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Pride and self-esteem

Discussion in 'Exploring Christianity' started by doubtingmerle, Jul 3, 2022.

  1. doubtingmerle

    doubtingmerle I'll think about it. Supporter

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    The Bible speaks frequently of pride. Here are verses on pride; here are verses on the proud; and here are verses on the haughty. The Bible condemns pride.

    Many Christians trust these verses but also value high self-esteem.

    How is pride different from high self-esteem?
     
  2. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    Good question.

    Personally I think believers should be seeking a Godly confidence.
     
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  3. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Humility, according to St. Thomas Aquinas, involves accurately assessing your capabilities. That differs from being self debasement. Self debasement is not proper humility even if people sometimes see it that way. Saying you are the best for a particular job is not prideful if it is indeed true you are the best for the job.
     
  4. Ligurian

    Ligurian Other Sheep

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    "These times are so uncertain
    There's a yearning undefined
    And people filled with rage
    We all need a little tenderness
    How can love survive in such a graceless age
    The trust and self-assurance that lead to happiness
    They're the very things we kill, I guess
    Pride and competition cannot fill these empty arms
    And the work I put between us,
    You know it doesn't keep me warm"
    --Don Henly, The Heart of the Matter

    He's not wrong.
     
  5. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    I recommend a study in Scripture on how believers are viewed by God and challenge the believer to agree with What God is saying personally about them as a believer.

    This is the way to establish a Godly Confidence.
     
  6. Rachel20

    Rachel20 Well-Known Member

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    IMO the sin of pride involves not giving God the glory that belongs to him, but taking it to yourself. You see it when Nebuchadnezzar became lifted up in pride (Dan 4) and again when Belshazzar, who should have known better, did the same (Dan 5). But mainly you see it in Satan's fall and his "I wills" (I will be like the most high).


    At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.
    The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?
    While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.
    And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. Dan 4:29-32


    O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour:
    And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down.
    But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him:
    And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.
    And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;
    But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven
    ; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:
    Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.
    And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
    This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.
    TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
    PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. Dan 5:18-28
     
  7. lsume

    lsume Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In the day that anyone meets God The Father, they will quickly understand why there is no place for pride as I now understand it.
     
  8. friend of

    friend of Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A person can be confident and yet humble at the same time
     
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  9. Jonaitis

    Jonaitis Justified

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    The way it is employed in Scripture is more of an inordinate form of self-esteem, that is, unreasonable conceit of one's own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, rank, etc., which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often in contempt of others.
     
  10. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    I'm with @Carl Emerson

    There are lots of passages that deal with pride and arrogance, but you also got the opposite problem as well. Pride is bad because it makes people want to sin and also not want to repent, people can also trust in their own strength rather than God.


    But you also got the same problems where people can have a bad self esteem and self confidence and that can be a problem. Moses had trouble believing in God after his time in the wilderness where he was afraid to finally lead people because he stammered. Some people this was the problem with King Saul as well, he also was "small in his own eyes" and this also may have been a factor why he disobeyed the command to wait for the prophet Samuel to give the sacrifice, it made him more sensitive of the disapproval of the people and fear if they would leave him etc.


    Another aspect too is God wants to work through us. God has given us various gifts and wants us to help others through all the different strengths and experiences he gives us. And like the previous character of the Bible we can have the same problems as they had.


    There also are some other things too. Like the nature of Truth in Hebrew, also has connotations of wholeness and strength. It basically is relational integrity. To some degree you have to be strong if you are going to be a resource to other people, kind of like a great pillar that needs to be made of good materials, without cracks and weaknesses if it is going to bear the load of the ceiling, at least in the long term for decades, centuries etc.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2022
  11. Watchman1

    Watchman1 Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Self-esteem comes out of humanism, where humans have all the answers they need without having to resort to an outside agency, such as God, to order their lives and assist them to make decisions. Humanism puts man on the throne and rejects the Lordship of Christ.

    If we carefully examine the teaching of the Prosperity and Guaranteed Healing teachers, we see the same elements of humanism. The doctrine and "we are gods and can speak creative words in the same way God can", and "God can only do what we give Him permission to do", and "we can name and claim whatever we decide to believe for", plus "the power of positive thinking", all have their roots in humanism. It puts man at the centre of things and in total control of his world, and even God Himself has to come into line with man's "positive and creative thinking and talking".

    Pride comes from the same root. It says, "I can get along quite well without God thank you very much." So we see that pride, humanism and self-esteem are all linked. They come from the same bad root, which results in a bad tree with bad fruit.
     
  12. doubtingmerle

    doubtingmerle I'll think about it. Supporter

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    Ok, so when the Bible warns of pride it is referring to a self-esteem that in unreasonably high.
    Yes, that seems to be what it means. So why is it that the Bible is so concerned about an inordinately high self-esteem, but never deals with a self-esteem that is too low?
    I think self-esteem needs to be realistic (and positive). There are legitimate concerns about self-esteem being too low or too high.
     
  13. Watchman1

    Watchman1 Senior Veteran Supporter

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    So, what do you think of Martyn Lloyd-Jones saying, "There is no such person as a good Christian, but vile people who are saved by the grace of God", or Charles Spurgeon saying, "I'm just a poor sinner and nothing at all, but Jesus Christ is my All in All"?
     
  14. doubtingmerle

    doubtingmerle I'll think about it. Supporter

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    Lots of Christians will agree with me that self-esteem does not result in a bad tree with bad fruit.
     
  15. doubtingmerle

    doubtingmerle I'll think about it. Supporter

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    I think they have a low view of human nature, a view that is not consistent with the modern emphasis on self-esteem. See Total Depravity and Self-Esteem .
     
  16. Watchman1

    Watchman1 Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Joel Osteen, a "self-esteem" motivational preacher, fills stadiums with many thousands of people, and yet he doesn't preach the Gospel. Having a whole stadium of people agreeing with him that having self-esteem is vitally important for success and wealth, doesn't necessarily mean that he is right.
     
  17. Watchman1

    Watchman1 Senior Veteran Supporter

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    I think that you would enjoy Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, and Kenneth Copeland, and quite comfortable listening to their teaching.
     
  18. Aussie Pete

    Aussie Pete Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We need to see ourselves as God sees us. We were born sinners but that is not what God intends for us. He kills the sinful nature and raises us up with Christ to be new beings. We are not sinners trying to be saints. We are saints who sometimes sin. Pride looks at the old self, either in a positive or a negative way. It's just as bad to beat ourselves up as it is to imagine we are better than we are.

    God hides us in Jesus (Colossians 3:3). Jesus did not hide who He was. Yet He also said, "I am humble." That seems such a proud statement! Yet it is true. We need to forget about ourselves and focus entirely on Christ (Hebrews 12:2)

    We become what we focus on. We need to know who we are in Christ and who Christ is in us. We still have the ability to sin. We also have the power of Christ within to overcome.

    I spent decades trying to get a breakthrough. I felt that I was lacking something but I could not work out what. The breakthrough came when I realised that I did not need a breakthrough. I am complete in Christ! (1 John 2:5). When you know that Jesus is living in you to be all that God requires of you, the pressure comes off. Jesus is well pleasing to God. That's enough for me.
     
  19. Jonaitis

    Jonaitis Justified

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    I think it is drawn out in putting confidence in God. He becomes the reason for realistic, positive and appropriate concern for personal self-esteem.
     
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