Contemporary Gospirational Artist, Song Writer, Insightful Blogger and Keynote Speaker
Growing up, the simplest memory verses on pride were – ‘Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall’ and ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble’. A simple definition that we can draw from these is PRIDE is an attribute which leads an individual to destruction by putting him in opposition to God. Well there’s good pride, and there’s bad pride. You need to know the difference, so you can rid your life of the bad one and avoid its repercussions.
Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary provides three definitions for pride.
First, pride is a feeling of pleasure or satisfaction that you get when you or people who are connected to you have done something well or own something that other people admire e.g. the sight of her son graduating filled her with pride – Is this good or bad? Good. Even God the Father expressed this sort of pride because of Jesus at his baptism and transfiguration where he said, ‘this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased’.
Second, pride is the feeling of respect you have for yourself e.g. losing his job was a real blow to his pride. Good or bad? Depends. It depends on what the foundation of that feeling of respect is. Do you feel you achieved those milestones by your own power? You see, if that feeling isn’t rooted in God you are vulnerable because a loss of any of the things you take pride in could result in low self-worth, depression, suicidal tendencies, and so on. But God never fails and with Him you can recover from anything.
Third, pride is the feeling that you are better or more important than other people. This one is bad and is the root cause of various forms of discrimination. The truth is that we’re all created in God’s image and likeness, so no one is better or more important than anyone else. Paul even encouraged the Philippians to go the extra mile in humility and value others above themselves.
Bad pride has unique features. It expresses superiority and puts self-will above the well-being and prosperity of others. It self-obsesses – it’s all about me, myself and I. People with bad pride fail to acknowledge the grace, love, power, and help of God. They’ll be quicker to say I did it myself, my way… I’m self-made. They forget that the very air they breathe is a gift. This ‘I-did-it-myself’ mentality also keeps you from appreciating the contribution of people that helped you along the way and enabling environments; you end up giving yourself too much credit and severing valuable relationships. This pride leads to every vice – corruption, murder, racism, you name it.
We must rid our lives of bad pride because it is so dangerous and God hates it. It can negatively impact your future if God decides not to help you anymore or to remove you from a place of honor he put you in because you have become arrogant and are now claiming the glory for yourself – this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. Also, God opposes the proud. If your brother fights you, your father could save you. If the devil fights you, God can save you. If God fights you, who will save you? Finally, when you have too high an opinion of yourself or your abilities, carelessness creeps in and soon enough something happens that could yield unpleasant consequences for you.
Here’s the conclusion of the matter – no matter who you are or what you have achieved, remember that the life you have, the air you breathe, your gifts, talents, and abilities come from God. Bear in mind that we are all created in God’s image and likeness and we must treat others with respect and fulfill that great commandment to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Acknowledge the contribution of others to your success and express your gratitude to them. Say NO to bad pride.