How To Know What Pride Is and Is Not

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I hope you can answer this question for me. My mother and my pastor both say it is a sin for me to be proud of my 4 year old daughter’s accomplishments. They say pride is a sin and I shouldn’t be teaching it to my daughter. My question is, as a Christian mother, why is it a sin to be proud of my daughter? ~ Noel

Dear Noel, first of all, I believe your mother is confused about “motherly pride.” Your Heavenly Father is very proud of you, Noel, just as you are. You do not have to “perform” for Him. The Bible teaches that.

DearApril.jpgSecondly, you should never take as “gospel” what any man says, even if he is standing behind a pulpit. We are told to test what we hear against our authority: The Word of God. Pastors can be wrong!

Let’s look at pride as the Word of God looks at it. You need to be prepared to look up a few scriptures, so get your Bible.

– The first evidence of pride is when Lucifer (the previous name for Satan) said, “I will be like the most high God.” He was not content to be #1 Angel in the Presence of God. No, he wanted to BE God.

– The second evidence of pride is in the Garden of Eden when Satan told Eve that God was holding out on her because He knew once she took of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, she would “be like the Most High God.”

– Pride looks down on people, not up. And God resists the proud. (You will find that in I Peter 5:5 and in Proverbs 3:34.)

– Pride defiles us as human beings and is punishable by God. (You will find that in Proverbs 16:5 and in Proverbs 21:4.)

– Pride will never admit mistakes!

– Pride has an ungrateful spirit.

– Pride compares himself to others, and always comes out the winner.

– Pride is a fist in the face of God. It is listed as one of the seven things God hates – they are an abomination to Him. (You will find that in Proverbs 6:16-18.)

– Pride says to God, “I don’t need You. I am my own master.”

– Because we as humans are so susceptible to pride, Timothy warned against new converts becoming pastors in I Timothy 3. In fact, that entire chapter spells out the qualifications of all “overseers” (pastors) and deacons.

What Pride is NOT
Pride is not “Job well done!”
Pride is not having self respect. Pride is not knowing you have “righteousness in Christ.”
Pride is not telling your daughter how special she is.

Pride – the sinful pride – comes out of a sinful heart. A good analogy is the worm in the apple. We assume it went INTO the apple, but, in fact, it came OUT of the apple. The worm was a product of the blossom that preceded the formation of the apple, so, in effect, the apple was born “in sin” (with the worm already there, but too small to see yet). Remember that Jesus said it was not what went IN to the mouth that defiled man, but what came OUT of the mouth? This apple analogy is a good visual that will help you understand His words better.

We are all born with the propensity for pride, just as the apple is born with a propensity for worm infestation. Watch little children, Melody. You’ll see pride in all play sessions. Johnny has a toy, but sees Jimmy’s toy, so he bops Jimmy on the head to get his toy. That’s pride.

Don’t ever stop telling your daughter how proud you are of WHO she is (not WHAT she does, necessarily). We don’t want her getting the idea she has to “perform” for you to be proud of her! And keep telling her what a special girl God created her to be. Make her understand she is a creation of the Most High God, and He loves her even more than you do.

Stay in The Word, Melody. Don’t be swayed by what anyone says. Test everything you hear by one criteria: What does The Word of God say? Believe it or not, the Bible has something to say about everything in the 21st Century! It’s not an out-dated old book that’s not relevant!

Be kind to your mom, but don’t let her run your life. And maybe you should think of visiting some other churches? I certainly would! God bless you, Melody.

(c) 2009 April Lorier

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