The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

It's a matter of pride

 


It’s been said that pride can be something you feel when your children earn $143 from their garage sale – until you realize that your car is missing. That is when parental pride turns into panic.

Nevertheless, most parents still have numerous opportunities to be proud of their kids. The same is true for the many grandparents who brag about having the cutest and smartest grandchildren. They even have pictures to justify their pride.

We also know that people can take pride in their country, community, ancestry, their work, awards, victories, and many other noteworthy achievements. Personally, I see nothing necessarily wrong with this kind of pride when it is accompanied by a sense of gratitude and humility.

On the other hand, the Bible warns us about inappropriate pride that offends God. It’s the kind of pride that people use to promote themselves at the expense of others. It’s a feeling of superiority based on a belief that they are better than other people in any number of ways. Very often it’s an unwillingness to admit being wrong. It can also be used by people to justify their behavior no matter how offensive it might be.

The Scriptures speak to us very bluntly about this kind of pride. The Old Testament Psalms tell us this about the Lord: “You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell. The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong.” (Psalm 5:4-5 NIV) “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Psalm 16:18 NIV) “In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.” (Psalm 10:4 NIV)

Obviously, those who claim to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ should follow his example of humility. Because of our own sinful condition and spiritual brokenness, we should humbly acknowledge our need for God’s amazing grace and forgiveness that saves us from our sin. The Apostle Paul made that very clear when he wrote: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV) Without a doubt, we have no spiritual claim to fame and no room for self centered pride.

However, this does not mean that we must remain silent when other people proudly parade their sin. We do not have to approve of the behavior of people whose lifestyles clearly violate God’s laws. We should never join those who publically praise people for their so called courage as they defy the truth of Scripture. At a time when our popular culture and media constantly applaud and even award unbiblical behavior, we do not have to be quiet as Christians simply because we’re not perfect.

Instead, we need to publically speak and live the truth in light of the Apostle Paul’s sobering reminder: “For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. Their future is eternal destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and all they think about is this life here on earth.” (Philippians 3:18-19 TLB)

Pastor Doug Birky

Evangelical Free Church

 

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