Pride is a dangerous attribute of humanity. We like to believe that our effort is not wasted. Humanity is always trying to build something, our knowledge, our skills, our experience, our family, and our legacy to be passed on to that family. In politics, mankind takes pride in their political record. Do we also take pride in our religious accomplishments? Should you take pride in your faith?
Pride Is Your Measurement of Your Worth
It seems to be natural for us to admire the work of our labor. I am guilty of feeling pride in what I’ve accomplished in life. I’ve come a long way from where I was before my parents died in my early twenties. I have a good job, a great family, and a stronger relationship with our Lord, Jesus Christ. I’ve worked hard to get to this point and feeling satisfaction with the things I have done doesn’t seem to be a problem on the surface. Unfortunately pride becomes a seed of self importance.
Pride becomes a collection of your personal achievements. It is a bucket of trophies and ribbons that you’ve earned over time. The bigger this bucket gets, the more important you believe your opinion is. You start to see these achievements as a means to get where you want to go. Often this happens with a career and the where we want to go is the place we can finally rest from all of our work. Perhaps you can view it as the sabbath of our careers. Some people might view it as their dream job, others might say it is their retirement. Whatever form it takes, it is that place where you can look out over all of the fruits of your labor and appreciate yourself.
The Problem With Pride
What if someone questions the authenticity or quality of your trophies and ribbons? What if they make it harder to get where you want to go? Maybe they are trying to stop you, because they want to get there. It is also possible they are getting in the way by accident. What if you believe there is only room at the sabbath for one of you? How are you going to process that fear and what will you be willing to do to alleviate it?
I am hoping you can see some very bad places this can end up. These very bad places are being visited on a consistent basis by most of the Earth’s population. We travel to these bad places in the business world, in government, in religion, in relationships, and in our families. Why are you more important than the person next to you? What makes you better than the person on the other side of the world? Pride leads to reasons why you are better or more important. I’ll ask again, should you take pride in your faith?
Don’t Take Pride In Your Faith
Pride leads to offense, to blind spots, and to a lot of negative feelings. When we don’t feel we are getting enough praise, that is pride. If you believe you aren’t getting enough credit, that is pride. The times you felt disrespected, that was pride. What good can come from the measurement of your value? Sure, you might be able to use it to successfully argue a case for a job, promotion, or raise, but it is inevitably going to create just as many negative experiences. Some out there don’t think highly of your education, your experience, your views, or your achievements. This might help you at times in the world, but it won’t do anything good for your spirit.
Pride can prevent us from listening to others. It can get in the way of building relationships we otherwise would have no trouble with. Pride leads to arrogance and ignorance, because we think what we’ve done is too important to allow others to mess up. When prideful, we convince ourselves that our hard work meant something and resulted in something great.
If pride is in your faith, you won’t be capable of self correction or being corrected by your brothers and sisters in Christ. Pride in your faith will be a justification for hurting others or treating them badly. To take pride in your faith is to serve two masters, Jesus and yourself.
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,[c] your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,[d] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Don’t take pride in your faith, take pride in the Lord.