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Is a Pride Month Something to Boast About?

Proverbs 16:18 - "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall."

Proverbs 11:2 - "When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom."

James 4:6 - "God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble."

However, there are some instances where pride is used in a positive way in the Bible. For example, the apostle Paul communicated a positive sense of pride when speaking to the believers in Corinth:

2 Corinthians 7:4 I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.

In this case, pride is not a self-centered attitude but a grateful appreciation of others and their faithfulness to God.

Another example of positive pride is found in:

Proverbs 17:6: "Grandchildren are the crown of old men, And the glory (pride) of sons is their fathers."

Here, pride is not a boastful claim but a joyful recognition of one's family and heritage.

The contrast between positive and negative pride can be seen in how it affects one's relationship with God and others. Positive pride honors God and values others, while negative pride opposes God and disregards others. Positive pride is based on humility and love, while negative pride is based on selfishness and envy.

We must also consider which specific Greek word is being used because there are a few Greek words that can be translated as pride in the New Testament, depending on the context and the nuance. Here are some of them:

  • ὑπερηφανία (huperéphania): This word means haughtiness, disdain, arrogance, and is used in a negative sense to describe the attitude of one who looks down on others and treats them with contempt. It is used only once in the N.T. in Mark 7:22, where it is listed among the evil things that come from within a person and defile them.

  • καυχάομαι (kauchaomai): This word means to boast, to glory, to exult, and can be used in both positive and negative ways. It can express a grateful appreciation of God's grace and gifts, or a joyful recognition of one's blessings and achievements. For example, Paul uses this word to express his confidence and pride in the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 7:4), and also to boast in his weaknesses and sufferings for Christ (2 Corinthians 11:30; 12:5). However, it can also express a selfish ambition or a vain conceit that causes division and rivalry among believers. For example, Paul warns against boasting in human wisdom or status (1 Corinthians 3:21; 4:7), and James condemns boasting in one's plans or possessions (James 4:16).

  • ἀλαζονεία (alazoneia): This word means arrogance, pretension, boasting, and is always used in a negative sense to describe the attitude of one who claims more than they have or are. For example, in 1 John 2:16, John identifies it as one of the things that belong to the world and not to the Father, along with the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes.

  • ὑψηλός (hypsélos): This word means high, lofty, exalted, and can be used in both positive and negative ways. It can describe the majesty and glory of God or his works. For example, Luke uses this word to describe the Most High God (Luke 1:32, 35, 76; 6:35; 8:28), and Paul uses it to describe the name above every name that God gave to Jesus (Philippians 2:9). However, it can also describe the pride and haughtiness of human beings or their works. For example, Isaiah uses this word to describe the proud and lofty people who will be humbled by the Lord (Isaiah 2:12, 17; 5:15), and Paul uses it to describe the things that are raised up against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5).

While one might be able to put a positive spin on a pride month in which something righteous is acknowledged, a pride month that is boasting and promoting what God's Word calls sin and an abomination cannot and never will be viewed as a good thing from God's Word.

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