Pride can be a tricky thing and prejudice can be an awful thing. Let’s focus on pride right now. On the one hand we are told to take pride in our work – well, at least when I was a kid that’s what I was told! We want to be proud of our children and to be proud of our country. We want to take pride in the things we own and we want to leave a legacy that we can be proud of. So, pride is good! Well, on the other hand, we can see how pride comes before destruction, how pride can skew our view of others and how pride creates temptation to be dishonest. We can see pride becoming obsession, and we can see how pride can create a lack of trust in others, a lack of compassion for others and a lack of credit to others. So, pride is bad! Obviously this is a subject that needs not only clear definitions but clear principles to establish clear thinking. There is only one solution – let’s see what the Bible says!
Even though pride has both a positive side and “the dark side,” you don’t get that message at all when you look at the Bible. In Scripture, “the dark side” of pride is most often featured and you rarely ever see a Scripture that even hints at the positive kind of pride. This may come as a surprise to many. After all, we are always talking about the Bible as our text book for life so it would seem appropriate that it show us how to have the right kind of pride in contrast to the wrong kind, right? Well, sort of. First of all we need to remember what the Bible is and why it was written. The Bible is both history and prophecy as well as a textbook of God’s dealing with humanity. It shows us His greatness and His plan. It really is all about Him as our Almighty Creator. The Bible details many of the wanderings of humanity as a result of sin and is always teaching us to circle back to focusing on God. You see its main message is to look up to Him in humility and put aside our own ways to adopt His. No room for pride!
In the midst of this looking up to God that the Bible teaches us, it thoroughly destroys the idea of “the dark side” of pride. It details pride’s insidious behavior, objectives and methods and teaches us how to first recognize them and then how to battle them. It teaches us that this battle is long arduous and deeply important. It shows us examples of those who have gone wrong and it focuses us on those who have overcome. The Bible also does deal with the positive side of pride – but in a very unique fashion!
Check out our July 17, 2017 podcast, “Does Our Pride Make Us Prejudiced? Part 1″ and see how all of these pieces fit together to fashion a positive and wholesome Christian life and how the positive side of pride actually fits in. And by the way, Part 2 comes the following week all about prejudice. Don’t even get me started on that one – not yet anyway!