Faith Filled Family Magazine November 2016 - Page 96

Pride OR Confidence BY JANET MC KENZIE C hildren invite their parents to endless look-at-me moments, and we oblige them. We say how wonderful they are, how well they can build or write or draw. Even if they played an insignificant role in a school performance, we want them to take pride in their smallest achievements. Sometimes we offer words of praise when their achievements are meager. We inculcate within our children a sense of worth in what they do, say, or achieve by offering the tightest hugs, the warmest embraces the enthusiastic applause. To build their self-esteem, we drive home the notion that what they do, produce or achieve is worth celebrating. CREATING A MONSTER Eventually that child grows up to be an adult. Those moments of praise without appropriate lessons in humility, may have succeeded in creating a monster called pride. Pride has been defined as “Undue confidence in and attention to one’s own skills, accomplishments, state, possessions, or position . . . . It attributes to oneself the honor and glory due to God alone. When we begin to worship the work that out hands have made and forget about the one who made it all possible, we end up violating the first commandment: “You shall have no other Gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). When we look to ourselves as the beginning and end of our achievements, this is a form of idolatry. We are worshiping us. In a sense, we have taken God off the throne and replaced Him with ourselves. No good can result when this occurs. ONE BIBLICAL EXAMPLE OF PRIDE One biblical story that really drives home the message of the perils of pride is the story of King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4 and Rev Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church delivered a sermon on the very subject.2 There is no better evidence of the king’s pride than his very own words about his kingdom: “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal