I believe God gave me one of those “light-bulb” moments when I began to realize there is a big connection between pride and fear.
At first glance, they can seem like total opposites.
Pride seems to indicate self-reliance and an over-inflated ego/view of oneself.
Fear, on the other hand, seems to speak of the opposite. It speaks of self-doubt, doubt of others, circumstances, objects, and events.
The opposite of these two negative qualities is that of faith and humility.
Humility speaks of a sweet submission, a concern for others, and love.
Faith speaks of trust, reliance, and a measure of humility as well.
Just as pride and fear go hand-in-hand so do faith and humility.
When people are self-absorbed, we would call them proud.
What produces an obsession with self?
I believe that a lack of contentment and resting in the Lord brings about a preoccupation with ourselves.
When we are “complete” in Him, we are secure in who we are in God, and we don’t need the validation of others. It is insecurity that causes us to be preoccupied with ourselves.
What is faith — the true definition of faith? Is it not a complete trust in the Lord and submission to Him?
Pride relies or trusts only in itself and will not allow itself to be mastered by anyone else.
It takes faith to humble ourselves before God. It takes humility to submit ourselves to the care of God.
Faith is submitting oneself to the care of someone or something.
Fear, on the other hand, refuses to completely surrender to anyone or anything other than its own rationalizations or self-preservation.
For example, if I have an improper fear of riding in a car, I will refuse to get in one or will ride in it while anxiety roils through me.
There is no sense of security or peace while I am encountering the object I fear.
When I am proud, I am relying on myself — my own rationalizations, self-preservation, and strength to protect me. I am my own “master.” As my own “master,” I instinctively know that I cannot control everything or anything; and thus, I live in fear of the things that I can’t control.
Let me reiterate that again because it’s worth repeating:
As my own “master,” I instinctively know that I cannot control everything or anything; and thus, I live in fear of the things that I can’t regulate, contain, or dominate.
An indication of both fear and pride being alive in my life is if I struggle with “control.”
Those who are able to put their trust/faith in the Lord and surrender to Him (in humility) experience the greatest peace and flexibility. They understand that relying on themselves is the greatest position of weakness, but relying on God, the Great I am, is their greatest source of security. They are confident and “relaxed” because they are “resting” in God — in Who He is — rather than in who they are themselves.
Pride produces fear. It’s that simple. It’s also a good chance that if you “suffer” with pride, you “suffer” with fear. The opposite is also true: if you “suffer” with fear, it’s a good chance you “suffer” with pride.
Humility and faith are two of some of the best characteristics for walking in freedom.
Humility frees us from the bondage of self. Faith frees us from the bondage of everything else, including ourselves.
Knowing the above truths have caused me to look more closely at my own heart and life and to be convicted of more areas that need to be yielded to the Lord. It’s not from fear or “self-righteousness” that I confess these things but because I desire to walk in greater freedom in my spiritual walk.