Have you ever asked the Holy Spirit to teach you something and then quickly realized you asked for more than you bargained for?
That’s what happened to me a couple years ago when I asked for a revelation on what pride is and asked the Lord to convict me in areas where I was missing it. It all started because one day I was minding my own business reading a book on my Kindle, and I heard in my spirit that I had an issue with pride.
I was confused. “Pride? How Lord?”
At that time, I’d always looked at pride as the excessive glorification of one’s self — an arrogance of sorts. If someone asked me if I was dealing with pride based on this definition, I’d say no. However what the Lord revealed to me is that I was worrying about what others would think and allowing a concern over perception to take precedence over seeking Him for His will in a specific situation I was faced with in my business….and that was a form of pride.
I didn’t recognize this as pride because it was not one of the more obvious forms of pride. It was in disguise. Honestly it didn’t feel good to have that revealed, but I was grateful that God loved me too much to allow it to be a barrier for me. It was at that moment that I repented (changed my mind and turned away from it), made the right decision to handle the situation His way, and also asked the Holy Spirit to reveal the various subtleties of pride whenever they reared their ugly head.
He truly delivered. Over the next few weeks, the Holy Spirit would either point out a situation where I was being prideful or would reveal to me when someone else I was observing or interacting with was displaying pride. There are so many layers and they all come down to being self-centered and self-focused rather than Christ-centered and Christ-focused.
Here are some of the other examples of pride in disguise:
Have you ever decided not to speak up about something that you felt led to speak up about? I’ve been there. Most likely it was due to fear, but the reason for the fear is often concern over how you will be perceived by others when you speak up. The scriptures encourage us to be strong and courageous and with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, we should be bold as lions.
A surprising form of pride is procrastination. When we are putting things off, it’s often due to feelings surrounding the task at hand, and we’re allowing those feelings to govern our motivation to take action even when things are urgent. We have to check our hearts for the reasons why we’re procrastinating, and if it’s not Christ-focused, we have to renew our minds in that situation and take the appropriate next action.
Often times we’ll put on a good face for everyone even when we’re a mess on the inside. Some argue that this is standing in faith or “faking it until you make it.” While there’s no reason to reveal the specifics of our struggles with everyone, there are people in our lives that we can and should be real with.
Independence can lead to refusing to ask for help and doing everything yourself. This one is a tough one for so many, and I’ve been guilty of this myself on numerous occasions. The truth is that it is actually a blessing for others to bless you, just as you consider it a blessing to bless others. When you need help, get help and don’t be shy about it! If you’ve been burned before, that comes with the territory. Don’t allow a bad experience to create a spirit of independence that says “I don’t need help from anyone” or “I can do this myself” even when help is needed — both in personal and professional life.
To be transparent, this is one that the Lord is still working with me on. Often times we are so busy or preoccupied with things going on in our own lives, or preoccupied by the distractions provided through social media and technology. During those times, it’s easy to miss what the Lord desires to show you or miss opportunities to have an impact in the lives of others, not just those you are close to but even complete strangers. By being less busy and distracted, we can remain more Christ-focused and aware of what He’s doing.
This is something we should all want to get a handle on because the word of God tells us that He despises pride! Here’s just a little of what the Bible has to say on the matter:
The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. ~Proverbs 16:5
Your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God. ~Deuteronomy 8:14
Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor. ~Proverbs 18:12
I’m sure there are other subtleties of pride that I didn’t cover and likely some that have yet to be revealed to me in my own walk, however I urge you to be proactive and not wait for the Lord to interrupt you while you’re reading a book like I did. Ask God to show you the areas where you’re displaying pride so that you can repent and move forward knowing confidently that the enemy can no longer use that against you to delay you from your next level.