Good Pride vs. Bad Pride

By Joey and Carla Link
March 24, 2021

Good Pride – “Satisfaction in a job well done that took a lot of effort.”
Bad Pride – “When a person believes he or she is better than others and knows more than everyone else, or when a person believes he is capable of something he really isn’t.”
I (Carla) spent several months working on a quilt for one of my granddaughters. I couldn’t find a pattern I liked so I decided to design it myself. It turned out beautifully and she loved it and I was proud of the way it turned out. This is an example of good pride, for a job well done. Telling your child you are proud of them for getting good grades when you know he/she studied extra hard is another example of good pride. Then there’s bad pride. A mother confided in me the other day that she is tired of reminding her kids to say “Thank you”. Two little words yet so hard to say. Why is that? To be thankful, the focus is on the person you are thanking, not yourself. To be characterized by a spirit of thankfulness is to think of others more often than you think of yourself, or put their needs and wants before yours. Young children don’t understand this and all the talking to them about it isn’t going to get them to. They want what they want and will let you know how unhappy they are when they don’t get it. It is good to teach them to say “thank you” so it will become a habit. When they are old enough to understand why they should be thankful for things they receive and to people who do nice things for them the “lights will come on” as they say because they have been doing it already. Our children are the same way, when they decide they want what they want to do more than what you as their parents tell them to do, they are being proudWhen your child can stand up and talk back to you or tell you “NO” to your face, they have moved out from being your child to being a peer and being proudthey think they know what is best, and by making the choices they are making, they are declaring they are worshiping themselves over God and being obedient to you.  God talks about pride in this way: “Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Proverbs 26:12
The heart attitude that lies behind being “wise in your own eyes” is a proud and arrogant spirit.“To fear the Lord is to hate evil. I (God) hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” Proverbs 8:13 Pride focuses on self. A child who is characterized by pride will not put others first, including his/her parents and God. “Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” Proverbs 13:10
Today’s generation of children have a problem with being “wise in their own eyes”. We think this is because they have been bombarded since they were born with a culture that teaches them to have a strong self-esteem, which in reality teaches them to focus on self. Kids need to have a healthy self-esteem which ultimately is based on their identity in Christ. Someone who has a healthy self-esteem has an in-born sense that tells them to take care of themselves, protecting themself from harm when necessary. Someone with an unhealthy self-esteem elevates promoting themself above others. What do Children Who are Arrogant Look Like?

  • They “show off” what they know – Instead of looking to help others with knowledge, they use it to make others feel dumb or less smart than they are
  • They boast and brag
  • They argue with you
  • They constantly correct you and others
  • They have difficulty submitting to those in authority
  • They frequently point out the fault of others
  • They make excuses for their behavior
  • They take freedoms they have not earned
  • They have to be “first” and “best”

 “If you have played the fool and exalted yourself, clap your hand over your mouth.”Proverbs 30:32 If Your Child is Prone to Pride Teach Him:

  • How God views a proud spirit vs. a humble spirit
  • Teach him to think of others first
  • Always have him work through the repentance process for big and little things
  • Work with him to develop a heart that is willing to serve, not lead
  • Teach him to comply even if he doesn’t agree
  • Teach him that compromise and working things out with others is better than quarrels, arguments or debates
  • Teach him to be gentle and kind in his tone and words when talking
  • Teach him to ask permission for what he wants to keep him from taking freedoms he hasn’t earned.

ASK QUESTIONS!When dealing with a child who is characterized by being wise in his own eyes, ask them these questions when they want to know something they don’t have to know.
·      “Do you need to know this?” ·      “Is it any of your business?
Teaching your kids about bad pride and how it affects them and others is a task all parents should consider. Consider this: When was the last time one of your children wanted something he/she didn’t get? When was the last time they wanted something they didn’t get to do?
“For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you and understanding will guard you. “Proverbs 2:6