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:
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)