The Landmine Of Pride

By Charles Stanley


One of the most destructive weapons an enemy could use against us in war is a landmine. Our enemy, Satan, has laid his landmines in the pathway of every believer. When we step on one of them, it affects our relationship with the Father, our Christian witness, and the way we live our daily life. Because tripping over Satan's landmines can ultimately lead to our self-destruction, we must learn not only to detect and identify them, but also to protect ourselves.

Pride is one of the most treacherous landmines because it is difficult to identify -- we are usually the last to recognize it. Pride is simply the act of overemphasizing ourselves; it reflects a very distorted view of who we are. Instead of looking to God for guidance, we focus on what we think, feel, and want. At its worst, pride can actually prevent us from going to heaven by blinding us to our need for the Savior Jesus Christ.

Scriptural Principles:

1. God's attitude toward pride:

* It is one of the characteristics of Satan himself. Satan said, "I will make myself like the Most High." (Isaiah 14:14) In essence, he said he would make himself like God.

* It brings dishonor. (Proverbs 11:2) Proverbs 29:23 adds, "A man's pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor."

* It is a stumbling block in our lives. Proverbs 16:18 says that "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling."

* It is deceptive. Pride boasts, "I don't need anything." But we do need something -- we need God. Not a single one of us is self-sufficient.

2. What causes pride in a person's life? We give pride a stronghold in our life when we care more about ourselves than about other people or the will of God. Feelings of insufficiency or inadequacy produce fertile ground for seeds of conceit, which serve as a cover-up for our own weakness. Other sources of arrogance are discontentment with God's blessings and a craving for worldly praise. Those who desire power are easily seduced by pride -- when God gives them experiences that will build their character instead of personal affluence, they become resentful and bitter. Failure to recognize that all we have comes from the Father's hand is a grievous oversight; every good thing results from His grace, love, and mercy.

3. The consequences of pride are severe:

* Pride hinders your relationship with the Lord. There is no way for you to have a right relationship with God when you have pride in your life. God hates pride.

* Pride disrupts your relationships with other people. Nobody wants to be around a prideful, egotistical person.

* Pride hampers your effectiveness as a leader. People cannot trust leaders who are focused on their own achievements because they are blinded by conceit.

* Personal ambition obstructs your ability to show fairness. A prideful person shows favoritism toward people who build his or her ego, people who belittle themselves in order to gain acceptance. That is not how a child of God treats others.

* Pride hinders the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. Once pride enters our life, we stop praying because we don't think we need God anymore.

* Pride compromises your rewards in heaven. God will judge us by our motives. If pride has motivated our actions, we will lose our heavenly rewards. God will not bless your arrogance; He will wait until you turn your focus from yourself and seek Him.

* Pride keeps the unbeliever out of heaven. Failing to believe in the God who created you is an act of pride that will keep you from an eternity in heaven.

4. Pride shows itself in many ways. A person who strives to be number one and always has to be the center of attention may suffer from pride. Prideful people also shrink from doing menial tasks, but the Christian should remember that Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. A self-important person does not delight in the success of others, is hesitant to admit fault or offer an apology, and does not accept criticism. Love of prominence also results from pride. An arrogant person will ignore those less fortunate, choosing instead to acquaint himself with rich or influential people. The Bible tells us that all have sinned and fall short of God's glory, and that He loves each of us, regardless of our social standing.

5. How should we deal with pride? The first step to avoiding this landmine is recognizing it. When we honestly identify areas of pride in our life, confess our sin to God, and repent specifically, we take ground from the Enemy. Serving others, remembering our humble origins, recalling the life God has saved us from, and finding our identity in Christ (rather than from the approval of others) are tangible measures we can take to regain a proper sense of meekness. The ultimate correction of pride is adversity. In order to deal successfully with pride, pray for God to send into your life whatever is necessary to mold you into a reflection of His Son. In that way, you can accomplish what the Lord desires of you.

6. The ultimate correction of pride is adversity. We know that the opposite of pride is humility. Proverbs 11:2 tells us that "When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom." So how do you acquire humility in order to combat arrogance? The ultimate correction for conceit is adversity. Pray for God to send into your life whatever is necessary to mold you into a reflection of His Son. If pride has a stronghold in your life, then God may use hardship to strike it out. But if you humble yourself to His work, you will become worthy of the greatest applause -- His praise. It is in our weakness that He is made strong.


When God brings us to a place of total dependence upon Him, everything we have relied upon before -- including the praise and acceptance from others -- turns to ashes. The only thing that matters is our relationship with Him.

Pride, which caused Satan's downfall, is also his most dangerous weapon against us. He said, "I will make myself like the Most High" (Isaiah 14:14). When we seek to be in charge of our own circumstances -- as Satan did-- we fall headfirst into the landmine of pride.

Make Proverbs 27:2 a rule to live by: "Let another praise you, and not your own mouth." Pray that the Holy Spirit will help you to be cautious, alert, and wise. You do not want to step on the landmine of pride, which can render you ineffective, cause you to self-destruct, or hinder your relationship with God.