P is for Pride


Texture by Dustin Schmieding/Subtle Blue Grunge 01

Listed as of the seven deadly sins, pride is a tricky little devil. Pride can have more than one meaning, so is it a vice or a virtue?

What about if:
I’m proud of my kids’ accomplishments?
I take pride in doing my job to the best of my ability?
I feel national pride in living in a country that embraces freedom?

All good things.

So why does Proverbs warn against pride? I think the clue lies in the second part of the passage.

Haughty:  adj ˈhȯ-tē, ˈhä- blatantly and disdainfully proud; arrogantly superior; scornfully and condescendingly proud.

When we’re filled with this type of pompous pride, we’re impressed with our own accomplishments, and have a misplaced sense of importance when comparing ourselves to others. This form of self-idolatry and self-righteousness causes us to place ourselves high upon a pedestle so it’s much easier to look down upon others and find fault in what they do. And, when we’re up on that pedestal, we tend to think we’re always right and no one is justified in pointing out our faults or telling us what to do. Heck, when we’re up that high, we’re so lightheaded, we have trouble focusing on our own faults.

How can we have healthy, positive relationships when we think we’re better than others? Many an argument has pride as its root cause because we simply cannot stand to be wrong. Haughty pride is the first cousin of hate, greed, prejudice, unforgiveness, gossip and envy. When we’re prideful, it’s impossible to be humble.

I think Jesus sums it up best with this parable:

The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.” 
But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. (Luke 18:11-14)

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8 thoughts on “P is for Pride

  1. I always see pride in the same way, nothing to do with being proud of yourself or of something you have accomplished but has seeing yourself better than someone else

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  2. I’ve been wary of all sorts of pride – Pride goeth before the Fall – and it tends to include too much nationalism, whereby a people cast a blind eye (a 2 by 4 is stuck there) on their own shortcomings, yet point out the speck in the eyes of others.

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  3. It is a balancing act between confidence and pride. Using prayer to ensure that I am not acting out of pride is a regular on my list.

    Good work Lisa in explaining Biblically what is meant in the word “pride.”

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  4. It is important to know the difference between “good” pride and “evil” pride. The same could be said for humility…which can be pride turned inside out. Well put, Lisa!

    Leslie
    abcw team

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