December 27, 2014

…but there are times when pride is a good thing.

Posted in Humility tagged , , , , at 10:29 pm by tclickenger

“…but there are times when pride is a good thing.”  I have been having conversations with people on the topic of pride for about the past four years and I hear this remark (usually early in the conversation) in roughly 1 in every 5 discussions.  Yes, it is true that pride has a good connotation and I want to address this before moving on to the benefits of humility.

When the words for pride are used in the bible in a favorable sense it is with reference to a sense of delight that arises from an action.

David, the psalmist used this kind of sense when he referred to Israel as,

“the pride of Jacob, whom the Lord has loved.”  Psalm 47:4

In a restoration prophecy made by Isaiah, he wrote that the fruitfulness of the land would be,

“something to be proud of.”  Isaiah 4:2

Then, the apostle Paul told the Thessalonian congregation that, because of their faith, love, and endurance,

“we ourselves take pride in you among the congregations of God.”  2 Thessalonians 1:3-4

Honestly, this type of use of the words for pride occurs much less than the negative use.  In fact, I would personally consider the occurrence of this type of pride as rare in both the bible and in the world.  Please remember that.  I think that as believers we should emphasize the things that God emphasizes and if God does not emphasize it, then maybe we shouldn’t either.  In fact we are directly instructed to,

“Let the one bragging about himself brag about himself because of this very thing, that they possess insight and knowledge of Me, that I am the Lord, the One exercising loving-kindness, justice and righteousness in the earth.  For in these I delight,” says the Lord.”  Jeremiah 9:24-25

God is masterful and brilliant in the use of language and making a play on words.  I mentioned earlier that the favorable sense of pride is to have a sense of delight that arises from an action.  Here God is making a direct connection to having a healthy sense of pride with the sense of delight He experiences.  See, we are not being instructed to feel superior because we possess insight and knowledge of God but to only feel delight.

I think one of the best examples of a healthy sense of pride is given in the creation account recorded in Genesis.  When God had completed a task, He looked at the results of the task and said that it was good.  That was it.  He recognized the quality of His work but wasn’t arrogant about it.

So, I say this again, this type of pride is rare in both the bible and in the world.  This is a type of pride that we rarely posses.  If you are quick to mention “…but there are times when pride is a good thing,” please do some inventory, reflect on your feelings.  It is my perspective that someone who is quick to point this out is possibly doing so defensively.  They have a need to protect a feeling that they do not want to let go of.  Healthy or unhealthy, they like it so they will call it good.  If you recall, on my listing of the dangers of pride I said that pride is deceptive.  So, I am not saying that everyone who reminds us that there is a good connotation to pride is guilty of harboring an unfavorable sense.  I am not the judge.  I am just saying be cautious.  I would hate for someone to hold on to and embrace something that in the end is going to be destructive to their life and soul.  I simply want to warn you of the dangers, encourage you to examine the deep and hidden parts of yourself.

I pray God brings His light to your heart, your intentions, motives and desires to help you each to see any pride in your life that you may be blind to.  Amen

Additional posts in this series: In the wake of humility…The Dangers of PrideIt’s Time to Hurt Your Pride, the Advantages of Humility and the follow up post to this one, Humility Fosters Peace and Unity.