There are some things God absolutely hates! One of those things is PRIDE (Proverbs 6:16-19)! Pride is at the root of the sins you commit. Pride turns off the faucet of grace (James 4:6). Pride is detected by everyone except the person who has it.
Have you ever wondered how you function when you are proud? What are the elements of pride? Turn to Daniel 3. In this passage you will find 5 common characteristics on how a proud person operates.
You promote self – I know this is really stating the obvious, but let’s not overlook it. In Daniel 3:1 you find King Nebuchadnezzar creating “an image of gold” that was 90 feet tall (the distance between home plate and 1st base on a professional baseball field) and 9 feet wide! It was a common practice to erect images with massive proportions to impress others. The Bible doesn’t specifically state what the statue represented, some say it was himself, and others say it could have been an obelisk. Regardless of what the actual image was you know that King Nebuchadnezzar was using it to promote himself throughout his kingdom. Proud people love to promote themselves! They endorse their own ideas, opinions, philosophies, viewpoints, sides of the story, and so forth. Today’s culture hasn’t help with the emphasis on having a high self-esteem (which is nothing but pride and selfishness). You may not seek to resurrect a gold statue, but do you strive to advance yourself in words, actions, media, etc? Are you trying to be somebody? If so, you are proud.
You eliminate distractions – King Nebuchadnezzar placed his statue of gold “…in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon” (Daniel 3:1). Why there? Because there was nothing to detract from the magnificence of his image! In other words, there was nothing in a plain to compete with the King’s statue; all attention was focused on him. When proud people have something to say or show they fervently try to reduce any distractions that would take away from their platform. Have you ever tried to quiet everyone around you before you try to speak? (This doesn’t apply to a public speaker who is trying to give announcements or instructions, etc). Have you ever gone to a quiet room or place with your group of followers so you can tell your story with minimal distractions? Have you ever belittled someone else in order to make yourself look better? If so, you are proud.
You seek attention from authorities and other leaders – When you read Daniel 3:2-3 you find King Nebuchadnezzar gathering together all types of leaders (rulers) throughout his kingdom to attend the dedication ceremony of his gold statue. Proud people are always trying to seek attention from people in authority hoping they will like what they see and/or hear. What’s unique in this case is King Nebuchadnezzar IS the top authority, yet he still sought attention from other leaders. Do you try to “brownnose” with authorities in your life (boss, coach, pastor, teacher, parents, etc) in hopes they will accept you? Have you ever tried to “hob-knob” with your superiors hoping they will endorse you? Have you ever tried to “get in cool” with your boss in hopes for that promotion? Beware of someone who “cow-tails” with his superiors and overlooks his inferiors. If so, you are proud.
You expect others to agree with and honor you – After reading Daniel 3:4-7 you find King Nebuchadnezzar commanding all “…people, nations, and languages” to fall down (bow) and worship the golden image. Bowing means you are willing to submit. Although King Nebuchadnezzar had the authority to command people to bow and worship he was still seeking to have the people agree that he was a great king and they must honor him for it. Most proud people don’t have this kind of authority, however they act like it and attempt to get others to agree with and honor them. Have you ever argued with someone till they agreed with your point of view? Do you expect others to recognize you for some kind of service you did or project you accomplished? Do you anticipate others to honor you for your performance academically, athletically, financially, physically, economically, etc? If so, you are proud.
You are offended when others don’t respect you – Many are familiar with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refusing to bow down and worship the golden image. They were more concerned about obeying the God of heaven rather than an earthly King (Daniel 3:16-18). I want you to notice something in v.19. King Nebuchadnezzar was very angry (“…full of fury…”) that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to obey, he got offended! He was all bent out of shape, especially his face, because three kids would not respect him! So he sought revenge and commanded that the fiery furnace be heated up seven times than normal and had them thrown in (read the rest of the chapter to find out what happened!). What’s the principle here? Proud people are always very offended when people don’t respect them. They start thinking, “How dare you disrespect me! Don’t you know who I am?” Do you get upset when someone doesn’t listen to you? Are you insulted when your idea gets overlooked? Are you hurt when somebody ignores you? Are you slighted when others neglect to thank you for something? Do you take note of who didn’t attend your birthday party? Are you offended when you realize who didn’t send you a gift for a special occasion? If so, you are proud.
I know this post may have hit the heart strings; as it does for me. Always remember this, God honors and promotes the humble (Phil. 2:5-11; Jam. 4:6-10)!