Pride and Sinfulness

At what circumstances is pride considered a sin? For example if i graduate with a good mark and feel proud of myself is that a sin? Or what if i endured some temptations or some difficulties with the help of God and feel pridefull? Or what if i did the most work on a group project and feel pride for myself? At what extent do these fall under sinning?

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When it separates you from others and from God it is sin. Feeling a satisfaction that you have done well can be a blessing from God, I think, and is not sinful as such. But as soon as you begin to think of yourself as independent from God and others around you (my accomplishments are mine, and mine alone, thank you very much!) … that sense will begin to wedge itself between you and others and God does not call us toward that. But satisfaction along with gratitude for the multitude of others around you, knowing that we owe much and would have made no such accomplishment without others … that humility should be the antidote that prevents satisfaction over a job well done from turning into the sinful sort of pride.

[There are times when somebody may accomplish much despite others around them who did much to discourage their progress - and if somebody is downtrodden, I think pride may be a temporarily helpful thing to help them persevere, but they still would never have done it completely alone, even if it feels to them like they did. This probably becomes the dangerous seed of pride that will be hard for them to get rid of later if/when they do become successful.]

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For me pride is a problem when you believe that it makes you better than others and in your heart you set yourself up above everyone else. But being happy and taking pride in what you do is not evil. Unless what you’re doing is evil.

I don’t smoke cigarettes, pot, or do anything drugs beyond what in prescribed. I know a lot of people who do. I use to view those people as disgusting and held to the mentality that if they truly wanted to get better they would get better quickly. It would not be a year long process of relapses until they finally make it through. When I use to come across those people and they would want something to eat or drink I tell them don’t even reach into my water cooler. If they wanted to use my phone to make a call, people on job sites, I would never let them. I did not even want their face touching my phone. I would be cold towards them.

Or if a person was homeless. At one point in my life my heart was cold enough I ignored them. Interested then as if they don’t exist. I would pretend to not hear them, and I would even sometimes just flip them off when they tried to ask me something. I even had the mentality that they don’t even deserve my food or drink. I know men who work all day and work hard and are still in debt and I’ll help those who help themselves and for those who I perceived as nobodies I treated like nobodies.

I was doing all of these things because I felt like I was a better person and that I was more valuable. That my life was worth more. It’s the complete opposite of what Jesus taught. Those things were developed out of pride. I have never received government help, and when I was younger around 16 and 17 living in my own I would reject help even if someone tried to help me. I felt devalued if I needed help and so on pride I would starve and miss meals in a row. I took a silly sense of pride in always doing what had to be done to get by. I was even working three jobs at once monday- Friday and then on Saturday I worked with a company that started at 3am delivering ice until about noon. So I would justify my pride by saying I’m better and more valuable because I worked more. That pride made me not feel empathetic or sympathetic towards others.

So if you’re accomplishments make you feel better than others and you feel that you are more valuable while at the same time calling those who were in a worse or different spot as less than you then youre pride in your accomplishments is sinful.

When it is self destructive, i.e. when it prevents you from acknowledging your mistakes so you can learn from them. Or… when it damages your relationships with other people.

When pride makes you do just the opposite, like what we refer to as pride in your work, then it is not a sin.

No. As long as it is just about you, I would say quite the opposite. It is only when you start comparing yourself to other people that it will become a problem.

As long as it keeps you doing the same thing, it is good. It is only when it makes you relax and think you have done enough and are entitled to special treatment or something that it becomes bad.

Then perhaps you should spare a thought about those other people and whether this is a good influence on them or not. Whenever pride get involved with comparing yourself to others then is starts to turn into something which isn’t so good anymore.

There is often this idea that pride being a sin means you have to abase and make little of yourself. But frankly this usually just becomes a deceptive disguise for what is really just the bad sort of pride – a self-righteous show. Honesty (about what you can do, for example) is a better policy, because deception of any kind will twist things up until you don’t see things straight anymore.

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Great OP @NickolaosPappas . I like CS Lewis on pride. I suspect @Daniel_Fisher can give better resources, but here is one https://www.cslewisinstitute.org/C.S._Lewis_on_Humility_and_Pride

Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call “humble” nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, swarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seems a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.”

@Laura and @mitchellmckain also discussed pride in work here

Thanks.

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my favorite takeaway from C S Lewis on the topic is from “The Weight of Glory”, and I think it touches on the question that our colleague touched on in the OP…

When I began to look into this matter I was shocked to find such different Christians as Milton, Johnson, and Thomas Aquinas taking heavenly glory quite frankly in the sense of fame or good report. But not fame conferred by our fellow creatures—fame with God, approval or (I might say) “appreciation” by God. And then, when I had thought it over, I saw that this view was scriptural; nothing can eliminate from the parable the divine accolade, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” With that, a good deal of what I had been thinking all my life fell down like a house of cards. I suddenly remembered that no one can enter heaven except as a child; and nothing is so obvious in a child—not in a conceited child, but in a good child—as its great and undisguised pleasure in being praised. Not only in a child, either, but even in a dog or a horse. Apparently what I had mistaken for humility had, all these years, prevented me from understanding what is in fact the humblest, the most childlike, the most creaturely of pleasures—nay, the specific pleasure of the inferior: the pleasure of a beast before men, a child before its father, a pupil before his teacher, a creature before its Creator. I am not forgetting how horribly this most innocent desire is parodied in our human ambitions, or how very quickly, in my own experience, the lawful pleasure of praise from those whom it was my duty to please turns into the deadly poison of self-admiration. But I thought I could detect a moment—a very, very short moment—before this happened, during which the satisfaction of having pleased those whom I rightly loved and rightly feared was pure. And that is enough to raise our thoughts to what may happen when the redeemed soul, beyond all hope and nearly beyond belief, learns at last that she has pleased Him whom she was created to please. There will be no room for vanity then.

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Someone (perhaps Lewis?) said to this effect: “Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself. It’s thinking of yourself less.”

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Thank you. That is a moving illustration

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