As I carry on with my study of Jeremiah I was struck by how timely today's verses were. I didn't want this post to be political in nature, but this post is about pride. And if there is one person in the world today who is a great example of someone who has an inordinate amount of it, it is Donald Trump. So I apologize for using him as my example, but his type of arrogance seemed to be exactly what Jeremiah 9:23 was talking about today.
Pride is a finicky thing. It can be exhibited as a feeling of well-being, like when you graduate from highschool or college for example. It can also be exhibited as a feeling of joy, like when we take pride in the accomplishments of others - like our children. Every milestone they achieve makes us happy and excited for them and yes - proud. These types of pride are not evil or sinful of themselves. One is based on completing something after working hard. It is a mixture of relief and satisfaction in getting the job done. The other is based on love and wanting the best for someone.
The type of pride God frowns on however is based on something totally different. We see and hear it almost every time Donald Trump speaks. It is a combination of arrogance and haughtiness. And yes, I realize the two are almost identical in meaning, but arrogance is excessive pride in oneself, combined with contempt for others. While haughtiness is a feeling of superiority over others, which is often exhibited by a person's demeanour and with disdain for everyone else.
Three Examples of Pride God Frowns On
In Jeremiah 9:23 we learn of three different types of pride God frowns on. Remarkably, these types of pride are also exhibited in certain types of people.
“Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,
Glory in Hebrew means "to praise, to shine, boast or be boastful". In this case the Lord says to the prophet Jeremiah that the wise man should not boast in his wisdom. In other words, don't brag about it, don't flaunt it over others. Don't think you know everything because you don't. Only God knows everything. Don't be arrogant.
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise;
The same is true for the mighty man. This doesn't necessarily mean a person who is strong. Mighty men were also people with positions of power and authority. Again, the Bible says don't praise or glory in your might. Don't boast about it. Don't lord it over others. Only God is all-powerful and mighty. Don't be haughty in your position.
He has shown strength with his arm;
Do you have money? Be thankful, use it for the betterment of mankind, but don't flaunt it. Don't boast about your riches or take pride in how much you have. The Bible says, a rich man who boasts about his money and is not rich toward God is a fool.
For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
Three Things All Christians Should Boast About
But let him who glories glory in this,
These are the things the Lord delights in. He wants His children to know these three things about Him and He wants His children to talk about them to others. And yes, talking about Him, His character and what He has done for us is a form of boasting. But it is not self-centred, prideful, arrogant or haughty because it is God-focused not self-focused. And when God is the focus of our lives then our eyes are taken off ourselves, and pride in what we may have accomplished with our lives, or pride in our jobs or money, will not take root and grow. Why? Because people who focus on God and who He is and what He has done for them, realize that everything they have comes from God and it is only because of God they have been blessed.
So when we see someone like Donald Trump, who exalts himself every time he opens his mouth, how should Christians react to that? How does God react to it? I'll let the Scriptures answer that.
Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord;