June is recognized globally as Pride Month, but what if Christians used this month to reflect on and address issues of pride in their hearts, conversations, and actions? As followers of Christ, we must confront our natural inclination to seek validation and social status through our accomplishments and possessions. Let’s begin by comparing contemporary and traditional definitions of pride, and examining what the Bible teaches us about its origins.
Current definition of Pride
A feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.Oxford
Definition of Pride from 200 years ago
Inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable conceit of one’s own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, rank or elevation in office, which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often in contempt of others.Webster’s 1828
This Webster’s 1928 definition shines like a big spotlight so the reader can see properly what pride is and then describes its affects. One can easily see that pride is self worship. It says, “Look at me, look what I’ve accomplished and my way is best.”
The Bible warns us pride is what the world offers.
For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure,
a craving for everything we see,
and pride in our achievements and possessions.
These are not from the Father, but are from this world.
I John 2:16
The world may encourage us to take pride in ourselves, but according to God, pride is considered a sin. However, it’s not always easy to recognize the pride we may have within us. To help identify it, here are a few common forms of pride: the pride of power, the pride of knowledge, and the pride of appearance.
Behaviors of Pride:
- Listening to others only to impress them with your knowledge or to fix them
- Feeling the need to always have the last word
- Dominating conversations with talk about yourself or the subject at hand to prove your intelligence
- Being a know-it-all and constantly saying “I already knew that”
- Being highly opinionated and argumentative
- Not delegating tasks often because you believe no one can do it as well or as quickly as you
- Failing to serve others and prioritizing your own needs
- Sabotaging the work of others or not giving credit to their good ideas
- Avoiding inviting people over because you feel your home isn’t nice enough or can’t afford to entertain
- Fear of what others may think and becoming consumed with their opinions.
Pride and humility can be compared to the top and bottom of a mountain. When one is humble, they acknowledge God’s greatness and look up to Him. By doing so, they can be led up to the mountain top. As James 4:10 in the NIV version says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up“. It is important to trust in God and follow His ways on the way up the mountain. Even when you reach the top, it is essential to maintain humility and stay close to your Heavenly Father. However, if pride does creep in, it may lead to another lesson in humility. One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor. Proverbs 29:23 ESV
Behaviors of Humility:
- Learn to talk with humility
- listen to others
- Have business meetings with God. Talk about time and resources.
- take the worst seat in the room
- be an encourager
- Pray for people, not judge and think how you can solve their problems
- spend time serving and donating to orphans, widows, handicap, children or anyone who cannot repay you.
Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,
it keeps no account of wrongs.
Love takes no pleasure in evil, but rejoices in the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
As you come across the phrases and symbols associated with Pride Month, use them as a reminder to prioritize your devotion to God and follow His teachings by practicing humility. Take a moment to reflect on any instances of prideful behavior, thoughts, or speech and seek forgiveness from Jesus. Make a conscious effort to adopt a humble mindset moving forward.
Dear Jesus, Forgive me of my prideful actions and thoughts. I want to be humble before you and my fellow man. Teach me how to craft my words carefully so they don’t sound prideful and help me be humble enough to serve without expecting anything in return. In Jesus name, Amen.
For an more in-depth study check out https://saddlebackleather.com/signs-of-pride
Thanks for reading this blog. I hope it’s been helpful by addressing a subject that’s not as fun to write about or read. If you feel compelled, pass it along to someone who might benefit.
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Have a blessed week. -Kim