The Bible has a great deal to say about pride…and none of it is good. Over and over again, pride is roundly condemned. It is listed among the seven deadly sins. God goes so far as to say that when a person is filled with pride, He hates the look on that person’s face. [See Proverbs 6:16-18.]
Why then has it become vogue for Christians to tout their pride? They are proud of their church, their preacher, their kids, their jobs, their accomplishments, ad infinitum. I know that we Christians love to do ideological and theological gymnastics to defend our own faults…and even to paint them, not as faults, but as strengths. Church pride can’t be a bad thing, right? I mean, after all, the church is all about Jesus and Jesus is all about the church…so if I go around smacking everyone in the face with how my church rocks the most, that just has to be something Jesus would high five me on. Right? And community pride. I mean, come on! I am a Texan. How can I not rub that in the face of everyone who isn’t? And my grandkid? He is way cuter than yours and I have the pics to prove it.
It isn’t any wonder that many thinking people are turned off more by Christians than they are Christianity. Too often, we pretty much do what we want and interpret the Bible in a way that supports how we wanted to live in the first place. Then, we puff out our chests and look down our noses at all the poor, ignorant slobs who aren’t as enlightened as us.
We pat ourselves on the back, so proud of all we are…and all we aren’t.
Lest you think me unqualified to speak on this subject, I would draw back the curtain to my own heart and reveal that my besetting sin is – and always has been – pride. I didn’t preach to any church yesterday. I am not pastoring one today. I won’t be overseeing one tomorrow. I am where I am because of pride.
I’m not proud of that. I am proud of myself for recognizing and acknowledging it.