Pride can be a huge problem in any society, Christian or non-Christian, and I believe the sins from pride are something we all struggle with at some time or another.
I’m going to continue my series on sin today with three sins: arrogance, boastfulness, and people without love. I believe all three stem from pride.
Let me just remind you guys that these posts are for Christians, those who claim to follow Jesus and believe in God’s Word (the Bible). This is not for non-Christians because I would never try to hold them to the standards of our faith.
So, before I break this down, what is pride? The dictionary defines pride as “a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.”
Is pride always bad? What if you are proud of your children? Is that sinful? Or what if you are proud of what God has done in your life? Is that a sin? I don’t think all pride is bad, just like anger in itself is not bad. I think it is the sins that can come from pride that are wrong, just as there are sins that stem from anger. And I’m going to talk today about three sins that come from pride.
Arrogance and Boasting
The dictionary defines arrogance as a person “having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities.”
You see, when we are proud of something God has done in our lives, we aren’t exaggerating our own importance or abilities but rather we are telling others of how great God is – and we can never exaggerate the power of God.
When we are arrogant we are focusing on ourselves. We think about how great we are and see ourselves in an unrealistic light. Yes, we are children of God and we should expect favor and blessings. But we’re also going to go through hard times, challenges, setbacks, even pain and death. That is part of life. And we need to remember that even when we have success, we didn’t get there on our own. As children of God we need to look for God’s hand in everything, even the smallest details of our lives.
We need to be humble and remember, when we succeed and achieve dreams, that we didn’t do it alone. Not only did God help us but other people helped us as well – family members, friends, etc. We need to acknowledge that to ourselves and to others, especially if people ask us how we became successful. We need to make sure we give all the glory to God instead of putting glory onto ourselves.
Intricately related to arrogance is boasting. Boasting is defined as to “talk with excessive pride and self-satisfaction about one’s achievements, possessions, or abilities.” If you look back on the definition of arrogance you can see that the two definitions are very similar – both are focused on self and excess.
The Bible says that if we boast we are to boast in the Lord (1 Cor. 1:30-31). That means it’s fine if we speak of what God has done, or what others have done – boasting is talking about yourself and what you’ve done with no mention of what people have done for you or what God has accomplished in and through you. Boasting and arrogance are both self-centered with no acknowledgement of God or others.
When the Bible says that it’s a sin for people to be without love, I believe it speaks to people not loving other people. Here is what God’s Word also says on the subject:
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. (1 John 4:7-12)
If we don’t love others, we can’t call ourselves children of God. That isn’t my opinion, it’s what God’s Word just said. Now, I don’t believe true born-again Christians ever just hate everyone, but I do know from my own life and watching the lives of others that we can hate some people at certain times and still be born-again. But God says it’s a sin for us to hate anyone which is why we need His help to love all people at all times. We can’t do it on our own because we are imperfect and our flesh will fight us. But with God all things are possible!
The reason this relates to pride is that when we don’t love others, we are being selfish and putting ourselves first, just as with arrogance and boasting. We care about our own feelings, needs, careers, etc. instead of caring about other people. And, as with arrogance and boasting, we use excess to justify our attitudes. We usually see ourselves in a better light than we should and we see others in a worse light, seeing them more negatively than they deserve.
So, let’s not give the sins that can come from pride a foothold in our lives. Let’s keep God first, always praising and thanking Him for all He has done, giving Him the glory for our victories and successes, and let’s also remember the people who have helped us along the way. Let’s love one another in such a way that we shine a light into this dark world and set an example that people around us will want to follow.
Have an awesome week, and I will keep you in my prayers! If you have any prayer requests post them in the comments below or fill out the contact form!