him and how he believed God would give him victory.

Types of Pride in the Bible

  1. Self-glorification: self-glorification is seeing yourself as the all in all, believing whatever you have achieved is only by your power. 
  2. Lover of praise: pride can want to take all the praise for all you do or what others do. It involves a strong desire to accept the praise, especially for self-gains. 

Signs of Pride

Pride is truly subtle; proud people usually do not know they are. Many people hide under the umbrella of high self-esteem; pride is not the same as high self-esteem. These are some of the signs that can be a pointer to pride in an individual:

  • Jealousy of others’ achievement.
  • Always Wanting to have the final say or the right opinions on every issue.
  • Inability to acknowledge God
  • Desperation for attention and fame
  • Regularly finding fault in others
  • Never accepting corrections and good advice from others.
  • Easily offended and defensive
  • Threatened by the success of others
  • Arrogance and being boastful.
  • The feeling of superiority over others

Causes of Pride

Pride can sometimes stem from insecurity, fear, and a desire for control. Many proud people use their pride to cover up for a weakness. Some causes of pride are the following;

  • Insecurities and low self-esteem
  • Misplaced priorities
  • Traumatic childhood experiences
  • Distrust in God
  • Parental upbringing

Dangers and Consequences of Pride

Pride is dangerous . The ripple effect of prideful actions is uncountable but here are some of the dangers of being proud.

  • Pride leads to destruction
  • Pride brings fear 
  • Loneliness
  • Mental and emotional breakdowns
  • Death 
  • It can create a false sense of righteousness
  • Hinders spiritual growth

Ways to Overcome Pride

overcoming pride with the bible
How to Overcome Pride Biblically 4

  • Genuine repentance and embracing God’s forgiveness and redemption through Christ: It is important to first genuinely repent of the sin of pride and embrace the love and kindness of God. When we surrender to God with total submission, we discover peace and contentment. Always remember that through Christ’s sacrifice, we receive God’s forgiveness for our prideful past and the opportunity to live humbly.
  • Accept corrections: having a teachable heart helps to live above pride. Allow yourself to be taught, learn from others and take to correction. Welcome constructive corrections and feedback from others.
  • Cultivate a humble heart through prayer and reflection. When we seek God’s guidance and reflect on his word, it transforms our hearts, nurturing humility and kindness. 
  • Regular fellowship with God. When we have regular communion with God, our character habits and choices change into the nature of God. Fellowshipping regularly with God is very vital. Don’t always forget to acknowledge that you need God’s help, direction and guidance on this journey to humility. 
  • Counselling: counselling can help work on overcoming pride. Seeking godly counsel from spiritually mature individuals is vital. It can help you discover the root cause of pride and ways you can overcome it.
  • Accountability: be accountable to someone who can call you to order when you display a prideful attitude. Staying accountable helps to foster humility by helping us to remain grounded and focused.
  • Avoid triggers: avoid places and things that want you to be boastful and arrogant.
  • Put God first in everything you do or say. Acknowledge that God is ultimate, and allow his words to guide you and determine your decisions and actions. 
  • Learning from Jesus’ example of humility: Jesus showed humility by washing his disciples’ feet, a symbol of servanthood. Jesus also showed humility by living among his disciples and dressing like them. 
  • Trust in God’s plan and purpose for your life. When we live a life that solely relies on God while trusting in his plans for our lives, we can overcome pride. Our strength does not lie in our strength but in our trust in God’s purpose and plans.
  • Seeking God’s wisdom: Pride can deceive us to rely on our wisdom, but God’s wisdom surpasses our own. Always seek God’s guidance and direction.
  • Consciously serve others with humility: Jesus emphasized the significance of serving others as an act of humility and love. Serving others helps us to develop a life that is not self-centred. Humility leads to genuine joy as we prioritize the well-being of others.
  • Celebrate God’s achievements and return the glory to him. Always return all glory to God for all accomplishments and successes. Understand that our abilities and gifts come from God, the source of all wisdom and talents. Returning the glory to God prevents us from taking the Glory. 
  • Be patient and gentle in all your endeavours. Sometimes when things don’t go as planned, we become impatient because it hurts our ego, which can result in making drastic decisions. Gentleness reflects the nature of Christ, which is rooted in humility.
  • Avoid comparing yourself to others. Comparing ourselves to other people fosters pride and discontentment. When we accept and embrace God’s purpose for our lives, we won’t have any reason to be proud or boastful. We must rather focus on personal growth and not competition.

Regularly examining our thoughts and motives helps us confront and address prideful tendencies. Honest assessment reveals areas where we need God’s transformative powers.

The Connection between Pride and Ingratitude

Pride often stem from ingratitude and failure to acknowledge God’s blessings and favours. Prideful individuals often want to take credit for their accomplishments instead of glorifying God for the blessings. Gratitude to God helps us to become humble. The more grateful we are, the more we become humble and acknowledge the place of God in our successes.

Bible Verses about Pride

These Bible verses remind us of the dangers of pride and the importance of cultivating humility before God and others.

1. Proverbs 16:18 (ESV) – “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

2. James 4:6 (NIV) – “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble.'”

3. Proverbs 11:2 (NIV) – “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”

4. Proverbs 29:23 (ESV) – “One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.”

5. 1 John 2:16 (NIV) – “For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.”

6. Mark 7:21-22 (NIV) – “For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly.”

7. Psalm 10:4 (NIV) – “In his pride, the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts, there is no room for God.”

8. Proverbs 13:10 (NIV) – “Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.”

9. 1 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV) – “For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?”

10. Proverbs 21:4 (NIV) – “Haughty eyes and a proud heart— the unplowed field of the wicked—produce sin.”

11. Romans 12:16 (NIV) – “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.”

12. Proverbs 8:13 (NIV) – “To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior, and perverse speech.”

13. Proverbs 27:2 (NIV) – “Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips.”

14. Psalm 138:6 (NIV) – “Though the Lord is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly; though lofty, he sees them from afar.”

15. Romans 11:20 (NIV) – “Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble.”

16. Proverbs 16:5 (NIV) – “The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.”

17. Galatians 6:3 (NIV) – “If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.”

18. Proverbs 25:27 (NIV) – “It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to search out matters that are too deep.”

19. Philippians 2:3 (NIV) – “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”

20. 1 Peter 5:5b (NIV) – “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

Overcoming pride is a lifelong journey. The more successful and accomplished we are, the more difficult it is to become humble. Through God’s grace, we can conquer pride and humbly walk before him, finding fulfilment in serving and glorifying God above the flesh.

More Post about Bible Verses

Bible Verses about Love and Trust

Bible Verses about Restoration

Bible Verses About Body Image

Prayers to Overcome Pride

Heavenly Father, thank you for your love, kindness and grace. I am grateful for the privilege to be alive and access your presence today. Lord, I repent of my sin of pride. I acknowledge that I have exalted my thought, will and self above you and your guidance; Father forgive me. Please help my prideful heart. Please help me to overcome pride and embrace humility. 

I pray for the grace to walk towards humility and respect other people consciously. Help me to show love to others in humility and sincerity of heart. May I never again become boastful of my abilities.

As I continue to walk with you, you will give me the grace to embrace your love and light till eternity. Thank you for your answered prayers.


How does pride separate us from God?

Pride separates us from God by preventing us from acknowledging his almightiness. The Bible reminds us that God resists the proud, which means that he will resist us and be far from us if we are proud.

Why is pride an enemy?

Pride is an enemy of the believer because it separates us from God. It drives a wedge between God and man, and the longer it stays, the far apart they become.

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT

Finally, overcoming pride biblically requires deliberate effort. Human nature wants praise and self-glorification, but we must rely on God’s transformative ability. By genuinely repenting, embracing counselling and appreciating our uniqueness rather than unhealthy competition, we can become better and live a life free of pride. 

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