Pride is a promiscuous sin and begets bastard iniquities all over the landscape of any given life. But one sin fathered by pride and frequently unnoticed is depression. In a fallen world there may be numerous factors contributing to depression, darkness, deep sadness: Death, sickness, chemical imbalances, sin, guilt, broken relationships, failures, regrets, etc. I grant all of that, and this is not meant as a one-size-fits-all diagnosis for you or someone you know.
But pride is idolatry of self. Pride pretends to be sitting in a palace, on a throne. Pride imagines importance, glory, and authority. Pride is brash, pride is haughty, pride is self-assured, self-serving, self-loving, self-vindicating. Pride is self-worship.
As it turns out, fallen, sinful people are losers. Left in their sin, people are naked, exposed, ashamed, scrambling for leaves. And thus the need for lots of pretending and wild self-aggrandizing imagination. Pride is a liar and a deceiver, and tells a tall tale to cover the shame. Pride re-tells the Fall, guilt, sin, and death renaming these curses as virtues, personality traits, gifts, callings, differences. In the history of the world, the race of Adam which is at war with God and His grace is a Naked Empire. The city of man, as Augustine called it, is more than just an emperor with no clothes, it’s an entire empire full of naked, guilty people.
People are small, people are mortal, people are weak, people really are naked under all their clothes. But pride hates shame; pride hates humility. Pride is opposed to everything weak, everything small.
But pride is destined to make you sad. Pride is destined to make you despair. This is because apart from Christ people are losers. Apart from Christ, you are naked, ashamed, guilty, alone. Pride lies and tells a different story, but self-worship, self-love, self-assurance has to look in the mirror. You have to worship your image, and as many people worship the image, they become more and more empty, more and more hopeless because look at you: you are a lousy god.
When you are self-absorbed, you are obsessed with a black hole that only sucks away life. Pride goes before a fall. And if you don’t fall, God will push you down. He casts down the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. The good news of the gospel is that when you humble yourself beneath the mighty hand of God, He will lift you up. If you boast in your strength, in your wisdom, in your theological prowess, if you are still trying to scrape together something respectable, trying to prove yourself, you must know that you will fall, and you will come face to face with your god, and it should make you sad. But if you get off your high horse and admit that you are shameful, disgraced, guilty, naked before the throne of grace, God will lift you up out of the miry clay and set your feet on a Rock that cannot be moved.
Sometimes depression is just self-absorption. Sometimes after people have fallen from their lies, after God has thrown down your castle of cards, the pride remains. Sometimes people in the most messed up situations with nothing left to hold on to still hold on to pride, still cling to themselves. And then in their darkness and confusion and pain, all that is left is themselves.
But if you want to be truly happy, if you want to find peace, lower yourself. Go down to the ground. Lose yourself. Let go of your pride. Stop trying to protect yourself. Stop trying to save yourself. And then cry out to God for mercy. Cry out for grace. And be sure that you will find it.
Thanks for this sobering post Toby ..I pray I will heed it for Gods glory and for my ultimate good and humility as well…
Satan is the author of oppression called by some depression. A faithful servant reads the bible daily and Satan releases his grip.
Love for God and his Son Jesus Christ the Lord is to be spoken.
Read all the Bible through, you just went through first grade,
being taught by the Holy Spirit day after day and not giving up.
God Bless the Saints and all those who seek God’s face.
Right on, sir. Thank you.
Kim S. says
Terrific post, Toby. Thanks.
If we could deal with pride, depression, and spirituality without attaching the bondage of religion, I’d LOVE this whole heartedly.
This is the most idiotic thing i have read on pride. Or what the author calls pride instead of self-lying.. pride is a necesity of life you will never enjoy anything without taking a little pride for it but mind it be deserved or will trully become a self defending lie that will spiral out of control
Want to see pride, look in the mirror. One of these days your words are going to testify against you. You will held accountable for those you wound. Your ignorance is no excuse.
This is one of the most dangerous articles I have ever read. Depression is the complete opposite of pride. I fear for those that read this will have another reason to hate themselves for being prideful. Depression causes one to feel worthless and not this sense of being God’s gift to the world. They feel guilty for breathing too much oxygen. I would NEVER call this person self assured. Depression is complete self-hatred. They are not boastful, or haughty. They can barely get out of bed somedays, feed themselves and take care of their families. Many people with severe depression live in poverty because they can’t keep jobs or they live on the streets. There is so much shame, stigma and blame from others and those in the church that think it is a spiritual problem only giving them another reason to hate themselves. Yes things in past you have done wrong or wrong that has been done to you can make it worse. Abuse depletes the serotonin level in your brain living in constant fear and danger. This world can be scary. Depression is an organic invisable illness that can be treated but never cured. So you call depression pride? Think again Toby
Thomas Lines says
I wholeheartedly agree!
This article is completely wrong. As someone who has struggled for depression for almost 10 years, I can tell you the most basest feeling causing it was a complete LACK of pride. I didn’t think I was worth anything. I felt the lowest of the low, like trash blowing on the side of the road. It was not pride, it was the lack of it. The thing that really helped me was when I started to do things that actually made me proud of myself. That included relocating to an area I liked, quitting my terrible job and trying to move towards something that I could actually be proud of myself doing. It also included moving out of my parents house and learning to pay my own bills. I had to try little by little to do things that would make ME PROUD of myself. I stopped trying to rely on Getting FRIENDS, or getting a Girlfriend, or hoping on someone to treat me nice. I had to have that good feeling come from within, not without. And that meant trying to do little things that would really increase my pride, rather than feel the opposite of having pride – feeling like I was worthless. Worth less than others, worth less than garbage, worth less than everyone. That’s the kind of lack of pride that depression causes at times.
Julia Blissett says
Excellent article! I have definitely struggled with depression. Once I realized that self-loathing is actually a form of pride because we are still focused on ourselves, I was set free. I found that true humility doesn’t focus on the self at all. How often do we jump to our security blankets of pride or self-hatred?
I think because “sitting down with ourselves” (and the Lord) is both difficult and takes time. Often we are afraid of who we envision God to be. What if God is crossing his arms, angry at me for how I am feeling and reacting?
Theologian A.W. Tozer said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” The most important thing.
Yes, our image of God can be screwed up, but how we feel about God doesn’t make it true about God. We start with truth, and apply it to our feelings.
Pain is real, and God wants to heal it. But He can’t begin the process if we do not show Him the real wound.” <3 <3 <3
Thank you for the article. I do suffer from depression from time to time and I agree that pride does lead to depression. For those who claim that depression is lack of pride and could go on and on about explaining it – to me, it sounds prideful; why not humble ourselves and try to learn something from this article – written with effort for the purpose of helping people. I also notice when I try other severely depressed people, we (I include myself), have more reasons than solutions. We’re stuck to feeling like victims and complaining more than appreciating life feels more natural. The holes we’re living in, we dig them ourselves. So it’s either look up and get help or do the usual digging looking down. May God bless us all.
Patty Graham says
I’ve always believed and still do that when you are thankful and blessed, there’s no room to be depressed. We all have times of sadness, but God heals the broken-hearted. To continue in
depression is a choice to give up, and the Word teaches to endure and overcome. Depression is nothing but a cowards way of self- pity, and is rooted in selfishness. People choose depression rather than dealing with the accountability of guilt, which comes from sin. God wants us to repent and return to Him. His Word teaches that He rejects those who don’t. Pride refuses to be guilty, so it stays depressed when it doesn’t get its way.
Patty Graham says
In conclusion of my statements:
There is always a way that holds a hope, and it is Jesus Christ.
There is no need to remain in a state of failure, for that is not the reason He came
and suffered for our sakes. Turn to Him and be healed while you still can.
It’s the ONLY way to be a conqueror in Christ. A pill will never do it, a psychic can never know it,
and money can never buy it. Start where you are, use what you have, and ASK for what you need.
I’m living proof that it works.
UNBELIEVEABLE…. I hope your not giving a sermon at your church on this topic. I just watched a show on this topic called “Joni Talks,” it was a round table discussing about the Devil. One of the guests did mention that all it takes is pride to cause depression. He proceeded to say that devil puts pride into us to mislead us. He said that the devil causes us to have such tremendous pride that it causes many people to get depressed because they isolate themselves. They don’t care to be humble; which is what Christ wants us to be. But if we humble ourselves, as Christ wants us to do, we wouldn’t be depressed. I’m not quoting his words just paraphrasing. My first thought was, “Oh, he’s saying, I’ve been depressed for the past 25 years because I am too proud!” I need to stop that and then I can snap out of it.” His words are so wrong and painful. My story that lead to my depression is very similar to anyone who is going through depression. It starts with a traumatic event. After the traumatic event, I continued my everyday life. As time went by I was having short term memory loss, then I felt sick and tired all the time, finally I couldn’t get out of bed. I stopped eating, had lost so much weight. I couldn’t focus or concentrate. Had to stop working and tried to unsuccessful to take care of myself. There was no one I could go for help. I didn’t feel pride, I didn’t feel humble, actually I didn’t feel anything. Depression is an illness. It affects you mentally as well as physically. It does not discriminate. It doesn’t care what religion your from or if you believe in God or not. Please do the research before you pass judgement.
I was trying for 13 years to figure out what is my husbands problem, because I am now so fed up with him for being abusive, I read up Narcissist and Bi-polar , I read up OCD, Anger , Hatred.
I could not for the life of figure him out, he is a disaster of a human being and makes me walk on eggshells everyday.
after my plight to become more Spiritual I started to read the bible n pray n fast etc, I see a lot of scriptures and good reads that I would have overlooked over the years, appealing to me and I recently figured out my husband has a lot of Pride!!
Then today I googled his habits and the fact that he is not mentally strong , I got to an article of how Men hide Depression well, cover it with Anger , frustration , aggression instead of expressing sadness and depression.
I then looked up Pride and depression to see if its linked and found this article.
so Suzanna and Bob and anyone else , this is not about pride or depression, its about how the both are linked in a strange way, the fact is when your pride falls , and you realize you not that Great!!! person anymore, and people have figured out you are a liar and fake person , you get Depressed!!!!
GINGER LEIGH says
Badly abused and neglected, I suffered from the tyranny of depression and anxiety since I was very little. Food and TV became my only way of coping. Later, hospitalizations, psychiatrists, medications, therapists, and a dozen forms of therapy did little to abate. I wobbled and fell and crawled through decades, clinging to one panacea after another. From a place of utter depravity, I finally threw myself, cold, naked, afraid, and ashamed, before God, and offered him everything, which was nothing, except all of me. The root cause of my depression is, indeed, Pride. Sometimes, in the darkness, the depression will appear again. When it does, I say to it, “Pride goes before the fall.”