Published by DonDavidson on

In Mary’s soliloquy in Luke 1:46-55—which has been called “The Magnificat”—we find these lines:

He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones,
And has exalted those who were humble.

—Luke 1:51-52

God exalts the humble and humbles the proud. It’s a common theme in the Bible. Why would this be? Doesn’t God want us to be proud?  

Let us first be clear about what kind of pride the Bible is talking about—and what it is not talking about.

We are not talking about pride in the sense of positive self-esteem, justified confidence in one’s own abilities, or the satisfaction of a job well done. We are talking about haughty, arrogant pride that convinces us that we do not need God—pride that in fact leads us away from God.

When we are humbled, we recognize our limitations, our weaknesses, and our inclination toward wickedness. In those moments we also realize our need for God—his power, his kindness, his love, his mercy.

God wants us to realize our need for him because he loves us and wants what is best for us. And what is best for us—what we were in fact made for—is to be in relationship with him. Pride impedes that relationship; humility promotes it.

If we try to find happiness, joy, and contentment in anyone or anything else, we will only be frustrated and unfulfilled. Anything else you can name—spouse, children, job, money, fame, power, drugs, alcohol—will not satisfy, because these things do not last.

In relationship with God we find lasting joy, ultimate happiness, and peace “that surpasses all comprehension,”[1] as well as eternal life.

This topic of pride vs. humility is the subject of Chapter 3 of my book, Beyond Shallow Faith, entitled “The Biggest Obstacle to Real Happiness.” You can find more information about my books here.

[1]. Philippians 4:7


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