For though the LORD is exalted, Yet He regards the lowly (humble), But the haughty (proud) He knows from afar.—Psalm 138:6
The proud person uses his tongue to put down and to play a game of one-upmanship. In a lot of banter, many remarks are rather on the cutting side. They may be funny, amusing put-downs of somebody’s looks, opinions, habits, etc., but they are little bits of pride, maybe a lot of pride, showing through. Such a one is sneering at the other, putting him down. The other side of it is that, as he puts the other down, he elevates himself. The proud uses his tongue to make himself look good or come out on top, even if he has to lie or to distort to do so.
Pride can lead you into believing you are secure, self-sufficient, quick-witted, intelligent, and strong enough to withstand anybody. This clearly illustrates that pride’s power lies in its ability to deceive us into believing in our self-sufficiency. Even in our everyday relationships with other people, this is a serious deception, but when the deception involves our relationship with God, the level of seriousness reaches alarming proportions.
The Edomites, a people from the Old Testament, looked at their stronghold and then at themselves and their enemies. They concluded they were stronger than all—they were impregnable! Their evaluation was in error because they left God out of the picture. Therein lies much of the problem concerning pride. Against whom do we evaluate ourselves? Pride usually chooses to evaluate the self against those considered inferior. It must do this so as not to lose its sense of worth. To preserve itself, it will search until it finds a flaw.
If it chooses to evaluate the self against a superior, its own quality diminishes because the result of the evaluation changes markedly. In such a case, pride will often drive the person to compete against—and attempt to defeat—the superior one to preserve his status. Pride’s power is in deceit, and the ground it plows to produce evil is in faulty evaluation.