Proverbs 8:13, 11:2, 13:10, 14:3, 16:18, and 29:23
As I write this week’s going deeper, I am anticipating our plans for later this evening which are to attend our grandson Skylar’s first freshman football game. Margaret and I take great pride in his willingness to try a team sport, especially since he got started a lot later than his mother and aunt did. By the time Kendra and Krystal were in early grade school they were both playing club soccer. They would both go on to play high school and one them played soccer at the collegiate level. We were proud of them because both played on teams that won high school state titles – we are proud of Skylar simply for the fact that he is playing an organized team sport.
Pride has a positive definition. It is the feeling or satisfaction one experiences after doing their best work. It can be the joy that you take in celebrating another’s accomplishments, particularly a family member. It can also be rooted in the ties to one’s ethnic heritage or tradition as well. It is one of the emotions that God has endowed us with and is best reflected in the goodness that we find in the world around us and for which we want to celebrate.
Unfortunately I think that we see more of the negative side of pride on display in our world than we do the positive side. The negative side of pride is rooted in self: self-reliance, status, possessions, or overconfidence in one’s ability. It is most notable in a person who is arrogant which more often is a male than a female. This kind of pride is listed as one of the seven deadly sins because it kills the possibility of healthy relationships. Pride is like a cancer that infects even the healthy parts of the body.
According to the Bible, the opposite of pride is knowledge or wisdom. A person who truly knows their own brokenness has little room for arrogance or pride. A person who is emotionally aware of the needs of others and their role in supporting them is a person who is breaking the cycle of pride. God is the answer to our pride; the source of our redemption.
I encourage you to take time and read each of the scriptures above as you move into reflections on the questions below. I hope that they will challenge you or encourage you based upon the status, level, and/or object of your pride. I also pray that God bless the reading of God’s Word and the meditations of your heart.
What circumstances have caused you to feel pride? What circumstances feeds the arrogance that lives within you?
- Why do you feel a need to one-up others you know? Or why is it tough for you to acknowledge your brokenness and admit when you are wrong?
- Where do you see the negative effects of pride at work in your life? Where do you see the positive effects of pride at work in your life?
- How does your spiritual journey help you gain knowledge of God that can become wisdom? How do you continue to dwell in spiritual and emotional maturation in order to mitigate the negative side of pride?
Gracious God, you are the creator of the universe and I am one small piece of it. Merciful God, you are the redeemer of my soul because I cannot save myself. Loving God, you walk with me providing me the sustenance that I need for my body, mind, and spirit. Help me to see and dwell in the blessing of these things so that I might grow in knowledge of you and in wisdom. Help me to strive for these good gifts instead of the thinking that I can make it on my own. I need you in to keep negative pride out. Be with me always. Amen.