5 Sneaky Truths about the Pitfalls of Pride

Updated May 16, 2024
5 Sneaky Truths about the Pitfalls of Pride

“For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.” – Romans 5:10 NLT

The sneaky pitfalls of pride hijack the calm from our lives, causing us to lose focus on the truth Paul wrote about in the verse above. Instead of aiming to bring glory to God in all that we do, pride subtly steers our attention towards worldly gains and mixed-up priorities. This I know, all too well. 

The soothing presence of a front porch swing, with bright-colored cushions and pillows, fluttered through my mind as we made plans for the first house we built. I don’t remember exactly why, but the anchors for my swing were never installed during the build, and we never got back around to installing them after we moved in. The front porch remained swing-less, and the bright-colored cushions remained just a daydream. 

Years later, I battled with the frame of a yard swing, determined to have some type of swing on that massive front porch. Though I forced it to be there and tried to enjoy it for what it was, I longed for the original dream of a front porch swing mounted to the porch ceiling, with bright-colored cushions and pillows. 

The second time we built a home, I was determined to make sure my front porch swing anchors were installed in the ceiling of the much smaller front porch. Excited to finally pick out my front porch swing, bright cushions, and colorful pillows amid all of the things that encompass building a home; once again, making sure the anchors were installed for the front porch swing wasn’t a priority. My heart sank when I saw the frame of the front porch ceiling had been covered up before the swing anchors were in place. Once again, we never got back around to installing the anchors once we moved in, and the swing with the colorful cushions and bright pillows remained a daydream, once again.

I know, it’s just a swing, but it echoed my reality. Every time I felt confident and convinced enough to get my hopes up, my heart sank. Through every tough season, I ached to be put in the right category of priorities, but it remained just a daydream. The swing that never was became a metaphor for my life.

Pride can confuse our motives, cloud our emotions, and deconstruct our priorities. It lies to us, hurts our people, and damages our souls. Here are 5 sneaky truths about the pitfalls of pride.

Photo Credit:  Image created using DALL.E 2024 AI technology and subsequently edited and reviewed by our editorial team.

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1. Pride Is a Distraction

Pride will sweep in during heart-sinking moments and tell us all about how entitled and deserving we are of the object of our disappointment. We are forgetful, and we brush past the verse Paul wrote to the Romans above, and instead fixate on what hasn’t gone our way. Instead of concentrating on our friendship with God, which has been restored through Jesus, we try to create the change we want to experience. Often, our goals are good, but the framework is bad. Paul reminds us that today, we were still enemies of God when He paid for our freedom with the death of His Son. He forgave us. He restored us. He calls us, ‘friends.’ 

“The love that caused Jesus to die is the same love that has sent the Holy Spirit to live in us and guide us every day,” the NLT Life Application Bible explains, “The power that raised Christ from the dead is the same power that saved you and can be yours every day.”

This is the powerful truth that has turned the swing metaphor into a beautiful life story of God’s redemption. The front porch swing … wasn’t my reality. It’s not my reality. But God has worked it for good. The tragic and very painful turns in my story have collapsed me into a heap at the feet of my Father and, because of it, created a daily dependent relationship – friendship- that I can no longer live without. The power of the Holy Spirit has worked in, through, and grown me in ways I would not have experienced had I been given the daydream with bright-colored cushions and throw pillows. 

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Couple on couch family conflict discussion arguing; the pitfalls of pride.

2. Pride Causes Confusion and Conflict

“Pride leads to conflict; those who take advice are wise.” – Proverbs 13:10 NLT

Pride can make us forgetful for the times God felt so close we could’ve sworn we felt Jesus’ hand on our shoulder, holding our hand, and wiping our tears. The proverb above reminds us that pride leads to confusion and conflict. I came to the end of the fight long ago, and many times since. Each time I cried out to God, He provided calm and clarity …from His Word, His Creation, the people He placed in my life, and comments from readers who will never know the parts of my heart they encouraged in very hard moments. The NLT version of Proverbs 13:10 reads, 

“Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” 

I knew enough to know I didn’t want conflict or strife. And I have learned to set my alarm earlier and earlier when the daydream is dripping the most, drinking in wisdom and advice for calm and clarity like the water we all need to survive. 

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/PixelsEffect 

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3. Pride Is Blinding

“Everybody deals with pride,” Pastor John Piper explains, “but not everybody knows it because pride takes such subtle forms.”

Pride can keep us from praying for our enemies, and instead fixate on blaming them. Pride can blind us to our own sins, which we need to confess and bring to the Lord daily to experience true repentance, healing, and heart change. I don’t think people intentionally crush our dreams, but they do, in fact, crush them. They hurt us, tearing up the colored cushions and bright pillows in the dreams that were once beautiful, hopeful, and blissful. 

“Be assured that, having begun a life with Christ, you have a reservoir of power and love to call upon each day for help to meet every challenge or trial,” the NLT Life Application Bible says, “You can pray for God’s power and loving help as you need it.” 

The emotion my front porch brings reminds me of how forgotten I have been by the person who was supposed to remember me. Then, those feelings swing, and tears fall at the wonder of how amazing God truly is. How, in Christ, I have endured more pain than I could have ever thought imaginable. Yes, I know what joy is. Joy is the ability to look at my life, front porch swing-less, and see God’s hand over it all. To feel blessed beyond what I ever could have imagined, even though none of it has gone, or is going, how I fought so hard for it to go. Pride can blind us to the real fight for our souls. I may lose a lot of battles on this side of heaven, but the victory I have in Christ is mine until the end. 

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Woman sitting on a couch, reclined back, holding her head with eyes closed; pride is a thief.

4. Pride Is a Thief

“A fool’s proud talk becomes a rod that beats him, but the words of the wise keep them safe.” – Proverbs 14:3 NLT

Pride is a thief, diverting our attention from the joy that is already ours in Christ Jesus. When things don’t go our way, pride reaches in to steal our clarity, calm, and truth, swapping it for a sob story. Instead of swinging on the front porch, I am rocking back and forth in my hammock, a gift for my 44th birthday. A blessing I fight to embrace, appreciate, and enjoy. The relief from the pull of gravity reminds me of wisdom, safety, and humility. I’m trusting it to hold me. I trust God to hold me. He’s teaching me how to be patient and affirmative in my conversations and remember His grace and assuring love. Pride could have stolen these moments. 

“Let me commend this way of battling pride: a close look at the way God saved you — a close, repeated, regular attention to the way God saved you. He saved you in a way that no matter how you look at it if you look at it biblically, it was designed to humble you and destroy your pride. That’s the way you were saved.” – Pastor John Piper

Photo Credit: @Getty Images/Maria Korneeva

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5. Pride Is Relentless

I’m pretty beat up from the battle. Emotional scars of abuse tell the story only Jesus and I know the entirety of. And pride …it’s not done with me yet. I wake up earlier and early to shake its ability to taint any part of my life. To shake off what isn’t reality and embrace what God has promised me. Long life, honor, and riches in pursuit of holy fear and true humility. (The Awe of God, John Bevere) I pray to stay strong to the end, so I may be found blameless on the day of my Lord, Jesus. 

“So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends.” – Romans 5:11

I know what pride is. I’ve watched it destroy so many things in my life. Things I felt powerless to stop the consequences of it even though I held the balm of wisdom and healing in my hands. The things God has dug out of my own heart have hurt, and the lessons have been so painful. It’s not possible to dig pride out of someone else’s heart. Only God can do that. (And, frankly, it’s a full-time job managing the state of my own heart.) But I’m not powerless. The power of the One True God lives in me. What used to feel like hanging on for dear life to high-five Jesus at the end and have Him tell me, “Good job …that was hard,” has been replaced by an anthem of joy, peace, and provision. 

 Photo Credit: 

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Woman Sitting on a Swing With Jesus in Heaven

Resist the Corruption of Pride

Pride can make us forget the truth. The metaphor of my front porch swing has become a fabric of my very existence. Pride can blind us from the truth, leaving the people we love forgotten, dismissed, belittled, and abused. Pride can disguise sin as a good intention, twisting reality until the person on the other end breaks. Pride can change us into people we can’t believe we’ve become. The world is not to be trifled with. Pride can cause us to damage relationships beyond repair, and feelings to fade to black. But we are never too far gone to remember the truth Paul reminded the Romans of. Sometimes, it’s too late to salvage what’s been damaged, but it’s never too late to fall at the feet of the Lord and embrace a Friend. 

Are you suffering from the consequences of pride, whether it's the conviction of damage you have done or the pain inflicted by another's pride? Pause and pray for clarity and healing

Pride attempts to steal the best parts of us and our lives. Sadly, it sometimes wins. But its victories don't have to inflict permanent damage. God, forgive for our pride, which refers to its ugly head in more ways than just the 5 sneaky truths mentioned here. Make us aware, and give us softened hearts to repent in genuine sorrow when our pride has caused destruction and hurt in our lives. Father, humble our hearts - so that we can grow in Your wisdom and grace. Father, we pray for the hearts and lives of those who have been affected by our pride. We pray for their healing. We pray for their forgiveness.
Help us to heal from the hurt of pride, God. Teach us to forgive, teach us about healthy boundaries, and give us the strength and courage to detach from harmful and abusive situations with courage and truth.
Search our hearts for pride, God. Renew the right spirit in us. Cleanse us from our hidden sins. Because we know pride is good at playing hide-and-seek. It's lies. And Lord, we seek the Truth.
In Jesus' Name,

Photo Credit:  Image created using DALL.E 2024 AI technology and subsequently edited and reviewed by our editorial team.

Meg BucherMeg writes about everyday life within the love of Christ at megbucher.comShe is the author of “Friends with Everyone, Friendship within the Love of Christ,” “Surface, Unlocking the Gift of Sensitivity,” “Glory Up, The Everyday Pursuit of Praise,” “Home, Finding Our Identity in Christ,” and "Sent, Faith in Motion." Meg earned a Marketing/PR degree from Ashland University but stepped out of the business world to stay home and raise her two daughters …which led her to pursue her writing passion. A contributing writer for Salem Web Network since 2016, Meg is now thrilled to be a part of the editorial team at Salem Web Network. Meg loves being involved in her community and local church, leads Bible study, and serves as a youth leader for teen girls.

Originally published Thursday, 16 May 2024.