Scripture Reference: Proverbs 6:16-19

The words “Haughty” and “pride” are synonymous in meaning. A haughty spirit is the result of a spirit of pride.  It is to be disdainfully proud, snobbish, and arrogant. God hates the spirit of pride, for the spirit of pride kills our ability to obey God’s word, follow His plan and purpose. Pride is anti-God. It is the turning away from God to seek satisfaction in or for one’s self.

Do you know how the apostle James, brother of John, died?

James was one of the very first disciples, one of Jesus’s closest friends, and he was the first apostle to be killed for his faith. James and his brother were fishermen before Jesus called them into the ministry. He watched Jesus raise a 12-year-old girl from the dead (Luke 8:51). He stood with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration (Luke 9:28). He went with Jesus to the garden of Gethsemane the night Jesus was betrayed (Luke 22:39). And then King Herod had him killed with the sword simply to entertain angry Jews (Acts 12:1–2).

Herod hated the apostles, but mainly he seemed to simply love himself. He killed James, and then, “when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also” (Acts 12:3). He couldn’t murder Peter that day because of the Jewish Passover celebration. But he planned to execute him publicly within the week (Acts 12:4).

An angel came and rescued Peter from captivity (bound with chains, a soldier sleeping on each side, and two more guards by the door). When Herod came the next day to kill Peter, and realized he was gone, he killed the sentries instead (Acts 12:19).

One of the greatest tragedies of the spirit of pride is self-deception, for the one trapped by this spirit is unable to see himself or herself as he/ she really is. Our view of ourselves must align with how God views us. Our view of others must be in line with God’s view of others.

This offensive spirit infects our purity, character, and our relationship with God and with our sisters, brothers, spouses, family, and our children even.  It is the root of most of the problems within the church and marriage. Pride is always in competition with others and often times with God’s plan and will for your life.

Because we are talking about the ugliness of pride, let’s go back to Herod again in Acts chapter 12. Herod turns his anger against the people in Tyre and Sidon, so they plead for peace and mercy. “On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them” (Acts 12:21). The people shouted, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” (Acts 12:22). He killed for praise. He dressed for praise. He performed for praise. And then he received his reward.

Luke writes, “Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last” (Acts 12:23)

God’s final hammer fell when Herod took pleasure in being exalted by people, when he plagiarized the power and authority of God, presenting himself as wise in his own eyes, as strong in his own strength, as great in his own greatness.