My dictionary defines the word haughty as "scornfully and condescendingly proud". It implies exalting and elevating oneself to a level unmerited and undeserved. At its root, it is driven by arrogance and a notable disdain for others. It is associated with an air of overall superiority, an overreaching confidence in self. As a Christian, the label of haughtiness is a dark stain and the Bible provides strict warnings against such an attitude.
I wanted to write this post today because of a sermon that resonated with me some years ago (I think it was 2005). The sermon was delivered at my old church in Ohio (Central Methodist Church) by a Godly man by the name of Mark Kesler who was in my Bible study group. Mark happened to be standing in for the regular pastor who was on travel. As a religious "layman", I just remember how humble and respectful Mark was to this topic. I think that the reason I remember his message so vividly today is that I got to know Mark a bit personally, and I knew that he lived out what he was preaching. He served as a great example of how to live a Godly life.
His message on haughtiness was based, in part, on the following verses from scripture:
Psalm 101:5 - "Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret, I will put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, I will not tolerate."
Proverbs 16:18 - "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall."
Proverbs 18:12 - "Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor."
God's cure for haughtiness and a prideful attitude is meekness and humility. Humility implies a humble, modest, respectful spirit. Meekness leans on a gentle, patient approach, marked by honor. We need to appreciate that pride, reliance on self, actually indicates an undercurrent of a lack of trust in God. We build ourselves up to the point that we actually start to "believe our own press". At such a moment, we are ripe for a painful fall.