“At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his words are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.” Daniel 4:36-37
Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon and was a very prideful and powerful man. Daniel, one of his advisors and a believer in God, was asked to interpret one of Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams. The dream foretold that Nebuchadnezzar would be forced out of his palace to live for seven years with the animals and eat grass like a cow, until he finally realized God’s power and authority over him.
Nebuchadnezzar remained prideful and his dream was fulfilled, but at the end of seven years living like an animal, Nebuchadnezzar praised and worshipped God because the Lord saved him from his pride.
In this story, we learn a lot about pride. We learn that pride is oppressive and that we long for power to give us our identity and purpose. We want to build ourselves up and use other people to do that. Nebuchadnezzar was all about making himself look better. He built a golden statue and forced people to worship it to try to build himself up even more.
Pride also dehumanizes and isolates us. King Nebuchadnezzar was literally made like an animal and was alone in a field for seven years because of his pride. Pride doesn’t let us love other people because we view everyone else as a competition. When we constantly size other people up when we meet or interact with them, that drives us further and further from love. We look at how pretty or smart or talented another person is and instead of loving them, want to be better than them.
The good news is that the gospel frees us from pride. We have a God who gives and is merciful to us and is not proud. Pride leads us to achieve things for ourselves, while the Gospel allows us to receive love and grace from our Father.
God made us for relationships and not to be prideful and think we are better than others. Jesus sees all of us as beautiful creatures and that is how we are meant to view each other. Think of how you can lift others up and not yourself.