Last on the list of the big 7 is the sin of pride. Pride can actually come in two different forms, one healthy and one – well, not so much.
I was a cheer mom for 6 years. Watched hours and hours of cheerleading, went to our high school’s competitions every year, and was one of those REALLY LOUD cheer mom nuts in the stands when our girls competed (and I’ve got the audio on home movies to prove it).
Our girls were always proud to say they were Lee-Scott cheerleaders. Why? Because every year our team of girls worked hard toward their goal of winning the camp competition and excelling in their sport, which they did through hours and hours of practice with a coach who loved them, pushed them and demanded excellence from them. But our coach never let the girls think they were the cat’s meow, that they didn’t need to work hard or that they could rub their victories in the faces of their competition. She kept those girls humble yet instilled a deep sense of pride in their work, their abilities, their appearance and their accomplishments.
So that’s the good kind of pride, where our girls took pride in being a part of a group that worked hard, achieved goals but remained humble.
But let’s just say we sports moms & dads (and yes, people cheerleading IS a sport but I’ve also got a son who plays basketball and golf if that makes you feel better) have run into those teams who dish out the other kind of pride. The “Y’all are AWFUL,” the “We’re SO MUCH BETTER THAN YOU,” the “We’re so good NO ONE can touch us” teams. (And I’m cleaning up the language, because believe me I’ve heard a lot worse out on the gym floor.) We’ve all witnessed the obnoxious, in your face, talkin’ trash about your momma kids on rival teams.
God blesses these kids with a little success, then satan twists it (as he so often does) into glorifying self instead of glorifying God. The individuals on those teams have bought into the enemy’s destructive lie that it’s all about them, their success is all thanks to their awesomeness, that nothing can stop them. They believe everyone else is inferior to them and that they are the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae. From what I see no one has ever told them otherwise – parents and coaches have both fed the beast of pride until it comes out of a kid like the Hulk bustin’ out of a too small shirt.
And there’s the lie of pride that satan weaves into someone’s mind when they experience success – it’s all about ME instead of giving glory and thanks for the abilities and achievements to HIM.
And as we know, those kids who are full of themselves on the gym floor become adults who are better than everyone else in the office. (Oh boy, I just can’t wait to be around that guy for 8 hours a day…)
So you see, pride can take two forms. Taking pride in your work, your attitude, your appearance isn’t a sin and is a positive form of functioning in society. But being prideful in the sense you believe your job, your words or your clothes are better than everyone else’s causes huge problems.
So when you feel pride creeping in, do a little gut check. Which kind of pride is welling up inside? Are you joining pride with humility? (That’s a “Thank you, he gets his talent from God.”) Or are you joining pride with superiority? (That’s a “Yep, that’s my boy, got everything he learned from me, he’s gonna be the next Michael Jordan, play Division I ball, blah-blah-blah.”)?
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2)
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