rebelling against low expectations

How can I fight spiritual pride?


JOHN WRITES: I know that my heart is just as deceitful, and probably more deceitful than my friends’ hearts. I know I’m a sinner, but I’m good at sounding wise. Even when I’m acknowledging sin, sometimes it can make me feel more ‘godly’ because I’m more aware of my sin than my friends are of their own. I even get annoyed when people treat me like I’m such a good person when I know I’m really not. But I have to admit, sometimes it gets to my head.

How do I deal with spiritual pride and run clear of it while at the same time running clear of another type of self-focus; focusing on my own sin? How do I get my mind on God instead of on myself?

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  • Spend time in prayer. A lot of time. Ask God to grant you wisdom guidance.

    Then open the Bible and read. The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 and Jesus’ teaching in John 15-17 is a place to start. Read the teaching there ask Jesus what He’s saying to you.

    God will reveal Himself to you if you ask in faith.

    Pretty much spend time with God.

    One way I do this is by listening to Sermons from my Bible Teacher. God has taught me a ton though those sermons. They’re all online free and all biblical sound. Let me know if you would like the link to the website and I’ll post it.

    This past school year God has been shaping my heart in ways I still cant quite describe. And it came through spending time with Him.

    Sorry. This got kinda long. Let me know if you have any questions.

  • Thanks for being honest John! I know I have a hard time with this too! One thing that could help, is to remember that God is ALWAYS smarter and wiser than you. So He knows the solution to all the problems you have. Don’t try to get through THIS in your own understanding (or just wisdom from TheReb, even though all of this advice is AWESOME!). Trust in Him, and He will guide you.

  • I would try memorizing Scripture and reading it daily if you already aren’t. Then I would pray, asking the Lord to rid me of my struggle. After praying, the Lord might give you a verse and then you could memorize it.

    One verse that really helps me when I’m struggling with sinful thoughts or even pride is 2 Corinthians 10:5. It says “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
    Share your thoughts with Jesus. He loves to hear you pray, and wants to hear your prayers. He is the Savior, we are the sinners.

    When struggling with pride, a great verse to remember would be Philippians 2:3 “[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

    Another verse would be Philippians 2:3. It says, “[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

    This last verse I’ll share with you that I think might be one that touches on your very need would be Galatians 6:3. It says, “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.”

    A saying that the Lord gave me a few months ago is “It is not what others think, it’s about what God thinks.” This saying has helped me a lot and it helps me to remember to “Set my affection on things above,” and not on “the things on this earth.”

    ~Trust Jesus!!

    • Thx Jenna! That’s cool that you mentioned memorizing scripture because that’s something I’ve been trying to do.

      I think you made a good point that, “It’s not about what others think, it’s about what God thinks.” It’s also not about what we think. It’s about what God thinks.

  • I’m agreeing with all of the comments below. I think talking to older, more mature, wiser, people like your parents and grandparents about this might help too. They might have been through the same thing that you’re going through. And of course reading your Bible and praying is a must. I hope this helps!

  • Remind yourself of the gospel. Every day. All day.

    Remind yourself that you were without hope, living in blatant rebellion against God in every area (Rom. 3:10-18, 23).
    Remind yourself that Jesus sacrificed his life, enduring pain and shame unimaginable, to pay the incomprehensible debt that you – the enemy of God – owed (Isaiah 53:3-6, Rom. 5:10).
    Remind yourself that He rose from the dead so that you could have life (Rom. 6:4). Remind yourself that it was the Lord who brought you to salvation – not you (Rom. 9:16, John 15:16).
    Remind yourself that even after salvation, you’re not closer to Christ because of things you’ve done or choices you’ve made – but because the Lord has graciously changed you of His own will (Gal. 2:20, 3:3, 1 Cor. 15:10).
    Remind yourself that without Him, you will always, always fail (John 15:5). And then,
    Remind yourself that HE works all things for your good – your sanctification and eternal glorification (Rom. 8:28-30), that HE will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5), and that HE will keep your forever in His saving grace (John 10:28).

    Look to the scriptures for this, thank the Lord for it, and then submit in obedience to His will because of it. I’ve fought with spiritual pride for a long time, and nothing has humbled me like the truth of the gospel and the knowledge of God’s promises.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  • When God rebuked me because of my pride 7 years ago with verses like “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” -James 6:4 NIV ’84, and “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,” -1 Peter 5:6 NAS it was more of a sudden awakening to the disgrace of the pride which I had allowed in my life, and the change was immediate: I suddenly stopped trying to coerce others to do what I wanted them to do, and all of a sudden I wanted to give others a turn to have things their way. I believe the right view of ourselves is the view that God has of us. If you can discern what that is–and apply it as your own way of seeing yourself–then you will see yourself correctly and with accuracy.

  • Funny coincidence, I’m in the same exact boat! In my experience, the only thing that has helped me is to pray every time I think about it is simply “God, humble me”. And for some reason, it works. However, I really like the ideas everyone´s posted, I should try a couple out. Godspeed John!

  • John, sorry for the late comment. This is something that I’ve really struggled with. Pride and self-righteousness are two things that I struggle immensely with. Here’s a few things that are helping me:

    1. Pray for God to humble you. He will. It’s often embarrassing, but he will. I haven’t done this, but you might study the Pharasees and see what actions/thoughts overlap, and then ask God to root that out of your heart.

    2. Find a friend or a parent that’s willing to be brutally honest and point out when they see your pride. In my family, finding that person wasn’t a problem because we’re all so blunt. 🙂

    3. My grandfather had some really good advice that is helping me… Serve. Serve others in every way shape and form you possibly can. Pray for a serving spirit, and then go serve. It will make you humble.

    • Oooh, man… the “asking your family” one really hit me just now. I tend to get very defensive, and my parents know that–I think they might hold back and not say anything when they see me at fault because of it. I think I’m going to try that–it sounds absolutely terrifying, which probably means I’d be getting the truth.

      • In my case it’s my sister who points out on occasion my pride/self-righteousness and brings me back down to earth. It does help to have someone pointing out what you can’t see.

rebelling against low expectations

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