There seems to be a common school of thinking in regards to self-righteousness. It's very easy to get caught up in the trap of thinking that your own accomplishments or experiences surpass that of anyone else. All of us have fallen short of the glory of God, and have fallen to the same depth of helplessness and sin, but even with that knowledge, Christians are prideful. No matter how much of your life has been spent in the pursuit of godliness, there is still the sin of pride. For some, it might be because of attending many years in seminary, sitting under a certain teacher or school, or even just studying the Bible for your whole life. The Bible has a lot to say about self-righteousness, or in another word, pride.
So what are some verses that will help us understand the value of pride? Starting in Proverbs chapter 8, the Lord tells us just what He thinks of pride.
Proverbs 8:13 "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate."
Proverbs 16:18 "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."
These two verses are probably the most well known, yet it seems as though reverence for this issue is lacking. God tells us very clearly here, and in many, many other places that he hates pride and that pride will lead to destruction. The sin of pride is so ingrained in human nature that the prideful person is blinded from reality. Let's look at some other verses that tell of the Lord's discontent with this matter.
Psalm 138:6 "Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off."
Proverbs 16:5a "Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD..."
Proverbs 21:4 "...and a proud heart...is sin."
Jeremiah 50:31a "Behold, I am against thee, O thou most proud, saith the Lord GOD of hosts..."
Jeremiah 50:32a "And the most proud shall stumble and fall..."
James 4:6 "But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble."
There are many, many other verses all over scripture in regards to pride, but I wanted to try to focus in on God's view of the sin of pride. It is clear in scripture what God's thoughts are, but also it's hard to ignore that some of these verses also tell us what kind of heart we need to have. God honors the humble heart and regards highly anyone who is humble. One of my favorite verses that tell Christians clearly the place and value of the humble in heart is found in Isaiah 57:15.
"For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones."
God is speaking in this verse and is just as clear here about the value placed on Christians with humble and contrite spirits. Of course and unfortunately, we still have the sin nature, however striving to be humble and contrite assures a close walk with God.
Micah 6:8 "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"