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Conceit or is it Pride?

Selfish pride can be defined as "excessive confidence or glorification in one's self, possessions or nation." The concept is found in scripture, along with pride itself, in words such as arrogance, haughtiness and conceit, among others, all of which are opposite of Godly humility. The wrongness of self-centered pride is essentially twofold, one manifestation is spiritual the other is worldly.   On a spiritual level, selfish pride inevitably leads to disregard, disrespect and disobedience to God.  A good example of this in scripture is the case where self-centered pride is primarily what transformed the once-righteous Lucifer into the wicked Satan after he became too impressed with himself.

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.  Isaiah 14:12-14

On a worldly level, selfish pride very often results in self-destructive behavior because, while a form of self-delusion, it isn't necessarily as much an overestimation of one's self as it is a dangerous underestimation of others.  This self-destruction is not without prior evidences seen in a person's character and actions.

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.  Proverbs 16:18

In the United States part of being an American is to be proud.  Parents have taught their children to have pride in their country, their families, their work, their stuff and themselves, for many years?  Is this wrong?  The Bible has much to say about pride.  The words "pride" and "proud" are used nearly one hundred times in scripture.  What does GOD think about pride?  Amazing to some, pride tops list of the famous "seven deadly sins". 

These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.  Proverbs 6:16-19

All the commandments break down to only two.Love GOD and love others.  Selfish pride does neither.  Selfish pride is sin.

The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.  Proverbs 8:13

For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak. Psalm 59:12

For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.  The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.  Psalm 10:3-4

When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. Proverbs 11:2

God promises to turn the arrogant and proud to shrinking violets.  God will humble those who don't humble themselves.

And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.  And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.  And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.  Leviticus 26:18-21

The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.  Isaiah 2:11

A man's pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit.  Proverbs 29:23

We are encouraged to humble ourselves. 

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.  James 4:10

GOD does not necessarily have to do that work for us.  If we are humble, the opposite of proud, GOD Himself will lift us up!  What a promise!  One way or another GOD wants us humble, and therefore usable.

The Bible does speak of a good form of pride.   It is different than selfish pride.  This type of pride is based on a pride for others who are living in obedience to GOD.  This kind of pride is aptly referred to as glory or glorying.

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.  Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.  I speak not this to condemn you: for I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die and live with you.  Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation. 2 Corinthians 7:1-4

For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart.  2 Corinthians 5:12

Hmmm.Love GOD, love others.glory in GOD, glory in others.  There seems to be a pattern there!  Love your family, love your country, do your best in all unto the LORD, but let humility be a quality that possesses your very being.  It's what GOD wants for all of us, because He cares for us and knows what is best for us.better than we do.

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:  Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 1 Peter 5:5-7

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