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Pride: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Pride (def) - a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or qualities or possessions that are widely admired. The consciousness of one's own dignity.

The Good - Believe it or not, there is a good type of pride, but you aren't going to like if you take the wrong kind of pride into the things you do. James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. To be humble before the Lord is a place of honor that is accepted and the result is God lifting us up, not others or ourselves. The prophet Micah wrote this in Micah 6:8 No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Our lives should be a reflection of who Jesus is and we find His example in Philippians 2:8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on the cross.

The way Jesus showed He was the greatest example of humility was to die a criminal's death on the cross, even though He was not guilty. He did not do this for show though. Jesus died on the cross because He loves us. John 3:16 emphasizes the point where the scripture says John 3:16 (NLT) 16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

Good pride is only found in true love-induced humility. This is a real bummer for those of you who live a "driven" life. But don't despair and keep reading. Colossians 3:23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.

Our motivation for everything we do should be centered on doing it for the Lord and the joy from that dedicated action can replace worldly pride with an attitude of gratitude that is based on a love for Jesus and that compels us to service. The natural reaction from someone is bragging on us will be a natural and real "praise the Lord" with a heartfelt "thank you." Nuff said!

The Bad - In 1 John 2:16 we see the bad side of pride. The scripture says it this way 16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. The pride the world offers needs to stay at bay in a believer's life because the broad path it creates in a believer's life allows attitudes and actions that are not from a Godly and spiritual perspective but from a very worldly way of looking at life. The pride we are fed constantly from the world has resulted in the "woke" generation and has led us down a worldly path of self-love and self-fulfillment.

The more we immerse ourselves in this worldly way of looking at ourselves and God, the more we drift into a worldly pride coma, and right now in our world we are not waking up anytime soon. In a time when people are looking for real love, our pride has taken us down a temporal and very worldly path toward self-love and self-gratification. To show humility in this present condition is considered weak and very complacent and the message from God's Word is constantly being revised to fit our own way of thinking. If that thinking is coming from a worldly perspective then the whole message is messed up and futile. We must hold the course and continue to lift up the highest standard and that standard is found only in God's Word. Perhaps it is time for Christians to say "no more" and stop promoting this bad kind of pride that comes from the flesh. Carnality in our lives will only feed this attitude about life and that carnality comes from a compromised faith.

In the church, we expect to take a worldly way of doing ministry and not see a worldly result. We must "hold the course" of what God's Word teaches us about pride and fill the gap of ungodliness with a fresh new way of thinking that is based on the Word. If it appears opposite of what the world promotes, then you are on the right path. NO MORE BAD PRIDE THAT IS BASED ON HUMANISTIC THINKING.

The Ugly - There was a group of "religious" people who kept the ugly pride in place by adjusting the Law of Moses to fit their needs and wants. They were called Pharisees. Pharisee (def) - a member of an ancient Jewish sect, distinguished by strict observance of the traditional and written law, and commonly held to have pretensions to superior sanctity.

The first problem with the Pharisees was they were a religious sect and gained power by abusing the Word for their own gain. They established themselves by coming up with their own perspective on the Law of Moses and through their sect they devised a way of being sacred and set apart. They were "right in their own minds." When Jesus came to "fulfill" the law they couldn't imagine letting go of their superior way of thinking that was seemingly based on the word of God. It really freaked them out when Jesus said He is the Word. Here is what the Word says about Jesus, the Word. John 1:1 (NLT) In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He existed in the beginning with God. 3 God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. 4 The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

Jesus is THAT WORD! In John 12: 44-50 Jesus said .44 Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If you trust me, you are trusting not only me but also God who sent me.45 For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me.46 I have come as a light to shine in this dark world so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.47 I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it.48 But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken.49 I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it.50 And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.”

It seems to me that we have become ugly in our pride because we have tried to insert the name of Jesus into what we are doing and we have left out the very essence of the whole thing and that is "being" like Jesus. Too many times we are compromising what we "do" for Jesus because our "being" is out of whack. If we try we will be able to gather others who will agree with us and begin to believe the same way and before long we have formed a group of Pharisees that make us feel powerful and holy. But is this the right way to do things and is it the right attitude to have when living our lives? No! If we gather others around us to make us "feel" right and puff us up then we will continue on this worldly path of pride that is extremely dangerous because it is the same pride that crucified Jesus and keeps on crucifying Him in our present world.

Do not buy into this ugly "christian looking" way of living because it is fake and it is killing the very thing Jesus died for and that is to save the world from the penalty of sin. We have become distracted because of this ugly pride and it is very strong right now in our world and sadly enough, in the church. It needs to be "rooted out" or it will continue to destroy the work of the Lord. Most of it is money-induced and also politically motivated. Sound familiar?

Just keep this in mind, when God convicts you of this kind of pride and stops your life vehicle. He will probably say "step away from the car." God is really good to help us when we sin in this area of pride and give us the grace needed to distance ourselves from it and come back to Him. I believe today is that day. Turn and learn and He will set you back on the right path of righteousness, His righteousness. Proverbs 18:12 says it well 12 Haughtiness goes before destruction; humility precedes honor.


The Pilgrimage Continues


David Warren


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