When our own desires and whims are elevated over God and his glory–the very essence of sinful pride–God is necessarily diminished in our estimation. When this happens, our own skewed self-estimation replaces the uncomfortable truth we seek to evade–that God is great and we are not.
It has been said that pride is the oldest sin in the universe and that it shows no signs of growing weaker with age. Pride is the overestimation of our own worth and the inevitable tendency to exaggerate our own accomplishments. If the Bible is clear about anything, it is that ours is a fallen race and that human pride is the inevitable consequence of the fall. God warned the people of Israel to exercise great care in this regard, “lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery . . . . Beware lest you say in your heart, `My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’” In Romans 1:22, Paul speaks of human pride in these terms; “Claiming to be wise, they became fools.” Because of sin, we suppress the fact that God is the source of all that we have. We see ourselves as far more important than we are. We act as though all of life rises and sets upon our own shadow. Therefore, we are constantly tempted to use God to suit our own sinful ends.
Perhaps it might help to frame the matter like this. When we become great in our own eyes, our estimation of God and his purposes is necessarily diminished. Like two people sitting on opposite ends of a playground teeter-totter, when the person sitting on one end goes up, the other person goes down. The same applies to our estimation of God. When our own desires and whims are elevated over God and his glory–the very essence of sinful pride–God is necessarily diminished in our estimation. When this happens, our own skewed self-estimation replaces the uncomfortable truth we seek to evade–that God is great and we are not.