Pride: No One is Exempt From Temptation

“The Lord detests the proud; they will surely be punished” (Proverbs 16:5 NLT).

When it comes to pride, none of us is exempt from temptation.

For instance, success is one of the most important tests God gives us before he increases our responsibility, and if we become prideful, then we haven’t passed the test.

The Bible tells the story of one man who utterly failed this test: the Babylonian king of Daniel’s day, Nebuchadnezzar. By the time this pagan king was in his 50s, he was one of the most powerful men in the world.

But Nebuchadnezzar had a dream, and he needed Daniel to interpret it. As he recalled sharing the dream with Daniel, he said: “I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home taking it easy in my palace, without a care in the world” (Daniel 4:4 The Message).

That’s a great picture of what success does to us. Nebuchadnezzar didn’t sound like someone who was pursuing God. He sounded like someone who’s resting on all he had been given. He wasn’t using all of his success to make much of God. He was thinking about himself.

Check out the personal pronouns in another statement by Nebuchadnezzar. “Look at this great city of Babylon! By my own mighty power, I have built this beautiful city as my royal residence to display my majestic splendor” (Daniel 4:30b NLT).

Four times in one verse he used first-person language. Nebuchadnezzar was thinking of himself. He wasn’t being humble.

Pride is the root of all sin, no matter what the sin is. It got Satan kicked out of Heaven. God hates pride because it declares, “I’m God, and I don’t need God.”

The Bible says pride goes before destruction. If you keep reading about Nebuchadnezzar, you realize he was setting himself up for a major fall.

God’s Word tells us, “The Lord detests the proud; they will surely be punished” (Proverbs 16:5 NLT).

Pride puts you on the opposite side of God. But God is always for you, not against you, and he wants to help you pass the test of success.

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Talk It Over

  • How have you seen pride ruin the lives of people you care about?
  • In what ways are you most tempted to show pride?
  • What is one specific way you can demonstrate humility this week?
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