10 August, 2007

Is All Pride Sinful?


Dear Bro. Waddey:
Some in our congregation  get very upset when I use the word pride. Some say this word has changed meaning over the years and it does not carry the same definition as in the Bible.
-Jerry

Dear Bro. Jerry:
To help your brethren understand the difference in a good, wholesome pride and a false pride which God condemns, you need to prepare a lesson that illustrates the different uses of that word.

W. E. Vine says the word proud, (huperephanos), signifies, "showing oneself above others, preeminent"...it is always used in Scripture in the bad sense of arrogant, disdainful, proud" (Luke 1:51; Rom. 1:30 I Pet. 5:5) (Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words).

In our English language, the words pride and proud have a much broader usage.

Pride is defined, 1. Inordinate self-esteem (conceit), 2. A reasonable or justifiable self-respect; A delight or elation arising from some act or possession, 3. Proud or disdainful behavior or treatment, 4. Ostentatious display (Webster).

There is a sinful pride in which a person has inordinate self esteem. He thinks more highly of himself than he ought (Rom. 12:3). It treats others in a disdainful way. Paul says we are count others better than ourselves (Phil. 2:3). It makes a vain ostentatious display of its talent, wealth, possessions, clothing or jewelry or beauty (I Pet. 3:2-4).  It demands attention, honor and position for itself.  We are supposed to serve other and give them preferential treatment (Matt. 20:26-28; Rom. 12:10). Such pride goeth before destruction" (Prov. 16:18).   God hates it (Prov. 8:13)

There is a pride that is not sinful unless it is carried to excess. We should be proud of our mate, our children, our parents, our home, our community, our success in business, our nation, our military personnel etc.  In proper proportions this is always good.

There is a holy pride that we should all have. Proud of our God, our Savior, the Bible, the church, our congregation, our brethren in Christ, our teachers, our elders.  This is a justifiable respect. It is a delight or elation arising from the sacred nature of these things and our privilege to partake of them.

This information will dispel any fear or misgivings your brethren hold about teaching on pride.  It will also make them a better informed, hence stronger Christians.

Sincerely,



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