22 Humbling Bible verses about Pride (Godly Way of Controlling It)
Bible verses about Pride
When we look back through Biblical history to see the source of sin, it does not take us to the garden of Eden. The original sin manifested itself in heaven when Lucifer sought to ascend to the throne of heaven and remove God as King of all kings.
His intention was to not just become like God but to become the god of his own life. This is how pride operates. It leads us away from the path of righteousness and plants evil intentions in our minds and hearts. The Bible has a lot to say about pride, which is helpful for us to understand how it affects us. Let us take a look at a few of them together.
Table of Contents
- Bible verses about pride and humility
- Bible verses about pride and anger
Bible verses about pride and humility
In many ways, pride is the antithesis of humility. Pride leads to self-exaltation and makes us exercise poor judgment, which ultimately leads to destruction. It removes God from the throne of our hearts and makes us blind to arrogance dictating our actions. In many cases, it leads us to become self-reliant, believing that we have done things we can boast about. Jesus was the perfect model of humility and left for us a clear blueprint to follow.
Philippians 2:3 NKJV - Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
Paul, in Philippians 2, begins his letter by talking about the characteristics of Christ and the unity of believers through humility. He is not suggesting that we plod through life with low self-esteem or self-loathing.
Instead, Paul is saying that we should not become so self-absorbed that we begin to feel superior to those around us. We cannot develop a superiority complex if we hold others in high regard. We are less likely to become selfish, cruel, or insincere when we hold others in the same regard as ourselves.
Proverbs 16:8 NKJV - Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.
Solomon, in his wisdom, wrote this warning that we should all take seriously. Pride can blind us to reality and wrap us in a false sense of security while leading us to the very edge of rational thought. When we become puffed up, we begin to see ourselves as unstoppable, all-powerful, and perfect.
We slowly begin to ascribe to ourselves the descriptions that can only ever truly belong to God. However, the devil has no love for us, so when he sees that we have elevated ourselves to such heights, he releases and exposes us. The fall from grace that comes from overestimating our value is often humiliating and leaves us feeling isolated by the many people we offended while acting arrogantly.
God does not want His children to be living like this. He wants us to be unified, considerate, and at peace. Pride ultimately robs us of all these things.
Luke 14:11 NKJV - For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
Jesus is the perfect example of being exalted through humility. When He humbled himself and “made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.”
Philippians 2:7 NIV. As a direct result of this humility, Paul explains that Jesus was “exalted” and given “a name higher than any other name.” Humility is the ultimate act of worship. A humble heart acknowledges the role and righteousness of God; it acknowledges its own powerlessness and is completely reliant and dependent on God.
Humility leads us to trust in God’s wisdom and not our own. It fuels faith, courage, and righteousness. When we walk in these principles, we will be exalted by God. He alone has the true authority to exalt us.
Obadiah 1:3,4 NKJV - The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who dwell in the clefts of the rock, Whose habitation is high; You who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to the ground?’ Though you ascend as high as the eagle, and though you set your nest among the stars, From there I will bring you down,” says the Lord.
Pride is very deceptive. It veils our eyes and makes us irrational. It lies to us, making us think that we are entitled to do whatever we want and behave as we please. It causes us to disregard God and His commandments. This kind of thinking offends God.
The question, “who will bring me down to the ground?” comes from a place of defiance towards God. However, Obadiah does not leave us guessing as he immediately tells us that the Lord will humble us. God is slow to anger, giving us a chance to see the error and folly in our ways. He sends us warnings along the way to encourage us to repent and return to Him. However, if we reject His invitation, He will humble us Himself.
1 Peter 5:5 NKJV - Likewise, you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Technology has made access to information easier than ever before. As a result of this, many of us believe that we know everything and are never wrong. Younger people are especially prone to this way of thinking. Peter, however, reminds us here that experience teaches wisdom and that no matter how much knowledge or information we may have, we should remain humble, as we can always learn from the experiences of others.
Bible verses about pride and anger
Pride that is allowed to fester will spread like wildfire throughout our bodies. We quickly go from vain thoughts to vain words and actions. Over time, this results in strife, anger, and even violence. The irony of pride is that it masks itself as a superior emotion, yet it causes us to act without honour.
James 1:19-20 NKJV - So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Anger makes us impulsive. If you have ever gotten angry for any reason and said or done something that you later regretted, then you know exactly what this text means. When our feelings are hurt or our ego becomes bruised, we tend to lash out in a subconscious effort to redeem ourselves.
James here cautions us against this. When he says that we should be “slow to wrath” and “swift to hear,” he is saying that we should take on ourselves the character of God. If this is the character of God, then the opposite is clearly not of God. The “wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” because anger generated in these circumstances is merely a tool to restore ourselves to a position that was never ours, to begin with.
Proverbs 25:28 NKJV - Whoever has no rule over his own spirit Is like a city broken down, without walls.
The imagery of a broken-down city in this passage symbolizes weakness, vulnerability, and gross disadvantages. In times of war, a broken-down city can be easily invaded by enemies, seized, captured, and overthrown. This is what pride does to us.
It causes us to become so defensive and on guard that we destroy ourselves. In this state, we are especially vulnerable and exposed to the enemy who wastes no time moving in with the sole intention to kill and destroy. If we submit our spirit to God, however, we will see the strength of God as a fortress for us to run to and be saved.
Romans 12:19 NKJV - Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
God knows that things will happen in our lives that will make us angry. Anger by itself is not a sin. What we do as a result of anger, however, can either be righteous or sinful. When the Lord says, “vengeance is mine,” He is trying to protect us from putting ourselves in a sinful position.
When we are consumed by the spirit of vengeance, it leads us to wickedness. It robs us of impulse control, and oftentimes we see things through blurred, morally grey lines. God wants us to avoid all of this by trusting Him to handle the situation. Trusting God requires humility.
Psalm 103:8 NKJV - The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
Our aim as believers is to become more like God in character and spirit. The more time we spend with God, the more His character becomes developed, strengthened, and reflected in us.
Where pride makes us stubborn, impulsive, irrational, and vengeful, the character of God makes us merciful, gracious, loving, and at peace. We always have the choice of being more like God or more like the devil. When we choose pride, we do not choose God.
Proverbs 16:4 NKJV - As messengers of death is the king’s wrath, But a wise man will appease it.
Wrath or anger can be deadly. When we hold positions of influence or are responsible for others, being proud and filled with anger is a hazard to ourselves and others. Historically, when kings were drunken fools, full of pride and greed, with a lust for war and self-aggrandizement, their kingdoms would experience some degree of success, but in the end, they always fell. When leaders are led b pride, their people suffer for it.
Solomon, in this proverb, draws a direct contrast between pride and wisdom. While pride may tell us that we are smart, Solomon implies that this is not true. Only a wise man is capable of diffusing potentially explosive situations. A proud man will only escalate issues by focusing only on what will make him look good,
Bible verses about the pride of life
The spirit of pride is not given to us by God. Pride makes it hard for us to communicate with God in a meaningful way, which weakens our relationship with Him. When we reject pride and open up ourselves to receive the fruits and gifts of the Spirit, we become more like God.
If we cling to pride, however, we gradually begin to hate the things of God because they will go against our opinions and the way we feel about ourselves. We may become arrogant to the point of denying the hand of God at work in our lives, which is an eternally dangerous position to be in.
1 John 2:16 NKJV - For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.
John here spells out for us the true nature of pride. He tells us that it is not from God. As believers, this should be a huge red flag for us. As far as humanly possible, we should always aim to reflect and represent Christ in what we say and how we conduct ourselves.
Galatians 5:19, 20 NKJV - Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Paul’s admonition to the Galatians in this text should shake us awake. Not inheriting the kingdom of God is a death sentence. We are well aware of the spiritual warfare happening around us, and the Bible already tells us how it will end. We know, even now as the war continues, who will be victorious in the end and who will be destroyed.
Our allegiance here on Earth determines our end. This passage gives us clear warnings about the kind of characteristics that can lead us from standing under the banner of the Lord of hosts to plummeting to destruction. A proud man cannot inherit the kingdom of God because he would have convinced himself that he is superior to God.
A proud man will not truly acknowledge the sovereignty of God and will therefore feel out of place in His presence. If pride is allowed to re-enter heaven, we will have a repeat of the original sin, which nobody wants.
Proverbs 16:19 NKJV - Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil with the proud.
Being ambitious is not a bad thing. As a matter of fact, if we are to do everything “as unto God,” we will strive to give our very best and to live out our full potential in every situation. This desire to walk in purpose and do well is not the same thing as being ruled by pride.
We can be humble and ambitious, we can be humble and successful, but we cannot be humble and prideful at the same time. Solomon understood that material things were not the source of his worth, value, or salvation despite all his wealth.
He knew that those things could only be found in God. In his proverb, he implies that he would be willing to trade all he had (which was a lot) and live in humility than to enjoy all his riches and the opulence of proud company.
Psalm 10:4 NKJV - The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts.
A life without God is miserable and unfulfilled. Pride robs us of the desire to seek God, which keeps us from becoming more like Him. This leaves us to live in our wickedness and robs us of an opportunity of inheriting eternal life.
Jeremiah 9:23 NKJV - Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;
The prophet Jeremiah reminds us here that all glory belongs to God. While we may be blessed with things and enjoy a certain degree of luxury, we should never confuse our blessings with the source of these blessings.
All good things come from God, not us.Only God is worthy of glory and praise. It is in Him alone that we should place our trust. Everything else will fail us and lead us away from the path of righteousness.
Bible verses about pride in marriage
Marriage is the oldest and one of the most sacred institutions on this Earth. It is a beautiful ministry and covenant that we enter into with each other and with God. When we decide to live together as man and wife, we also agree to be accountable to each other in every way.
Our spouses become our spiritual, financial, social, sexual, and physical accountability partners. That is a lot of accountability in one house! A successful marriage, therefore, requires humility just as much as it requires love.
1 Corinthians 13:4 NKJV - Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up.
Love is another antithesis of pride. Love, as defined by God, will prevent us from being unkind towards each other. Love allows us to see each other the way God intended. Only the love of God in our hearts will lead us to be humble in our marriages towards each other.
Ephesians 5:22 NKJV - Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
This verse has been taken out of context and twisted out of shape. The submission of a wife to her husband is a God-ordained stance of love and humility. Submission is not synonymous with slavery but love. For women to be willing to submit to their husbands, they have to be humble.
In a world that tells us not to submit to anyone, God invites us to be different and trust the model He put in place when He created the world.
Genesis 2:18 NKJV - And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.
None of us can thrive in isolation. We are not islands, and we were not created to be alone. When God looked at all of His perfect creation, He identified one flaw- aloneness. For us to be open and invite others into our lives requires humility on our part.
For men to be honest and acknowledge that they need their wives, their love and support will require humility. Men are taught to take a firm, sometimes emotionless stance in the world. This is not what God intended. God wants us to support each other, to be a place of solace and peace for our spouses. This dynamic will only exist if the marriage is not being overrun by pride.
Hebrews 14:4 NKJV - Let marriage be held in honour among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
Sex in marriage is an act of worship. It is sacred and honorable and should be treated as such. Pride can sometimes lead to sexual immorality, which will affect our marriages. Pride leads to a lack of proper communication, which can be severely dangerous for marriages.
If we begin to feel dissatisfied or unfulfilled with our partners, but pride blocks the avenue for communication, it can lead to resentment and infidelity. God wants us to be humble, open, and honest with our spouses so that our union can be true reflections of Him.
1 John 2:4 NKJV - He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
One of the commandments of God is not to commit adultery. This is abstaining from having intimate relations with someone that is not our marital spouse. This commandment was later included in the summary “love your neighbors as yourself.” If we love our neighbor, we will abstain from adultery, which damages families. It is pride that leads us to lust, which leads us to deeper sin.
Examples of pride in the Bible
Isaiah 14:12-15 NKJV - “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.
When Lucifer observed the praise and worship that God was receiving, he became full of jealousy and pride. He looked at himself and his beauty and wondered what it was about God that made Him so special. His pride led him to accuse God of being unjust and undeserving of the throne of heaven. He later launched a campaign against God, and the Bible tells us that “war broke out in heaven.”
Pride is like cancer. If left untreated, it will spread, infecting neighboring cells until the host is entirely infected and destroyed. Lucifer had a deadly cancerous growth in his heart. Pride had blinded him, and he, in turn, began to infect angels around him. His lies led to one-tenth of the angels in heaven being evicted from heaven in outright defiance against God. When Lucifer came to Earth, he tempted mankind with the same lies that he used in heaven. He offered us the “opportunity” to become like God.
His heart had not changed, and it remains the same to this day. This is why he leads people to worship him. The devil is trying to accomplish on Earth what he failed to accomplish in heaven.
Daniel 4:30, 32 NKJV - The king spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?”
While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field.
They shall make you eat grass like oxen, and seven times shall pass over you until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men and give it to whomever He chooses.”
Nebuchadnezzar was a mighty king, but he was terribly misguided. God had chosen to reveal prophetic things to him through dreams that were later interpreted by Daniel. This was an unusual honor being bestowed on an unbeliever. Still, Nebuchadnezzar failed to realize the sovereignty of God.
Despite the warnings that God extended to him about the pride that was festering in his heart, Nebuchadnezzar decided to disregard God and claim praise and glory for himself. He is a great example of pride coming before a fall, as his fall from grace was public and humiliating. For seven years, this noteworthy king grazed the fields like an animal, having lost his mind. It was only the grace of God that restored his mental faculties.
When he was returned to his right mind, Nebuchadnezzar finally realized that no matter how wealthy or powerful he was, it was only the God of heaven that was deserving of praise.
Pride is a disease that we should seek to be protected from by adopting the character of God. Only a love for God and the acknowledgment of His sovereignty can keep us from falling into the trap of pride, which ultimately leads us away from Him.