I grew up with a biblical interpretation of pride and have tried to steer clear from being a proudful person. It is not easy. How am supposed to feel when I have achieved something great against all odds?
My instinct is to feel proud and exclaim ‘Look at what I did!’ and post it on every social media platform. What could possibly be wrong with pride? The Strongest Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible lists forty-nine occasions where pride appears in the Bible.
There are 14 different words that can also be translated as pride. Nevertheless, in all its usage it has been translated as negative. (I stand to be corrected). Here are few examples:
New King James Version
I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.” (1 Samuel 17:28)
But when his heart was lifted up, and his spirit was hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him (Daniel 5:20)
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)
Using more modern Bible translations gives me greater clarity on the pitfalls of pride:
New International Version
‘I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” (1 Samuel 17:28)
The Clear Word Bible
‘But when he became proud and stubborn, he also became insensitive and was removed from his throne and stripped of his glory’ (Daniel 5:20)
‘Pride leads to self-destruction and arrogance to a man’s downfall’ (Proverbs 16:18)
When my pride leads me to be conceited, stubborn, insensitive, self-destructive, and arrogant- then it is not helpful. I can be proud of my achievements and the achievements of others, but I also need to be sensitive with how I share that with others.
Pride in my achievements should acknowledge the contributions of others; that I did not make it on my own, but I made it because there was that someone who: had my back; who prayed for me or who gave me that encouraging text message, phone call or email. Acknowledging others in my achievements, safeguards against an arrogant and insensitive attitude.