In today’s society (especially this month), it’s all about pride. Pride in your skin color, your heritage, and culture. Pride in your sex, your gender (for those who consider them separate), and who you’re attracted to.
The seven deadly sins are: Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride.
Why is pride on that list, especially since society expects us to celebrate every kind of pride imaginable–believing it to be a virtue?
Humans are a rebellious lot, and rebellion against God is our favorite. The first and easiest way is through hubris: in believing we know better than God. “He’s too far away to understand. He doesn’t care. Look at all the evil in the world that he does nothing about. He doesn’t exist anyway, so everything is up to us to create or destroy however we see fit.” Etc., etc.
The first sin in the Bible began with the temptation of pride: “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat [the fruit], and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5, NLT, emphasis mine)
Almost every evil deed (including our own) can be traced through a seed of pride.
Taking the spiritual out of it, there are other, worldly consequences of pride.
When people embrace pride, they lose all humility. As such, they believe they are perfect, and have nothing left to learn. They become haughty, and few people like to spend time with a “know-it-all” (I am certainly guilty of this).
They also start to see others as less than them. Less smart, less beautiful. In extreme examples, less human. Anyone who has a modicum of historical knowledge knows the consequences of dehumanizing a certain group of people.
Prideful people often see others unlike them as the enemy that must be destroyed. At the very least ignored or silenced, because how dare anyone question their beliefs or opinions?
How often have people harmed themselves or others accidentally, because they believed they could do something without taking a step back first and asking, “Can I really do this? Should I do this?”
Humility, on the other hand is acknowledging that no one is perfect, including themselves. Humble people tend to self-reflect (without being self-absorbed). They are more inclined to seek out new knowledge, new people, are less judgmental of others, and are willing to test their assumptions. Above all, they are willing to change their view and apologize for being wrong if enough facts to the contrary come to light.
Imagine what society would be like if people embraced humility instead of pride.
“Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” ~ Proverbs 11:2 (NLT)
“Do not love the world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.” ~ 1 John 2:15-17 (NLT)