Pride - A Two-Sided Coin

There is a good side and bad side to pride.  Webster’s definitions:  (bad pride) “An overly-high opinion of oneself; exaggerated self-esteem; conceit; arrogance.”

This definition results in haughty words and behavior, such as “I’m the best,” “My way or no way.”  It causes people to become “puffed up” with self-sufficiency and self-satisfaction.  Example:  When there is a team working together on a project the person with this uncontrolled pride will “run the show” making it a difficult situation in which to work.  When working with someone like this you quickly get the distinct impression the most important one is certainly not you and no one else in the group except him/her.  For this person of pride it is highly important that everyone know who he/she is, what they know, and what their thoughts are concerning the matter.  I worked with a man several years ago that had his earned doctorate degree (not a medical doctor) and he wanted everyone to know it.  He did not want people to call him by his first name nor use Mr.________, but rather Dr.________.  With this attitude no one was ever comfortable being around him.

God says He “Hates a proud look.” (Proverbs 6:17)  He says if praise is going to be directed your way, “Let another praise you and not your own mouth.”  (Proverbs 27:2)  The apostle Paul drives home the message by saying, “If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”  There is no greater deception than self-deception.  Check your “pride quotient” by listening and counting how many times you talk about yourself today.  Whenever you hear the word “I” it’s a clue you’re patting yourself on the back.

A second definition of pride is the other side of the coin.  (good pride)  “Proper respect for oneself; sense of one’s own dignity or worth; self-respect.”

A person with this kind of pride realizes that they have worth and value but do not flaunt it in the face of others.  They know what kind of person they are, and what kind of person they desire to become.

“In western society, many people are focused on “having and doing” more than their neighbors.  What we need to understand is that the ultimate value in life is not in what we have or do, but it is in what we become.  In reality, the kind of person we become will dictate what we do and ultimately what we have in life . . . we need  to keep in mind, “being leads to doing.”  To be successful, a person must become a successful kind of person first.  When we have become this kind of person then we can choose the “what” and the “how” for doing things in our life.  The secret to this whole process is that our outward results in life reflect our inward reality.  Change the inner you, and only then will you get better outer results.”  (Mind Click by Dr Jeremy P. Crosby)

As a psychologist and Christian person, Dr. Crosby knows that God changes the inner you by faith in Christ Jesus.  Consider the change a butterfly undergoes, from one stage to another.  It changes through a series of inner reformations.  It is called metamorphosis, which describes a change from within.  This is what the apostle Paul is describing when he said, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Through Him (God) life takes on new meaning and purpose, worth and value.

Ask God to help you evaluate your “spiritual temperature” today.  Are you satisfied with your good/bad pride ratio.  Determine before God to keep “pressing forward.”  “I press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 3:14)