Ever notice that pride is always sin in the Bible? And the biggest one at that? There’s no exceptions. Pride is self-centered aggrandisement, the opposite of shame, and just as harmful, because it determines a person’s value based on their accomplishments instead of the seal of their Creator and Redeemer. Honor and respect, which are more honest, are encouraged, but not pride.
Parents, are you proud of your kids, because they make you look good? I’m guilty of that. But how much better to be impressed and thankful, which removes you from the equation? (And how much moreso with team or national pride?)
Are you proud of your accomplishments? What happens when you fail or find someone who’s so much better at it than you? Find your value instead in the Name given to you in your Baptism. That can never be taken from you and doesn’t depend on you to retain.
We also hear about pride in sexual identity. Gay or straight, both place a person’s worthiness on something beyond their control. I understand how someone could cling to pride as a reaction to the shame they’ve experienced, but that’s overcorrecting. Rather, if a person’s value is given to them by Christ, they’re SO MUCH more valuable, and given that it’s Christians who often try to shame the people in question (Srsly, what’s up with that? Oh yeah — pride.), they can’t argue with your God-given value.
And straight pride? Like you can take credit for that? St. Paul had something to say about that kind of pride. He compared it with used menstrual rags. Yeah, that’s the banner you want to wave around….
The only appropriate pride & boasting is in our weakness and what Christ has done for us and through us, not because we deserve it, but because we don’t.
What if we focused on communicating and demonstrating grace instead of pride? What if we saw Christ in our neighbors and responded with honor and respect accordingly?