Pride

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A personification of pride.

Pride is a lofty view of one's self or one's own. Pride often manifests itself as a high opinion of one's nation (national pride), ethnicity (ethnic pride), personal appearance and abilities (vanity), or elevating oneself to the position of God by denying the need or existence of God ("Worshiping and serving the creature more than the Creator," Romans 1:25). Pride is generally considered a negative attribute by most major world religions, but in some aspects or circumstances it may be considered a positive one (see Pride and Prejudice).

The opposite of pride is humility. One should be careful with the context of the word. Some forms of personal pride are considered harmful. The word is traditionally used to enumerate one of the Seven Deadly Sins although "vainglory" is more specific. A popular modern variation on Proverbs 16:18 KJV is "Pride goeth before the fall". One the other hand, one might want people, perhaps children, to have a limited form of personal pride, reflective of appropriate human dignity. Scouting and the military encourage related notions such as physical fitness, dignity, acquiring skills and pride in craftsmanship and other modes of accomplishment, in being in flawless uniform appropriate to one's rank and such. Robert E. Lee might have been proud to have graduated from West Point, remarkably without a single demerit and yet he was also said to be "beaming with pride" when his son graduated first in his class from the same in 1854.

English words

The various English synonyms for pride differentiate both great divisions of meaning as well as various subtleties of meaning. For example, pride has been defined in the Middle Ages as the "inordinate desire to excel".[1] While vainglory or vanity has been defined as the inordinate desire of appearing to excel. The English synonym for pride, hubris, is a direct adoption of an ancient Greek word into the English alphabet with the same meaning.

Judaism

Judaism, using Pride in the sense of hubris or arrogance, denounces it - the phrase "Pride goes before a fall" is a paraphrase of a passage from the book of Proverbs, in the Old Testament. Many more verses of the Tanakh/Old Testament speak of Pride and arrogance. "Blessed is that man that makes the Lord his trust, and looks not to the proud, nor to those that turn aside to lies." (Psalm 40:4) "Talk no more exceeding proudly, nor let arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed." (I Sam. 2:3)

Christianity

In Christianity, pride (associated with the terms vanity, arrogance, and idolatry) is the essentially competitive and excessive belief in one's own abilities that interferes with the individual's recognition of the grace of God; for example: "In his Pride the wicked does not seek Him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God." (Psalm 10:4)

  • Proverbs 6:16-19 16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Augustine of Hippo taught that pride was original sin.[2]

Pride is essentially thinking more of yourself than you are, or simply, thinking you are something you are not. For example, Lucifer thinking he was God, or Adam thinking he knew what was better for himself than God did, despite God's warning. Adam thought he was smarter than God. The Prodigal son didn't think he needed his father's love, support, and guidance, either.

Pride manifests itself in rejecting God's love, support, and guidance, and replacing God with self, which is idolatry. Worshipping and serving the creature more than the Creator.[3]

The Christian believer is admonished to Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not on thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.[4] Leaning on your own understanding, and being wise in your own eyes, is pride. Proverbs tells us The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom[5] and Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding,[6] that is to say, get wisdom and understanding from God. Leaning on our own wisdom and understanding is a manifestation of pride.

Pride, the original sin, started with Lucifer worshipping and serving the creature more than the Creator. It was passed onto Adam, and from Adam, the whole human race became prodigals.

Pride manifests itself in saying, I will exalt myself.[7] However Jesus, in obedience to his father said, Not my will, but thy will.[8] When we put away "I will" and say "thy will" we put away pride and leaning on our own understanding. And Proverbs tells us that pride is #1 on the list of the seven things God hates.

The well-known proverb, "Pride goes before the fall," is also from Solomon, in Proverbs 16:18. There are numerous examples of pride going before the fall, besides Lucifer and Adam, in the Bible. While both Saul and David were chosen by God and anointed by the Prophet Samuel as King of Israel, David's son Absalom, in his pride, attempted to appoint himself as King. Like all prodigals, Absalom rebelled. Absalom's end was being cast into a great pit.[9] In Acts, Herod sat upon his throne, gave an oration, and the people said, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.[10] In the New Testament epistles we learn,

  • James 4:2 - God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble, and
  • Ephesians 2:8 - By grace are ye saved, through faith.

Infant baptism cannot wash away pride. We must be broken in our pride.[11] Only humbling ourselves, repenting of our sin, rebellion, and idolatry of putting ourselves before God - worshiping and serving the creature more than the Creator - and leaning on our own understanding, can we put away the thing God hates most and find new life in Christ.

According to Sebastien Michaelis, humans are seduced by Pride by the great demon Belial, who is also known as The Lord of Arrogance. Pope Gregory I enumerated pride as the greatest of the "Seven Deadly Sins" (pride, envy, wrath, sloth, greed, gluttony and lust), although they are not explicitly listed in the Bible. Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote that "inordinate self-love is the cause of every sin."[12] In this he followed Gregory.

Islam

In Islam, Pride is forbidden as well. According to a narration from Muhammad, he said: "He in whose heart there is as much as an atom of arrogance will not enter paradise," and a man remarked: "A man likes his garment to be beautiful and his sandals to be beautiful." Then Muhammad replied: "God, Most High, is beautiful and likes beauty; arrogance is disdaining what is true and despising people." (Sahih Muslim).

Buddhism

In Buddhism, Pride is seen as illogical as no one person or thing can be better or worse than something or someone else.

Hinduism

In Hinduism, Ravana, an evil king who was killed by Rama, avatar of Vishnu, exhibited the sins of Pride and Lust.

Taoism

In Taoism, according to the Tao Te Ching, Pride and Greed are human errors.

Atheism and pride

See also: Atheism and arrogance

One of the common and well-founded charges against atheists is their arrogance and presumptuousness.[13]

For more information, please see Atheism and arrogance

Homosexuality and pride

Homosexual activists celebrate what they call "gay pride," often shortening it to just "pride."

External links

Notes

  1. Aquinas, Thomas (1274) paraphrasing Albert the Great. Summa Theologica, Part II-I, Q. 84, A. 2, ans. Translated by Fathers of the English Province. New York: Benzinger Brothers. The translated phrase Aquinas uses is pride is understood as "denoting inordinate desire to excel".
  2. City of God, Book XIV Chapter 14. [1]
  3. Romans 1:25.
  4. Proverbs 3:5-7.
  5. Proverbs 9:10a.
  6. Proverbs 4:7.
  7. Isaiah 14:13.
  8. Matthew 26:39.
  9. 2 Samuel 15:4-18:18
  10. Acts 12:21-23.
  11. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (Psalm 51:17 ESV)
  12. Aquinas, Thomas (1274). Summa Theologica, Part II-I, Q. 77, A. 5, ans. Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province. New York: Benzinger Brothers.