Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Pride (04/12/04)
TITLE: PRIDE - IS IT GOOD OR BAD?
By Linda Ryzenga
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
SEND ARTICLE TO A FRIEND
Pride is described in Webster's New World dictionary as an unduly high opinion of one's self, Haughtiness, arrogance. The quality of being vain, conceited.
It seems to me that these qualities are bound to take us further and further away from almighty God. They are not attributes of a Godly person.
At various times in history when God chose men, or women, to either lead His people or to accomplish a task, He chose people who humbled themselves before God and their fellow men. To mention just a few among many were Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Elijah, and Daniel. These men put God first and foremost in their lives. They strove to please God rather than man. ;They certainly weren't arrogant or conceited or vain. Their thoughts were far from themselves, but rather on the Lord God.
Looking back on a church my husband and I once attended, I often think about two women whom I knew quite well. They were both quite active within the church, but for some reason, they had a disagreement between themselves. Both of them being involved in the ministry of the church, it was imperative that they talk this out and forgive one another. Forgiveness was the issue here. Eph. 4:32 - Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. This was something that neither of these women felt they could do. Consequently, both ended up leaving the church. Do you realize what stood in the way of their forgiving each other? It was PRIDE! Selfish Pride can be devastating to any human being, Christian or Non Christian. In Proverbs 16:18, we read: Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Also, Proverbs 11:12 says: When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
In a letter to the church in Corinth, Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:12 – We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart.
The Corinthian Church had been infiltrated by false teachers and Paul was trying to pave the way for his third visit to Corinth. He was warning the church there to beware of these false apostles, that their concern was not with spirituality, which is true and deep, but with money, and popularity, and self-importance. He wanted the church to realize that he, Paul, was a man of honor and that his message of salvation was true, contrary to what the false apostles were telling them. Paul is asking the people of the church at Corinth to believe in him and his followers, that all they say is true about Christ and salvation. Truly believing in someone, and what they stand for, can bring a sense of pride to a person's heart regarding the person he truly honors. Therefore, Paul wants the church to honor him and his followers so they can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. This type of pride is undoubtedly a good sense of pride.
James 1:9 says – The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position.
In other words, if a true believer is very poor, has very little money, but rich in faith, then he should take pride in the fact that he is rich in faith.
This brings us to the conclusion that there are two types of pride, bad and good. To take pride in what is seen is not good, but the pride that we hold in our hearts is good. A pride in our faith, in missionaries who bring people to Christ, a Godly pastor. These are all examples of good pride, pride that is not self-directed. Paul says to the Church in Corinth in 2 Corinthians 8:24 – Therefore show these men the proof of your love and the reason for our pride in you, so that the churches can see it.
This is what pride is all about. It should exemplify love for other people, then it is good.