This week’s news and social media has been filled with stories about Gay Pride, Southern Pride, and Christian Pride. We usually look at pride as a good characteristic but there is an element of pride which the Bible condemns. Let’s first take a look at what the word pride means.
Pride: a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.
You can readily see that there are problems with this word from a Christian perspective. The book of Phillipians tells us to put the needs and feelings of others before our own.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3 ESV)
I have seen a lot of Christians posting on social media about their “rights” but truth is many of us are confusing rights with opinions and preferences. The reality is that it is in our sinful nature to not like being told when we might be wrong; our pride begins to creep in. We think we are important! Not only is this type of thinking harmful to those around us who we are supposed to be examples to but it is the very thing that caused Satan to be cast out of Heaven.
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ (Isaiah 14:12-14 ESV)
Satan’s desire to be on the same level of God is what caused him to be cast out of Heaven and we as Christians need to be sure not to put ourselves on that level. We use the excuse that since we are on God’s side and He is always right then we are also right in whatever we say. The problem is we can’t speak for God because we don’t think like God.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8 ESV)
This problem of wanting to be right increases exponentially when we post our thoughts on social media. Guess what? Not everyone who reads your Facebook posts are going to agree with them; instead of having a positive impact on a world that needs Jesus we become a stumbling block for others. Someone disagrees and suddenly we tell them they aren’t welcome to comment. This tells you a lot about our sinful nature. We want to go unchallenged. We want people to see our opinion as being so valuable that they dare not disagree with us. In the process we devalue others and pride creeps in. If we aren’t mature enough to engage in a positive conversation that lifts Jesus up maybe we should just not say anything at all.
Recently I’ve seen a lot of Christians tossing around the word abomination to describe a certain sexual sin. The Bible contains a much broader list of things that God finds abominable. Check out this gem from the book of Proverbs:
Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished. (Proverbs 16:5 ESV)
Ouch! God’s not playing when he says he wants us to be humble and consider others above ourselves. Considering the feelings of others doesn’t mean you are bowing to political correctness it simply means you are trying to engage society in a way that would please Jesus.
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. (Romans 12:16 ESV)