Pride and its Practical Expressions

Pride and its practical expressions

Pride and its Practical Expressions

Richard Hollerman

Are you a prideful person? Does pride lurk in your heart and does it express itself in manifold ways in your daily life? Or perhaps is pride hidden in ways that others and even you cannot see? These are vital questions since pride is so evil in the mind of God!

Pride has been called “a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority” (Random House Webster’s College Dictionary). You can see how deceptive this sin may be. Probably most people simply don’t recognize it.

Think of the common or daily pride that we manifest. Have you ever said the following or even thought of the following:

  • My car is better than yours!
  • My son daughter is better than yours!
  • Our city is better than yours!
  • Our country is better than yours!
  • My school is better than yours!
  • Our team is better than yours!
  • Our grades are better than yours!
  • My body is better than yours!
  • My clothes are better than yours!
  • Our house is better than yours!
  • My face is more handsome or beautiful than yours!
  • My figure or physique is better than yours!
  • My company is better than yours!

You can easily think of more of these expressions that probably manifest pride or an inordinate opinion of your superiority over another person. It might be good to remember Paul’s comments at 2 Corinthians 10:12b: “When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.” When people measure ourselves by themselves and compare ourselves with another, we manifest pride.

I’ve often been aware of the words of the apostle at 2 Corinthians 4:7. Note this well: “Who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” If we have been given high intelligence or a beautiful body or inherited money, why should we boast? These were given to us, thus we should not claim superiority over other people. Even if we were able to achieve something on our own, without outside help, we should not boast about it. God is the great Giver, thus we can’t boast or brag about our possessions, our appearance, or our achievements!

If you have an attractive body, you should not boast about this. You had nothing to do with this.

If you have a above-average intelligence, this also was given to you—even if you developed it through hard work.

If you have plenty of money and possessions, this might be the outcome of diligent labor and work or it may reveal that God gave you the ability to earn more. Besides, this may also indicate that you have spent money on yourself instead of using your money to bless others.

If you married an attractive spouse, instead of boasting about this, give thanks to God for His kindness and generosity.

If you live in a country with a good Olympic team, you have nothing to boast about. This may indicate that your country spends more time promoting this particular sport, or may indicate that more money has been devoted to the sport, or the country may have a large population—as compared to others. (Think of whether a country with a population of 330 million should be compared to one with a population of 12 million!)

Do we realize how serious this sin is? The writer of Proverbs warns us: “Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; assuredly, he will not be unpunished” (Proverbs 16:5). Would you want to do something that is an abomination to God our Creator? Would we want to be punished for this sin?

The writer also said this: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling” (16:18). Do we want to face destruction? In even these couple of verses, we can see that one who falls into pride or remains there, faces a bleak future! God does not take lightly this sin—and neither should we.

We don’t need to be an Adolph Hitler, or a Muhammad Ali, or a vain movie star to be guilty of pride. Few of us remains guiltless over pride.

What will we do about pride? Let us repent right now and seek God’s cleansing (2 Peter 3:9). He will help us to overcome pride by developing humility. This is the only way to please God! “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6b). “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you” (James 4:10).

Thus, let us turn from pride of all kinds and embrace the virtue of humility. God hates pride and loves humility. Let us do the same!

Comments are closed.