Pride and Prejudice: A Study
One of my English classes is currently studying Pride and Prejudice, of course a well-known and classic novel.
In class discussions, we’ve talked a lot about the basic definition of “pride.”
“a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.”
This is the basic Dictionary definition of the word pride. In these parameters, “pride” doesn’t seem to be a bad thing. However, many Christians have been taught that and view pride as the root from which sin derives. Many “sin-issues,” we have heard preached and been taught, are rooted in pride.
In class discussions, many of my peers have reflected upon pride being “good” when it is in relation to one’s pride for others’ accomplishments, and “bad” when it relates to pride in oneself. Moreover, pride is more likely to be a negative thing when it relates to the self.
“What about pride in one’s own achievements, like a good report card, or improved health, or a kept house?” My prof prompted.
As we reflected on some questions, I found myself looking deeper into the issue of pride, and how it is used by both God, and how it can be an emotion influenced by the world.
“While pride is sometimes used in the Old Testament in a positive sense (i.e., the “pride” of the land of Israel [ Psalm 47:4 ; Ezek 24:21 ] or, God’s “pride/majesty/excellency” [ Exod 15:7 ; Job 37:4 ; Isa 2:10 ]), its negative sense predominates… included are the ideas of arrogance, cynical insensitivity to the needs of others, and presumption” (Bible Study Tools, 2017).
Ultimately, pride can be a sneaky disguise of self autonomy; needlessness of God.
I often express to friends, my boyfriend, and my family that I am “so proud of them.” This is meant to reflect my high regard for the way I am seeing the Lord move in their lives.
The past few days, however, the Lord Jesus has been lovingly convicting me in a manner of pride that I have been deceived by that He has already challenged. Ultimately, this comes down to self-autonomy.
A world-glorified thought that I can exist without His Spirit, that I, Cassie, can look like Him and design my life without His influence, without His indwelling.
In prayer yesterday, the Lord spoke to me:
“You don’t need to “be more organized” or have your life “more together” or “be better at reading your Bible every day” or “be perfect.” You just need Me. My indwelling. Let me do it.”
Where the past few weeks I have felt a bit anxious, scattered, and stressed about many commitments, just by being vulnerable with Jesus and saying “Lord, I can’t do this on my own, stop me from trying to!” I have been surrendered to an overwhelming peace.
The world will tell me that I need to be on top of things. The devil whispers that I’m not good enough at my job, or at school, or at being a good friend/girlfriend/sister/daughter. But the reason for the anxiety around this is a listening to/submission to THESE ROLES AS IDENTITIES rather than a complete, 100% submission to my only True role: a daughter of the Most High, “True” because Jesus lives inside of me.
So, my Lord and Saviour Jesus, may it be only You who works out of me and through me. May I surrender any Cassie that has been influenced by the devil or the world’s ever-changing opinions to the True and NEVER-CHANGING You, that it would actually be Your Spirit in me all for Your sake, Lord Jesus. Catch the pride in our world, Lord, that says that we can do any of this on our own, for our only purpose is You.
HEBREWS 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.