A Christian Preparation for Pride Month

Editor’s Introduction – the following is the fruit of some work for a Bible Study I am teaching here at my parish. It is not comprehensive, but provides food for thought, study, and prayer for us as Christians.

What can we be proud of?

Jeremiah 9:23-24        Romans 15:17               1 Cor 1:27-31              2 Cor 1:12-14

2 Cor 7:13-14 (boasts about others – 8th Commandment) (also 2 Cor 8:24; 9:2-3; 2 Thess 1:4)

2 Cor 10:13-18 – limits to boasting (don’t take credit for others work)

2 Cor 11:30 (weaknesses which show God’s work) – also 2 Cor 12:1-9

Galatians 6:14

James 1:9-10

Those who are sinfully proud:

Romans 1:18-32 (especially 28-32)    a judgment of God upon them

2 Peter 2:1-19 (especially 18-19)        ensnared by false teaching, pitiable

Leviticus 26:19 – disobedience

Psalm 40:4 – love lies

Psalm 56:2 – enemies of God

Psalm 84:2 – marked for judgment

Psalm 123:4 – show contempt (contempt is tied to pride)

Proverbs 15:25 – opposed by God

Proverbs 8:13; 21:4 – hated by God

Ecclesiastes 21:4 – lack patience (patience and humility are opposites of pride)

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 – lack true love

Pride exemplified by sinners/Pride receives a response from God:

Genesis 3:1-24 – unbelief begot disobedience begot pride (you shall be as gods)

Genesis 11:1-9 – arrogance and pride in the face of God

2 Chronicles 26:1-23 (especially v. 16). Uzziah’s pride

2 Chronicles 32:20-31 – Hezekiah has pride, repents and has humility

Daniel 5:1-31 – Daniel tells Belshazzar of Nebuchadnezzar’s pride (especially 5:18-23)

Ezekiel 28:1-19 – Pride of the prince of Tyre

Jeremiah 50:1-46 – Pride of Babylon (especially 29-32)

God’s response to pride:

James 4:6

1 Peter 5:5

Proverbs 3:34; 11:2; 16:18

Job 22:29

Psalm 138:6

Christian ways of dealing with pride:

1 Samuel 2:1-10 – song of Hannah

Luke 1:46-56 – Magnificat – song of Mary

Psalm 59:1-17 – Humble endurance

Psalm 31:1-24 – Seeking God’s defense/protection and retribution for personal wrongs (imprecations)

Psalm 73:1-28 – anger/resentment, confession, forgiveness, and new life
Psalm 94:1-23 – prayer to God for vengeance; much admonition to be gained from this prayer about our conduct

Virtues that can be exercised against pride:

Humility – The opposite of pride

Patience – This opposes pride and reflects trust in God over the self

Longsuffering – This endures in the face of evils, places trust in God for Him to act when He so chooses

Thankfulness – acknowledging the good you have as gift from God militates against proudly thinking you have deserved/earned it

Steadfastness – keeping faithful in the face of pressure from the devil, the world, and the sinful flesh to do otherwise (James 1:12)

Compassion – this care for others is in opposition to the contempt that pride creates

Fruits of the Spirit – Galatians 5:22-26

Evil Temptations when seeing pride in others:

Pride – “better than” mentality, forgetting grace/favor of God shown to you

Contempt – Disregard for others, thinking/feeling/acting toward them as inferior or worthless

Some quotes from Luther on pride (from What Luther Says):

3620 The proper place for pride

God could not bear pride in heaven and in paradise, but in hell.  If you want to go there, then continue to be proud.

3622 Man would proudly deify himself

In short, the misery and woe that one man would love to be the god of another come from the apple in Paradise, when Adam and Even wanted to be gods in the devil’s name.  This apple still lies heavy in everyone’s stomach, causes constant belching, and will not be digested.  For even the true saints still have at least something of the core in them.

3625 Pride particularly bad in the Church

In private persons, and even in those who hold a public office, vainglory is not as dangerous as it is in those who head the church, though in the state too, especially if vainglory befalls men in supreme command, it causes not only the disturbance and subversion of the affairs of the commonwealth but also the disturbance and change of entire kingdoms and empires, a fact to which sacred and profane histories alike testify. 

But when this pest slips into the church or the realm spiritual, it is impossible to tell how harmful it is; for there the contention is not about learning, intellectual endowments, beauty, riches, kingdoms, empires, etc., but either about eternal life and salvation or about eternal death and damnation.

3630 The besetting sin of the favored

Reason cannot break itself of this habit: if it finds itself favored by God before others, it must turn up its nose at those who do not enjoy such favor.  Thus we see that sinners stink among the holy and religious folk.  But love reverses this order and treats the sins and failings of its neighbor as if they were its own.  It helps to save him and does not at once look down on them with proud contempt.

For a downloadable PDF of this click here.

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