Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Could pride actually be a good thing?

So we've all heard that it's not good to be proud. Pride is a form of selfishness, and nobody like selfish people, right? So naturally, we're not big fans of prideful people.

For those of us who are Christians, we hear plenty of sermons and teaching about not being proud, about humility and service and that sort of thing. Pride is looked down upon; it's a bad thing that should be avoided, right? It's a sin. Verses like Proverbs 16:18 that say "pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall" and James 4:6 where we see that Scripture says "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

Surely, we see that Biblically speaking, pride is bad, pride is sin, right?

But yet I wonder ...is there such a thing as good pride?

Consider this quote from a Thanksgiving Day prayer by Peter Marshall: "O help us to appreciate all that we have, to be content with it, to be grateful for it, to be proud of it — not in an arrogant pride that boasts, but in a grateful pride that strives to be more worthy."

And also consider Galatians 6:4: "Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else ..."

How can the Bible condemn pride in one place and then praise it in another? Could it be that what Peter Marshall implied is true, that there are two types of pride: arrogant pride and grateful pride?

Think about Moses, who wrote in about himself in Numbers 12:3 this: "Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth." How can a man be humble, and yet write about himself that he is the most humble person on the face of the earth?

Surely there must be more to this issue of pride than what we think. Perhaps it's not pride in and of itself that's sinful and that God opposes; perhaps it's the wrong kind of pride - an arrogant pride - that He is against, rather than a grateful pride which causes us to strive to be more worthy of God our Father.

What do you think?

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