Be on guard against a self-centered pride

02/23/2014 4:00 PM

02/23/2014 6:40 PM

DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: What’s so wrong with pride, which you preachers seem criticize so much? In my opinion, pride is a good thing, because if you don’t have pride in what you do, you’ll never accomplish anything worthwhile. Why is the Bible against pride? — N.M.

DEAR N.M.:

You’re right, up to a point; the Bible does warn us about the dangers of pride, by which it means an arrogant, haughty, self-centered attitude that looks down on others and feels no need of God.

This kind of pride is wrong in God’s eyes because it can make someone act as if he/she is the most important person in the world. That cuts us them from others; no one likes someone who’s constantly acting as if they’re better or more important than anyone else.

A prideful attitude also cuts us off from God, because we think we can get along without him. But the Bible warns, “The eyes of the arrogant will be humbled and human pride brought low” (Isaiah 2:11).

The Bible, however, also speaks about another kind of pride — what we might call a healthy understanding of what God has given us, and a humble determination to do our best for his glory. This can be good, giving us the confidence we need to meet challenges and undertake new tasks.

The Bible says, “Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else” (Galatians 6:4).

Be on guard against a self-centered pride that ultimately will destroy you. Instead, see yourself the way God sees you, and humbly accept the gifts he has given you. Most of all, humble yourself at the foot of the cross, and commit your life and your future to Jesus Christ.

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