First comes pride, then disgrace; but with the humble is wisdom (Proverbs 11:2)
What is wrong with being proud of someone or, for that matter, proud of myself, when I accomplish something worthwhile? Quite frankly, that’s not an easy question to answer.
There are those who claim any sense of pride in what others have done is evil, sinful. And there are those who claim pride is a very natural human reaction to any behaviour which contributes to the general good of humanity. Perhaps we should take a deeper look.
Is there a
relationship between ‘pride’ and ‘love’? When my son or daughter do something
that betters others around them, I am proud. Does this mean I take credit for
what they have done? Of course not. Being proud of my children means I love
them, and I love what they have done. Then, is this pride? Possibly not. This
may better fit under the heading of love. Well, what is the pride, of which
Scripture says, The
fear of Adonai is hatred of evil. I hate pride and
evil ways and duplicitous speech. (Proverbs 8:13)
In Wikipedia we find the following definition of pride: pride refers to a foolishly and irrationally corrupt sense of one’s personal value, status or accomplishments, used synonymously with hubris. Whenever we inflate ourselves and our achievements, to achieve recognition, social status and/or power, we are engaged in corrupt behaviour. When I assume the ownership of someone’s behaviour and effort, known as misappropriation, I engage in corrupt behaviour. What is the root of this prideful behaviour?
All of our negative and positive behaviours have their roots in our childhoods. If I am raised to be a caring, loving, respectful child, the chances are I will be a caring, loving, respectful adult. And the opposite is al so true; if I am raised as a manipulative, scheming, corrupt child, the chances are I will be a manipulative, conniving, corrupt adult. Of course, there are always exceptions; we are not clones of our parents.
How does God help us remove ourselves from the downward spiraling results of having a prideful nature?
In Isaiah 23:9, we read – Adonai–Tzva’ot planned it to break the pride of all the arrogant, to humiliate all those who are honored everywhere on earth.
In James 4:10 we see – Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
When we stand before our Beloved Abba, at the ‘end of days’, we will face an accounting of our earthly behaviours. If we display ‘foolish and irrationally corrupt’ behaviours, we will receive our consequences and, if we have not turned ourselves to God, our punishments. However, if we have humbled ourselves before God, recognizing Him as our King and Sovereign, then He will lift us up.
Which is the end you will choose?
May the God of Avraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you richly.