There are lots of verses in the Bible about pride. “Pride comes before being destroyed and a proud spirit comes before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18. Lots of the proverbs talk about pride. The opposite of being proud is being humble and that is what the Bible exhorts us to be. When I think of pride I think of someone who is arrogant or thinks they are “all that”. I don’t really view myself that way. I wouldn’t say I was a proud person, but looking deeper into the meaning of pride exposes some things.
The most common definition of pride is a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc. However, another definition is pleasure or satisfaction taken in something done by or belonging to oneself or believed to reflect credit upon oneself.
I don’t have issues with the first definition, but I might with the second. I am a worrier by nature. I struggle with worrying about things a lot. Did you know worry can be wrapped up in pride? Yeah, I didn’t really think about that before either. God has been dealing with me on this issue. When you worry about something what you are really saying is “God I don’t think you can handle this thing, so I am going to try to handle it myself, and since I don’t know how it will work out I will spend inordinate amounts of time thinking about it.” Worry is prideful because it trusts in ourselves to do something as if we think we are better equipped to handle our problems than God.
Let that soak in for a minute….
When we worry about something we are trying to work it out on our own, in our own plan. We are not humbling ourselves to submitting to whatever God has planned because if we were we would not be worrying about whatever it is because we would know that God has it under control. Guilty! Right here! I know I worry about stuff because I am trying to handle it on my own because I don’t trust God to do what I want done. Now that it is framed in those words it really sounds horrible doesn’t it? I often think of worry as something I am just predisposed to do and not a conscious decision not to trust. When really, I am choosing not to trust God’s plan for my life and trying to work out my own, better, plan.
Satan doesn’t want me to see it that way, because then the worrying I do becomes my sin and I need to deal with it. Before when it was just something I “do” because I can’t help myself, it wasn’t what I would see as sin. But I can’t deny it as sin when I look at it in the light of pride. Satan has such a way of sneaking sin into our lives in such a way that we don’t see it as what it really is.
So, what to do about it? Well, it is easy to say, “just confess it and turn from it”. Yes, that is correct, you should do that, but then you have to stop worrying. Not as easy, not for a worry wart like me. I am a professional worrier. What in the world would I think about if I wasn’t worrying about something? I have to change my thought patterns and be conscious of what I am thinking. That is hard! It’s a slow process, I am working on. But I have a feeling that when I can conquer this issue of worry, my life will be so much freer and I will be healthier, since worrying can literally kill you. It weakens your immune system and makes you sick more often than people who don’t worry. That would be nice.
So, does anyone else want to join with me in admitting they are a chronic worrier, I know there are some of you out there. We can ban together and stop the worrying!
“I tell you this: Do not worry about your life. Do not worry about what you are going to eat and drink. Do not worry about what you are going to wear. Is not life more important than food? Is not the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds in the sky. They do not plant seeds. They do not gather grain. They do not put grain into a building to keep. Yet your Father in heaven feeds them! Are you not more important than the birds? Which of you can make himself a little taller by worrying? … Matthew 6:25-34