We see two forms of pride in Scripture. One looks and feels nobler and is often met with pity. The other is annoying and we want to hit the mute button because we can easily spot a celebrity rant on a crowded Twitter feed. Neither is godly, and they both lead to hell apart from Christ.
Self-centeredness is two-faced.
It can be the overly confident fool who walks with his chest out and wears his ego on his sleeve—sometimes literally. This sort of cringe-worthy form irritates us unless we are the beneficiaries of the talents and brilliance of the self-professed genius. We still furrow our brows when we see their antics on display, but we can’t help but be drawn in by the enticing melodies of their siren calls.
Self-centeredness wears another mask as well. The Eeyore sort of pride hides in plain sight like Waldo on a canvas full of colors and distractions. They don’t post a selfie every time they walk an old lady across the street, but they desperately want to be caught on camera and praised. We notice them, but we seem to always shift our attention back to the more boisterous people because it’s tough to notice a candle when there’s a spotlight in the room.
Christians Aren’t Exempt
This self-centeredness dresses up in Christian garb too. There are many times that I see these forms of pride in myself. There are times when I want to puff out my chest and let everyone know how devoted I am to the Lord. I want them to acknowledge my preaching and writing gifts. I want to be their favorite Christian rapper and producer. These moments are terrifying because they catch me off guard. Just when I thought I had my pride in check, I’m lured and enticed by my own evil desire.
On the other end of the spectrum, I sometimes find myself wrapped up in self-pity. The sting of a rejected article, a flat sermon, a poorly-performed album release, or a failed moment of parenting can leave me licking my wounds and begging everyone to notice my sackcloth and ashes. What some people consider modesty and humility is really just a facade of the kid who air-balled the free throw and faked an injury to get taken out of the game. This is pride, too.
We see both of these forms of pride in Scripture. One looks and feels nobler and is often met with pity. The other is annoying and we want to hit the mute button because we can easily spot a celebrity rant on a crowded Twitter feed. Neither is godly, and they both lead to hell apart from Christ.