The LGBTQ community has designated June as Pride Month. According to a recent CNN article, the purpose of the celebration is for “the world’s LGBT communities [to] come together and celebrate the freedom to be themselves.” The same article states that, “Pride gatherings are rooted in the arduous history of minority groups who have struggled for decades to overcome prejudice and be accepted for who they are.” But this THOUGHT is not about the LBGTQ celebration or any other group’s celebration of their pride in who they are. This THOUGHT deals with the issue of pride. We commonly use the word “pride” in a positive sense. For example, we might say that we are proud of our accomplishments or that we are proud of a family member. But is “pride” the correct word to use in describing that emotion? How is it that we can say that if we are proud of something it is a positive quality, but if we say that a person is full of pride, it becomes a negative quality?
The Oxford Dictionary defines pride as, “a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.” The problem of pride is not the feeling of satisfaction, but its source- “one’s own achievements.” Pride always glorifies self and therein lies the problem. Consider what the Bible says about pride:
“The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” (Psalm 10:4)
“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)
“And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” (Mark 7:20-23)
There are plenty of other verses of Scripture that speak to the issue of pride and space will not permit me to list all of them. But I can say this: Every verse of Scripture that speaks to the issue of pride characterizes it in an evil manner; not one speaks of it in a positive way. Why? Because pride seeks to glorify self and the purpose of mankind is to glorify God. Any positive accomplishment in or by the believer in Jesus Christ is not on account of their own efforts or abilities, but on account of the applied grace of God that produced the accomplishment of His will. According to Ephesians 2:10, Christians are His (God’s) workmanship. Therefore, the believer has nothing to be proud of but everything to be thankful for or pleased with. I am constantly reminded that the voice that came out of heaven at the baptism of Jesus Christ did not say, “This is my beloved Son who I’m very proud of,” but, “…in whom I am well pleased (Matthew 3:17).
The use of the word “pride” is practically universally accepted as a positive quality today, (as long as there is not too much of it) despite how the Bible defines it. And therein lies another huge problem. Whenever society seeks to redefine what the Bible states, society will be headed toward destruction. So as society celebrates Pride Month, it might be good to consider Ezekiel 16:49, “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.” As for me, I will not celebrate “pride anything.”