Seven Bible Verses You Need To Know About Pride and Humility

Woman holding Bible with a watch on. Bible Verses about pride and humility.

When I was 19 years old, I was in a car accident, and about two weeks after this accident, I was scheduled to have surgery on my ankle. I was so scared to have surgery, and I had postponed it long enough because of this fear. I remember the night before my surgery, I finally decided to accept Jesus Christ into my life. Mostly because I was scared of dying and partly because I couldn’t lean on my own pride any longer. 

Since that night, my faith walk has gone from non-existent to full-on living my life for Jesus. I didn’t think arrogant pride was such an issue for me. But I did not have a fear of the Lord, and I didn’t want to give up anything to follow Jesus.

But as I learned more about God’s love for me, I wanted to always obey Him and have Him in my life. So, over the years, I have turned to God’s Word and found many Bible verses about pride and humility. I even wrote a book about it, and it was truly a life-changing book to write, and many people seem to like it, too! 

Disclosure: We earn a commission on some of the links in this post. We only share products we feel will benefit you and draw you closer to God. You are helping to support Becoming Press by making purchases through our affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

How does the Bible define pride?

“Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.”

 –  C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

The sin of pride is defined in so many ways within the Bible. The kind of pride we are talking about is the pride of your heart and how much you will allow God to work in your life. Some people can take pride in many things that seem good and are beneficial to God’s Kingdom. While others clearly want nothing to do with God or His ways. 

The Bible says a prideful person will have an arrogant heart. According to the Merriam-Webster online Dictionary, arrogance is exaggerating or disposed to exaggerate one’s own worth or importance, often in an overbearing manner. While this might seem obvious to some as prideful, it’s not always evident in some people. Sometimes, you can be overtly and covertly arrogant. 

The Bible says that God looks at man’s heart, not his outward appearance. The sin of pride is a heart issue. Just like the heart, not everyone can see it, but the person who owns it can feel what’s inside.

Sinful pride is about how you feel and look in your own eyes, not in someone else’s. When addressing a proud heart, you need to be honest about who you truly are on the inside. 

What Is The Difference Between Pride And Confidence According To The Bible?

“Beware of any work for God that causes or allows you to avoid concentrating on Him. A great number of Christian workers worship their work. The one concern of a worker should be concentration on God.”

 – Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Confidence is more about your ability or relying on God’s ability to move. Pride is about making demands and thinking you are entitled to God’s movement in your life. This is a difficult reality to embrace because while I do believe in God’s Word and ask for miracles and healing, I know deep down in my heart that I am entitled to none of it. 

Entitlement in the Christian walk is just another symptom of pride. The thought that you can say a little prayer and everything will magically work out is not how God works. This affects our prayer life and how we connect to God and others.

Prideful people will often make demands of God and then be sad when they do not get their way. But a humble and confident heart understands that God is sovereign, and even if you do not get your prayer answered the way you had hoped, you know God is working to give you something better. 

Confidence is also about what your desired outcome is. Are you focused on the desires of the flesh or the desires of the eyes? Do you want freedom and abundance but don’t know what you would do with that abundance? Are you asking for these things because you want to promote and further your ambitions?

You really need to ask yourself these questions and find a way to address any selfish ambition in your heart. Confidence is a humble heart that seeks and trusts God. 

What Is The Meaning Of “Pride Of Life” In The Bible?

“Of all parts of the man, the tongue is the proudest; it no sooner tells a man how great he is, but it takes him at his word and runs away with it.”  

– Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ

Pride of life refers to the arrogance, self-exaltation, and self-sufficiency that come from worldly achievements, possessions, status, and power.

It is a form of pride that focuses on earthly accomplishments and material successes, leading to an inflated sense of self-worth and independence from God. It represents a misplaced confidence in one’s abilities and resources, often disregarding spiritual dependence and humility. 

This is the pride of man that will take you away from walking in faith (affiliate link) with God because you think you don’t need Him to be successful in life. But don’t forget, there is so much you cannot control—money and education will only get you so far in this life.

The pride of life is not about having evil thoughts or having a proud look when you’ve done a good thing. A proud person is defined by their heart’s desires and what motivates them to move forward in life. 

5 Key Characteristics Of The Pride Of Life

1. Self-Exaltation: Elevating yourself above others based on personal achievements or possessions.

2. Materialism: Valuing worldly goods and success over spiritual well-being and humility.

3. Independence from God: Relying on yourself rather than acknowledging and depending on God.

4. Arrogance: Displaying an overbearing sense of self-importance and superiority.

5. Disregard for Others: Are you looking down on others perceived as less successful or important?

In a biblical sense, the “pride of life” is one of the core temptations and sins that will lead you away from God. The Bible teaches that true worth and fulfillment come from a relationship with God and living according to His will rather than seeking validation and security in worldly achievements and status.

The Parable Of The Pharisee And The Tax Collector

“It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.”  

– Augustine of Hippo, City of God

In the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, Jesus shares a story about two men who went to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a tax collector. Pharisees were respected religious leaders in Jewish society, known for strictly following the law. On the other hand, tax collectors were often despised because they collected taxes for the Roman occupiers and were seen as corrupt and traitorous.

The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.” His prayer was self-righteous and focused on his perceived superiority and religious deeds.

The tax collector, however, stood at a distance. He wouldn’t even look up to heaven but beat his chest and said, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” His prayer was humble, acknowledging his own sinfulness and seeking God’s mercy.

Jesus wrapped up the parable by saying that the tax collector, not the Pharisee, went home justified before God. He explains those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

This parable teaches that God’s mercy is available to you if you genuinely recognize your need, regardless of your social or religious status.

Spiritual Implications Of Seeking Your Own Interests

The greatest spiritual implication of pride is not being able to receive God’s grace and mercy in your life. No grace or mercy means you are doing this life alone. You are walking in a minefield full of trials and triumphs that will only toss you around and bully you until you can’t take it anymore.

It is very difficult to live this way because it will: 

1. Separate You from God: By focusing on the pride of life, you may drift away from your dependence and relationship with God.

2. Tempt you to lead a life of compromise: This form of pride can lead to ethical compromises as you pursue personal goals and success at any cost.

3. Give you a false sense of security: It creates a false sense of security and worth, which is ultimately unstable and unfulfilling compared to the eternal security found in God.

4. Hinder your spiritual growth: It can stifle your spiritual growth, as humility and reliance on God are essential for spiritual development.

How Can You Overcome Pride According To The Bible?

Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend. 

– John Stott, The Cross of Christ

Taking a moment to really reflect on God’s will and what it means to have a lowly spirit will guide you in the right direction. Developing a humble heart requires self-awareness, repentance, and daily taking up your cross. Overcoming pride is never easy. It will make you face your worst fears and make you feel true freedom all at once. 

In Jeremiah 9:23 (ESV) it states: 

Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”

Over a decade ago, I wrote a book about Breaking Pride (affiliate link), and from then until now, I have found it difficult to truly communicate how to overcome pride. I think this is what Jesus meant when He said we had to take up our cross daily. Every day, we have to have a humble spirit and start looking at the interests of others. You will need to lean into the presence of God when you would rather rely on your human heart to resolve conflict, celebrate your success, and pursue your calling. 

Here are four facets of overcoming pride and living a life under God’s grace:

1. Humility: Cultivating a humble attitude, recognizing one’s dependence on God.

2. Gratitude: Being thankful for God’s blessings and acknowledging His role in one’s achievements.

3. Service: Focusing on serving others rather than seeking personal glory.

4. Spiritual Focus: Prioritizing spiritual growth and relationship with God over worldly success.

The key to overcoming pride in your life is to rely on God and glorify Him, not yourself. It is important to remember that the Holy Spirit will help direct your steps toward a heart that is no longer bent on pride. 

Here Are Seven Bible Verses About Pride and Humility

These verses will help you overcome a prideful heart and live a humble life under God’s grace.

1. Proverbs 16:18 (ESV)

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

This verse from Proverbs warns that pride sets the stage for one’s downfall. The emphasis is on the natural consequence of pride—self-inflicted ruin. By cultivating humility and self-awareness, individuals can avoid the pitfalls of overestimating their abilities or importance. This wisdom encourages a mindful approach to one’s actions and interactions, fostering a life of balance and respect for oneself and others.

2. James 4:6 (WEB)

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Proverbs 3:34

God resists pride because it signifies self-reliance and arrogance, while humility is rewarded with grace. By adopting humility, believers can receive God’s abundant grace, facilitating spiritual growth. 

3. Proverbs 11:2 (WEB)

When pride comes, then comes shame, but with humility comes wisdom.

Pride leads to disgrace because it blinds individuals to their limitations and flaws, often resulting in poor decisions and social alienation. Humble individuals acknowledge their need for guidance and correction, which leads to better judgment and more mature relationships. This verse summarizes a fundamental principle of ethical living: humility protects one from shame and paves the way for acquiring true wisdom and insight.

4. 1 Peter 5:5 (WEB)

 Likewise, you younger ones, be subject to the elder. Yes, all of you clothe yourselves with humility, to subject yourselves to one another; for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Proverbs 3:34

This instruction emphasizes mutual respect and humility within the Christian community. Younger members are encouraged to respect their elders, recognizing the wisdom that comes with experience. Additionally, everyone is called to practice humility in their interactions. 

5. Proverbs 8:13 (WEB)

The fear of Yahweh is to hate evil. I hate pride, arrogance, the evil way, and the perverse mouth.

This verse aligns the fear of God with a strong aversion to evil thoughts and evil things, specifically targeting pride and arrogance as detestable. The fear of God means to adopt His perspective on life, which includes rejecting pride and embracing humility. 

6. Isaiah 2:11 (WEB)

The lofty looks of man will be brought low, the arrogance of men will be bowed down and Yahweh alone will be exalted in that day.

This prophecy foretells the humbling of human pride before God’s sovereignty. It serves as a reminder that earthly pride is temporary and ultimately futile against divine authority. This prophetic vision encourages humility and reverence for God, acknowledging His unparalleled greatness.

7. Philippians 2:3 (WEB)

doing nothing through rivalry or through conceit, but in humility, each counting others better than himself;

This verse advocates for selflessness and humility in personal conduct. It discourages actions driven by competition or vanity, promoting a mindset that values others above oneself instead. Such humility fosters a supportive community where individuals prioritize collective well-being over personal gain. By esteeming others, believers reflect Christ’s example of selfless love and service. This instruction aims to cultivate a culture of mutual respect and care, enhancing the spiritual and social fabric of the community.

Humility Counts Others Greater Than Themselves

The Bible clearly demonstrates that the Lord hates pride. But is that any surprise, considering He gave His only son so we would be saved and have eternal life? Humility is the character of God; it’s who Jesus was in every way and through every painful and joyous moment of His life. It is so important for Christians to understand the power of pride in their lives and why humility is the answer to finding spiritual growth and fulfillment. 

I know it is not easy. But our love of the Father should drive our actions and desire to lean into a life of humility. You can read more about Breaking Pride and walking in His grace here. (affiliate link)

Check out our books on Amazon

Four-Week Mini Bible Studies

Quick Bible Studies for Small Groups and Personal Study

Featured Image