by Allen Domelle
II Chronicles 32:25
“But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem.”
Pride is one of the sins which God detests, and everyone must deal with it. After all that the Lord did for Hezekiah, you would think that he would be able to stay humble, but even he allowed pride to get the best of him. When you read in this story of how Hezekiah allowed pride to get the best of him, you will see some of the causes and effects of pride made evident. Let me first show you the effects of pride.
First, pride keeps you from being thankful. Though the Lord had done much for Hezekiah, he “…rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him;…” Ungrateful people are normally pride-filled people. My friend, it is a godly act to show appreciation to God and to others for the benefits done unto you. One of the easiest ways to stop pride is to always show appreciation to God and to those who help you or do things for you.
Second, pride always affects your heart. It says about Hezekiah, “…for his heart was lifted up:…” This is nothing more than arrogance. Pride always causes you to think more highly of yourself than you should. One of the biggest dangers of pride is that it can make you so confident in your own abilities that you start to believe you can do things without the help of God. You must beware of pride causing you to think more highly of yourself than you should.
Third, personal pride always affects the humility of those around you. Not only did Hezekiah have to humble himself, but the inhabitants of Jerusalem also had to humble themselves. You will always find that a person who is full of pride is normally surrounded with people who are also filled with pride. That is why you often see multiple personality conflicts among those who are filled with pride. Pride becomes similar to a disease in the fact that it spreads to those around you.
If these are the effects of pride, what is the cause of pride? The cause of pride can be traced to two actions. The first cause of pride is a self-based focus instead of a God-based focus. When you take your eyes off of God, you will always find that your heart begins to fill with pride. The best way to keep yourself from being filled with pride is to keep your eyes on the Lord, no matter what you achieve in life.
Second, pride is caused by a horizontal focus instead of an upward focus. What is meant by this statement is that you can get focused on what you have achieved and obtained and forget that God is the One Who gave you what you have. Every possession is given by God. Every position obtained is obtained because the Lord promotes you. Be careful about looking at all that you have instead of realizing that everything that you accomplish and obtain is done through the help of the Lord.
The best way to keep from allowing pride to infiltrate your heart and life is to live a life of faith. A faith-filled life always keeps the Christian humble because you must depend on God to make it through faith’s endeavors. You will often find that those who live the life of faith are always humble people. Do you struggle with pride and arrogance? Let me encourage you to live a life of faith and never allow yourself to look at what you have accomplished. Living the life of faith will keep your heart focused on God.