"Teaching God's Word to God's World"
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Many would assume that pride is over confidence or over active self-esteem. The outwardly arrogant nature of pride leads to bragging, boasting, and an overly defensive nature. Many people think the arrogant, bragging, boastful person struggling with pride really believes their boasts and is an overly confident person. But bragging, boasting and the easily offended nature of those overly defensive is not caused by too much self-confidence but a lack of self-confidence. If they were truly confident in who they were they would not have to brag, boast and be self defensive. They wouldn't have to tear others down to build themselves up.
A person who is sure of themselves doesn't have to "prove" anything. Those who are confident and know who they are don't have to brag, look down on others to make themselves feel better, boast, nor be overly defensive when criticized. They can handle it. They are humble. They can admit when they are wrong. They know they are not better than anyone is and no one is better than they are. They don't have to prove anything to anyone or themselves.
Bragging and boasting comes from a person who is unconfident and so he/she over-compensates with bragging, boasting, and looking down on others faults while exalting themselves in their own eyes. Low self-esteem is pride.
Think back to high school or Jr. High. It wasn't the kids with good self-esteem who picked on everyone and thought they were better than everyone. It was the kids with empty holes in their hearts, longing for acceptance and popularity that took pride in their looks, social status, sports ability, money, intelligence, or circle of friends. They were proud, arrogant and snooty because down deep they were totally insecure and had major self-esteem problems. They were comparing themselves with others. To make them feel better about those they didn't match up to they belittled those who they felt superior too. Low self-esteem is what tempts us to the sin of pride.
Now there is good self-esteem and low self-esteem just as there is good pride and bad pride.
· Good self esteem is when you realize you are created in God's image and therefore of great value.
· Good self-esteem is when you realize you are just as good as anyone else and don't need to be ashamed of your mistakes because everyone else has made them too and because God has forgiven them in Christ.
· Good self esteem is when you realize you can take pride in your actions at a particular time not because you did more than someone else or accomplished more than others but because you did the best you could with the gifts and opportunities God gave you at that moment.
· Bad self-esteem is when you but yourself on a scale and measure yourself against others. This makes you feel inferior to some and superior to others. The more inferior you feel the more you are tempted to exalt self and demean others to move yourself up the scale in your eyes and the eyes of others.
Good pride is when you are proud of someone else and what God is doing through them.
· II Corinthians 7:4, I have great confidence in you; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.
· II Corinthians 8:24, Therefore show these men the proof of your love and the reason for our pride in you, so that the churches can see it.
Good pride is when you are proud of a loved one.
· Proverbs 17:6, Childrens children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.
Good pride is when you are proud of your self without comparing yourself with others.
· Galatians 6:3-5 "If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load."
Bad pride is when you think one person is better than another and take pride in yourself over others by who you have associated with.
· I Corinthians 4:6, Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." Then you will not take pride in one man over against another.
Bad pride is when you think you are better than some and not as good as others. You compare morality, social status, looks, intelligence, culture, family background, or whatever.
· Romans 12:3, For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
· Galatians 6:3, If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
· Romans 12:16, Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Bad pride is when you compare yourself with others. You put yourself on a scale and measure yourself in comparison to others knowledge, looks, character, gifts, abilities, wealth, status, personality, blessings and so on.
· II Corinthians 10:12 "We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise."
When a person has low self-esteem they naturally compare themselves with others. They feel low because they have compared themselves with others and they are not as rich, good looking, smart, spiritual, likeable, funny, gifted, or blessed with possessions, talents, or family. So in their low self-esteem they want to make themselves feel better, so they look the other way and compare themselves with others less blessed. They become arrogant, boastful and brag trying to convince themselves and those around them that they are better than most.
Low self-esteem comes from comparing yourself to others. Pride comes from comparing yourselves to others. You can't have one without the other. Pride is low self esteem that takes pride in where it is better than some to comfort itself for not being as good as some others. It tries to assume a higher status through bragging, boasting, belittling others and avoiding those lower on the social scale than themselves.
A person with a healthy self-esteem who is happy to be what God made them to be can have a healthy self-esteem because they know they are as good as anyone. God loves them as much
as anyone. Jesus died for them too. They are washed clean as clean can be in Christ. They don't have to measure up to others. They don't foolishly compare themselves with others. They use "sober judgment" and by "testing themselves" against what God gave them not what God gave someone else. They can take a healthy pride in what God is doing through them by his grace without fear of not being as good as someone else because they are not comparing themselves with others like a proud fool.
They have a healthy self esteem because they know God loves them and made them in his image and through Christ has made them holy and a new creation.
They don't need to:
· Be proud.
· Be overly defensive.
· Compare themselves.
· Feel inadequate.
· Worry about what others think of them.
· Build themselves up in others minds.
· Inflate a sagging ego.
· Lie to themselves and others.
· Make excuses for their sin.
· Try to assume positions beyond them.
· Never admit when theyre wrong.
· Always be right about every last thing.
· Rebel against authority.
· Avoid submission.
· Tear others down.
· Avoid those of lowly status in the worlds eyes.
· Be obsessed with their looks.
· Be greedy for money or power to improve their social status.
They can be themselves:
· Thinking of others needs more highly than their own perverse pride induced desires.
To remove pride, just stop comparing yourself with others. If you don't compare yourself with others anymore because you know we are all equally loved by God, equally sinful before God, and equally savable through Christ, and equally able to bring glory to God, then you won't have low self-esteem and you won't have the temptation to be proud any more.
Another name for low self-esteem is pride.