Pride And Scripture

The Bible describes pride as sin. Pride goes before destruction (Prov. 16:18), puts one in an unhealthy relationship with God (1 Peter 5:5; James 4:6), and may yield a regrettable end (Prov. 29:23). Nebuchadnezzar was judged for his proud spirit (Dan. 4), Haman was beset with pride (Esther 5), and Pharaoh fell for doing this. God promises to humble the proud (Matt. 23:12).


Christian theologians have managed the concept of pride mainly in the tradition of Augustine, who viewed pride as the first sin and therefore spent a great deal of his energy on discussing it. The keystone of his argument was a text in Ecclesiasticus that reads, “pride could be the start of sin.” The verse has later been deemed questionable in meaning. Nonetheless, on this basis Augustine proceeded to look at the fall of Satan as portrayed in Ezekiel and Isaiah as principally motivated by pride. “Your heart became proud because of your beauty” (Ezek. 28:17, NIV). What led Satan to his fall was likewise the downfall with the human race inside the garden of Eden. Augustine felt that pride in the extreme may be the unpardonable sin (Green, 1949). He wrote extensively about their own struggles with pride, describing it as being his greatest temptation.

The study of pride has also been the main topic of great interest to Christians in monastic traditions and then on the Pietists. Bernard of Clairvaux within the Steps of Humility said that people will take steps upward when they pursue humility; in case they pursue pride, their steps may lead downward, following the length of Satan. Bernard points too you will find 12 steps that could lead one through the beginnings of pride-curiosity-to its most severe expression, habitual sin. The intervening steps are frivolity, foolish mirth, boastfulness, singularity (going to all ends to demonstrate oneself superior), conceit, audacity, excusing of sins, hypocritical confession, defiance, and freedom to sin. The first task of pride (curiosity) could be the last step of humility (downcast eyes). The last step of pride (habitual sin) should be the reasons for true humility (the worry from the Lord).

Bernard’s outline is undoubtedly sermonic in tone and designed just as one instructive tool for aspiring monastics. Though its medieval format, his description of pride rings true. Modern psychology won’t have much to include in his outline. Pride elevates the self, seeks to have one’s worth identified by others, and is unaware of obvious personal faults. The proud person has difficulty functioning interpersonally, since he / she won’t receive or process feedback from others in a satisfactory manner. Nor does the proud person fare well from the task of being other-centered. Pride forms an integral aspect in the psychological construct of narcissism.

Pride, psychologically considered, is defensive as the name indicated. By definition pride isn’t a fair and true estimate of self; it becomes an overestimate. To ensure the proud body’s motivated to cover a subconscious a feeling of inferiority or is motivated to overcompensate for actual inadequacies. Pride can be a part of an ill-formed procedure for social interaction; the proud person may genuinely feel her or his pride is the best approach to coping with self yet others and might be not aware of flaws that preclude the pride. Pride endures deference and praise from others. It might have its roots in parental overindulgence or even in an identification that created deep personal insecurities in which the pride is compensating.
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