Practical Tools and Resources to Go Deeper! 


The Prescription for “I” Strain


What Is Pride?

In English the word pride has two meanings:
• a spirit of conceit or superior worth (a negative quality)
• a spirit of pleasing satisfaction or proper self-worth (a positive quality)
In Greek, the word huperephanos means “arrogant, proud or appearing above others.” (huper means above, phaino means to appear)
In the New Testament pride is nearly always used in the negative sense of being haughty, disdainful and proud.

“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy.”
(2 Timothy 3:2)

God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

James 4:6


What Is Humility?

 In English, the word humility has two meanings: a spirit of respectfulness, deference and meekness (a positive quality) a spirit of insignificance, inferiority and subserviance (a negative quality)In Greek, the word tapeinos means humble in spirit or lowly.In the New Testament humility is nearly always used in the positive sense denoting a lowliness or humbleness of mind.

“Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” 

Matthew 18:4


Wordly Perception of Pride 

Never admit a weakness.

Scriptual Heart of Humility 

Delight in your weakness

“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 

2 Corinthians 12:10


Wordly Perception of Pride

Hold on to your rights. 

Scriptual Heart of Humility 

Yield your personal rights.


“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” 

Philippians 2:5–8


Wordly Perception of Pride 

Seek vindication at all costs.

Scriptual Heart of Humility 

Wait on God’s vindication 

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” 

1 Peter 5:6


Wordly Perception of Pride 

Seek recognition and praise for yourself

Scriptual Heart of Humility 

Let praise come only from others.

“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.” 

Proverbs 27:2


Wordly Perception of Pride 

Seek revenge when offered. 

Scriptual Heart of Humility 

Be quick to overlook an offense.

“A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” 

Proverbs 19:11


Wordly Perception of Pride 

Seek wordly knowledge (intellectualism).

 Scriptual Heart of Humility 

Seek God’s wisdom.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” 

Proverbs 9:10 


Wordly Perception of Pride 

Do not ask advice from others.

Scriptual Heart of Humility 

Seek advice from others

“The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.”

Proverbs 12:15 


Wordly Perception of Pride 

Continually compare yourself with others. 

Scriptual Heart of Humility 

Refuse useless comparisons 


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Characteristics of the Humble Nature of Christ vs. Human Nature 

  • Performance—

“How well I perform in all areas of my life determines the amount of pride I feel in my achievements and my abilities as a whole. For that reason I am committed to do whatever it takes to be the best and to not share the spotlight with anyone else.” 

  • By contrast, the Bible says about Jesus ... 

“The Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing ...” (John 5:19).

  • Pedigree—

“Having a proper and prestigious family lineage definitely opens doors in society and business. Even if I do not have that lineage, I can make up for it by earning degrees and certifications and by making a name for myself on my own merits.” 

By contrast, the Bible says about Jesus ... 

“Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?” (Matthew 13:55). 

  • Personal Appearance—

“Only pretty people are popular and prosperous today, so I must spare no expense in making myself physically attractive and desirable to others. I want people’s heads to turn when I walk by.” 

By contrast, the Bible says about Jesus ... 

“He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2). 

  • “Proficiency—

Excellence is the name of the game if I want to be successful and carve out a name and place for myself in the business world. I cannot afford to be anything less than an authority in my profession and stay on the cutting edge as far as new and innovative ideas go.”

By contrast, the Bible says about Jesus ...

“My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me” (John 7:16).

  • Prestige—“

One of my goals in life is to gain prestige and have a place of prominence in the business world among my colleagues and in society among my friends and neighbors.”

By contrast, the Bible says about Jesus ...

“He was despised and rejected by mankind ...” (Isaiah 53:3).

  • Popularity—

“I want to be a somebody, not a nobody. I want lots of friends. I want everyone who is anyone to like me and to want my name on their invitation lists and to view me as one of their top 10 favorite people.”

By contrast, the Bible says about Jesus ...

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first”  (John 15:18).

  • Praise—

“Everyone wants their horn tooted and their praises sung, especially by people who are held in high regard, and I am no exception. I love accolades and to be held in high esteem by my peers.”

By contrast, the Bible says about Jesus ...

“I do not receive glory from people”  (John 5:41)

  • Position—

“In order to gain notoriety and to make a name for myself I need to have a position that commands respect and special privileges.”

By contrast, the Bible says about Jesus ...

“Even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve...” (Mark 10:45)

  • Possessions—

“Having a palatial home, acquiring impressive possessions, and gaining the admiration and envy of others is important to my self-esteem and enhances my confidence. It is nice to have beautiful things to show off.” 

By contrast, the Bible says about Jesus ... 

“The Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). 

  • Power—

“Control is critical in today’s economy, and only those who have power can exert their will over others and get their way. I don’t want anyone to have enough power over me to dictate what I will or will not do.” 

By contrast, the Bible says about Jesus ... 

“Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39). 

Some Surface Causes of Pride 

  • Selling out to the world’s concept of success (Psalm 52:7) 
  • Elevating self-worth by attaining worldly goals (Ezekiel 33:31–32) 
  • Lifting the burden of guilt for sins through personal performance (Romans 10:3) 
  • Focusing on self (2 Timothy 3:2) 


Myths about Humility

Myth #1: Humble people are usually losers. They aren’t as capable as others.

Truth: The humble are lifted up by the Lord. (James 4:10)


Myth #2: Humble people end up as failures. They aren’t as important as others.

Truth: The humble will one day be exalted. (Matthew 23:12)


Myth #3: Humble people are stupid. They aren’t as smart as others. 

Truth: The humble will grow in wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2) 


Myth #4: Humble people won’t be victorious. They aren’t as successful as others. 

Truth: The humble succeed in the end. (Psalm 149:4) 


To Have a Heart of Humility 

  • Recognize humility as one of my most divine and essential pieces of clothing. (Colossians 3:12) 
  • Embrace God’s perspective toward pride. (Proverbs 8:13) 
  • Pray for all my blind spots to be revealed and removed by God. (Psalm 139:23–24)
  • Focus on God’s character and the promises He has made to all who love Him, rather than focusing on me, my trials, my sufferings, or my sin. (Hebrews 12:2 KJV) 
  • Respond with humility to God’s influences in my life (the Word of God, authorities in my life, the counsel of family and friends, God’s discipline). (Proverbs 3:11–12) 
  • Accept with gratitude everything God allows in my life. (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Romans 8:28)
  • Develop a true and genuine servant’s heart of love toward others. (Matthew 23:11; John 13:34–35) 
  • Surrender to Christ living in me—living His life through me. (Galatians 2:20)


Test Your True Humility 

  • Do you feel joy when others are honored? 
  • Do you honestly and openly admit sin? 
  • Do you seek accountability and honest feedback from others about your weaknesses and blind spots? 
  • Do you accept criticism graciously? 
  • Do you turn all worry, anxiety, and concern over to the Lord? 
  • Do you respond with humility when you have been replaced? 
  • Do you pursue godliness in all that you do?


Key Verse to Learn 

“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 

(James 4:6 NKJV) 


Key Passage to Read 

Luke 18:9–14




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Identity & Self-Image


Success through Failure

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