Pride may take various forms
Published 8:14 am Wednesday, March 29, 2023
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: We live in a world that encourages pride in a person and mocks humility. So many of my colleagues brag about their successes, their ingenuity, and their hold over people. This is disgusting, yet few people in the ministry speak out about it. I know the Bible says a great deal about having a prideful countenance. Why do people dignify something God condemns? – P.C.
Dear P.C.: In our culture, we hear a lot about the inferiority complex, but the superiority complex is seldom spoken of. The truth is, pride is associated with failure, not success. The pride that God loathes is the haughty, undue self-esteem that pours forth from mankind and is out of proportion to our actual worth. It is the repugnant egotism that is repulsive to God. It’s that revolting conceit that swaggers before men and struts in the presence of the Almighty. The destructive power of pride is that it countenances nothing higher than itself. And God hates it.
Pride may take various forms. Spiritual pride trusts in one’s own virtue rather than in the grace of God. Intellectual pride gives its possessor self-confidence rather than God – confidence. Pride in material things enthrones self and displaces God; secondary things are exalted to the place of first importance. Social pride manifests itself in arrogance and status. All forms of pride emanate from the haughty human heart, and pride is the sin that God hates most.
When we confess pride and humble ourselves in the sight of God, He forgives us and strengthens us to look at the perfect example – Jesus Christ – who “humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8).
Pride comes from looking only at ourselves; meekness comes through looking at God. “God [opposes] the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)