The word “pride”
There are a number of sayings that are popularly used that, if examined biblically, should be put out of our vocabulary. For example, the phrase “knock on wood,” is often used when someone is hoping for something either to occur or not to occur. The origin of the phrase goes back to a belief that there were gods who were asleep in the trees. Knocking on wood would hopefully waken them and the thing wished for would then come to pass. Now, I am not accusing everyone who uses the saying of participating in idolatrous worship, but while the person who uses the saying may be doing so innocently, are they really communicating a truly good message?
There is another word that is used quite often that really should not be in most of the contexts in which it is used. It is the word “pride.” It is used to speak highly of a personal accomplishment such as, “I’m really proud that I have never cheated on my taxes.” Sometimes it is used of another person with whom you have a special relationship, such as, “I’m really proud of my children,” or, “I’m proud to be an citizen of the good ole USA.” I understand and appreciate the basic thought that each of these sentences is seeking to communicate, but should the word “proud” be used?
Consider what Scripture says about pride.
Here are a few examples:
- These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look …” (Proverbs 6:16-17)
- The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” (Proverbs 8:13)
- Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)
- An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.” (Proverbs 21:4)
- But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (James 4:6)
The fact is that whenever pride is referenced in Scripture it is always looked upon in the negative. There is not one instance where pride is used in a positive manner.
God the Father did not say at the baptism of Jesus Christ, “This is my Son that I’m really proud of,” but, “in whom I am well pleased.” We would do well to replace “pride” in our statements with being pleased or thankful. The reason for doing this is that whenever we are proud of something, we want to draw attention to ourselves and our accomplishments rather than the object we are pleased with or thankful for. Ultimately, we are robbing God of the praise He deserves.
I know it’s just a saying and I am sure no one is intentionally seeking to be put on a pedestal when they use the word pride, but maybe if we got rid of using it and substituted the word thankful for it, this world might be a little bit better place in which to live.