Core Christian Value
Pride in oneself misses the point. God gives us gifts (skill, good looks, brains) but those gifts become a test. Give the glory to God when men praise you.
Have you ever said, to someone you love, “I am so proud of you”! Of course you have and when you said those words, you generally meant that your heart was full of joy for that person. Your pride in who they are and what they have accomplished is a natural and loving response. Can you think of a time in which you would be “proud” of an enemy, someone you did not like and who probably doesn’t like you? The answer is generally “no”. That is because when you say, “I am so proud of you,” you always mean something wholesome and good. You could have said, “My heart is full of joy for you” and meant the same thing. Yet, listen to: PSALM 14:10 “The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God.” NKJV
Here we learn that a person of “proud countenance” has a problem. They are proud of themselves! How can we avoid “pride in ourselves” while accepting the praise and adoration of others? There is a wonderful verse that teaches you how to respond to praise.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” GALATIANS 2:20 NKJV
The only kind of pride we can properly have isn’t pride in ourselves but pride in Jesus and the gifts that He has given to us. This kind of pride is centered on “Christ in you” and when people say to you, “I am so proud of you”, a mature Christian response is based on the words “I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me.” You can also say “God is so good to me” or “I feel so blessed by God.”
You might say to another person, “God has really blessed you with great talent”. What we should not say is, “You are so fabulous, better than anyone I know,” or anything else that makes the other person feel like, they are the greatest, the fastest, the most talented due to their personal efforts.
Discuss times when people told you how proud they are of you and how you reacted. Should or does your response depend upon who is complimenting you?
Discuss how you can, as a Christian, compliment or praise others.
Discuss what it means when it says “The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God.”
How do the adults in your life handle receiving and giving praise? How about great athletes or performers? Don’t let Satan tempt you to take the credit for the gifts of God in your life.