20 Bible Verses About Pride: Lessons in Humility and Grace

In the pursuit of faith and spiritual growth, one critical aspect that is recurrently mentioned in the Holy Scriptures is pride. Often referred to as the root of all sins, pride is a powerful force that can lead to downfall and distance us from God’s grace. However, the Bible also provides us with profound wisdom on how to combat this force and live a humble and meaningful life. This article explores 20 Bible verses, from the King James Version (KJV) and English Standard Version (ESV), that shed light on pride, its consequences, and the power of humility. These scriptures are categorized, with a brief reflection on each verse, offering deep insights and lessons on pride and humility.

1. Pride as an Obstacle to Wisdom

Proverbs 11:2 (KJV)

“When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.”

The Bible makes it clear that pride is an obstacle to wisdom. When we are full of ourselves, there is no room for wisdom to take root. In contrast, the humble, or the ‘lowly,’ as described here, are those who are open to learning and growing in wisdom.

Proverbs 16:18 (ESV)

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

This verse further emphasizes the dangers of pride. It tends to lead to downfall, often because it blinds us to our shortcomings and the wisdom of others. In contrast, a humble spirit keeps us grounded, enabling us to avoid pitfalls and learn from our mistakes.

Proverbs 26:12 (KJV)

“Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.”

This verse powerfully conveys the fact that self-conceit is a hindrance to wisdom. A person who thinks they know everything closes themselves off to new knowledge and experiences, unlike the fool who at least has the potential to learn and grow.

Jeremiah 9:23 (ESV)

“Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches.'”

In this verse, God warns against boasting in personal wisdom, strength, or wealth. True wisdom acknowledges that these are temporary and ultimately given by God. Boasting in them only highlights our pride and disconnects us from our Creator.

1 Corinthians 3:18 (KJV)

“Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.”

This verse calls us to abandon worldly wisdom, often steeped in pride, to truly become wise. To be ‘a fool’ in this context means to be humble, open, and teachable, rather than being self-conceited.

2. The Consequences of Pride

Proverbs 29:23 (KJV)

“A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit.”

This verse makes it clear that pride has the potential to cause our downfall. Conversely, humility is seen as a virtue that brings honor and sustenance, emphasizing the benefits of humility over pride.

James 4:6 (ESV)

“But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'”

This verse contrasts God’s disposition toward the proud and the humble. Those who elevate themselves become adversaries of God, while those who humble themselves receive God’s grace.

Proverbs 13:10 (KJV)

“Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.”

The source of many conflicts is pride – the refusal to listen, compromise, or understand others. By acknowledging this, we can avoid unnecessary conflicts and grow in wisdom.

Proverbs 16:5 (ESV)

“Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.”

This verse serves as a stark warning against arrogance, illustrating that it is not only personally destructive but also offensive to God. It reinforces the need to curb pride and cultivate humility.

Obadiah 1:3 (KJV)

“The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?”

The prophet Obadiah warns that pride can lead to self-deception. Pride makes us feel invincible, ignoring the reality of our vulnerabilities and dependence on God.

3. Humility as the Antidote to Pride

Micah 6:8 (ESV)

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

This verse instructs us on the way to live, a way that is contrary to pride. We are to act justly, love kindness, and most importantly, walk humbly with God. This humble walk with God is the ultimate antidote to pride.

Philippians 2:3 (KJV)

“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.”

In contrast to acting out of selfish ambition or vanity, this verse encourages us to act out of humility, considering others as better than ourselves. This is a powerful antidote to pride, fostering empathy, understanding, and love.

1 Peter 5:5 (ESV)

“Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. But all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'”

This verse emphasizes the importance of humility not just toward God, but also toward each other. Humility brings us closer to one another and to God, who generously gives grace to the humble.

Proverbs 15:33 (KJV)

“The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility.”

Before we can truly honor God, we must first be humble. Humility allows us to recognize our dependence on God and our need for His wisdom and guidance.

Colossians 3:12 (ESV)

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.”

As God’s chosen people, we are called to live in a way that reflects His character – with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. These virtues counteract the self-centeredness of pride, encouraging us to focus on others and on God.

4. God’s Grace and Mercy Toward the Humble

Psalm 147:6 (KJV)

“The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.”

This verse assures us that God sees and rewards the humility of the meek. In contrast, He opposes the wicked – often characterized by pride – and brings them down.

Matthew 23:12 (ESV)

“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

Jesus gives a profound teaching here. Those who seek to exalt themselves, driven by pride, will ultimately be humbled. But those who humble themselves will be exalted, illustrating the divine favor that humility attracts.

Luke 14:11 (KJV)

“For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

This verse echoes the teaching of Jesus in Matthew. It reinforces the spiritual principle that humility leads to exaltation, while pride leads to downfall.

James 4:10 (ESV)

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”

James encourages us to willingly humble ourselves before God. This act of humility is rewarded by God’s exaltation, further emphasizing God’s favor toward the humble.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

This verse promises God’s grace, forgiveness, and healing to those who humbly seek Him and turn from their wicked ways. It underscores the transformative power of humility in our relationship with God.

5. Pride in Comparison to the Glory of God

Isaiah 2:11 (KJV)

“The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.”

Isaiah prophesies about the day when human pride will be brought low, and only God’s glory will stand exalted. This highlights the ultimate insignificance of human pride compared to the glory of God.

Psalm 10:4 (ESV)

“In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, ‘There is no God.'”

This verse portrays pride as a barrier to recognizing and seeking God. It underscores the danger of pride in leading us away from God, the source of all goodness and truth.

Daniel 4:37 (KJV)

“Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.”

Nebuchadnezzar, once full of pride, recognizes and acknowledges the sovereignty of God after being humbled. His testimony serves as a reminder that God can humble those who walk in pride.

Romans 12:3 (ESV)

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”

Paul warns against pride and encourages believers to have a proper and humble perspective of themselves. This sober self-assessment acknowledges our dependence on God’s grace and our place in His grand design.

1 John 2:16 (KJV)

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

John underscores that pride is not from God, but from the world. As believers, we are called to resist pride and instead live in humility and obedience to God, reflecting His glory rather than our own.


In the journey of faith, understanding pride’s destructive nature and the immense value of humility is paramount. As these 20 Bible verses highlight, pride can be a significant obstacle to wisdom and a fulfilling relationship with God. It blinds us to our shortcomings, fuels conflict, and ultimately leads to our downfall. However, humility emerges as the antidote to pride. Humility opens our hearts to wisdom, draws us closer to each other, and, most importantly, to God. Moreover, humility attracts God’s grace and mercy. Therefore, let us strive to cultivate humility and ward off pride as we seek to grow spiritually. Remember, in the grandeur of God’s glory, human pride is ultimately insignificant.