Subduing Pride

The Tuesday feature of the Worldly Saints is all about reading. The post is meant to share some of my reflections from the latest book or magazine article or blog post I have or am reading. At times, I may post a book blurb (a wannabe book review) or recommend books to be read by others.


James 4:6 reads, “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’” This is a citation of Proverbs 3:34, which tells us that God does not bless or give grace to the proud man. Grace is bestowed upon a humble man but it is kept from the proud man.

It says “God resists the proud” or “he stands against the proud man” which is a familiar O.T. motif.

Overcoming the WorldGod blesses the man who comes to Him knowing his need; He blesses the humble one. A humble man is empty of himself, while a proud man is full of himself. The proud man doesn’t think he needs God and does anything he wants; a humble man knows he is worthless without God and does everything God expects. The proud man runs from God; the humble man is drawn to God.

We know God hates pride and we know we should flee pride and replace it with humility. But that is “easier said than done,” right?

As I have been reading Joel Beeke’s book Overcoming the World: Grace to Win the Daily Battle, I discovered a list of nine things that Beeke suggests will help us subdue pride. The following is taken from his chapter entitled “Your Fight Against Pride” (pgs. 138-141)

“How do we fight against pride? Here are some ways to help you subdue pride:

  1. Understand how deeply rooted pride is in us, and how dangerous it is to our ministry. …
  2. Consider Christ. … Nowhere was humility so cultivated as at Gethsemane and Calvary. When pride threatens you, consider the contrast between a proud minister and our humble savior. …
  3. Stay in the Word. Read, search, memorize, love, pray over, and mediate upon such passages as Psalm 39:4-6, Psalm 51:17, Galatians 6:14, Philippians 2:5-8, Hebrews 12:1-4, and 1 Peter 4:1, all in dependency upon the Spirit. The Spirit alone can break the back of our pride and cultivate humility within us by taking the things of Christ and showing them to us.
  4. Seek a deeper knowledge of God, His attributes, and His glory. Job and Isaiah teach us that nothing is so humbling as knowing God (Job 42; Isa 6). …
  5. Practice humility (Phil 2:3-4). … To that end, seek greater awareness of your depravity and the heinousness and irrationality of sin. …
  6. Remember daily that ‘pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall’ (Prov 16:18). … Everything you have or have ever accomplished has come from God’s hand.
  7. View overcoming pride as a lifelong process that calls you to grow in servanthood. Be determined to fight the battle against pride by considering each day as an opportunity to forget yourself and serve others. …
  8. Read the biographies of great saints, such a Whitefield’s Journals, The Life of David Brainerd, and Spurgeon’s Early Years. … Associate, too, with living saints who exemplify humility, rather than arrogant or flattering people.
  9. Mediate much on what the Puritans called ‘the four last things’: the solemnity of death, the certainty of Judgment Day, the vastness of eternity, and the fixes states of heaven and fell.”

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