Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | July 3, 2019

Pride & Shame

(3 Minute Read)

On billboards and buses, in mainstream magazines and mainline denominations, in politicians’ patter and even on your co-workers’ coffee mugs — it’s hard to ignore the topic of pride.

These days you hear lots of boastful chatter about pride. People take pride in their careers, occupations, schools, intellect, sports teams, lifestyle, wealth, beauty, strength, skills, hobbies, pets, or houses, among many possibilities. Often strong positive emotions are associated with this pride.

In contrast, one of the most negative and unpleasant emotions is shame. Nobody likes humiliation, contempt, degradation, reproach, and shame. People often strive to avoid shame at all costs, even to the point of committing suicide.

Pride Causes Shame

Paradoxically, pride and shame, which seem to be opposites, are actually connected. Glorying in the wrong thing can lead to destruction and shame. That is one danger in pride that is made clear in Scripture.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18 ESV)
Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. (Philippians 3:19 ESV)
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. (Ephesians 5:11-12 ESV)

A result of pride in oneself is the refusal to acknowledge the Great Creator. This is a direct cause of shame.
O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake You shall be put to shame; those who turn away from You shall be written in the earth, for they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living water. (Jeremiah 17:13 ESV)
The more they increased, the more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame. (Hosea 4:7 ESV)

How Does One Avoid Shame?

Scripture gives clear advice for avoiding shame. First, commit to following the commandments of the Lord, the Word of God.
Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all Your commandments.
(Psalm 119:6 ESV)
May my heart be blameless in Your statutes, that I may not be put to shame!
(Psalm 119:80 ESV)

Second, commit to following Jesus of Nazareth as Lord and Savior.
As it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.”  (Romans 9:33 ESV)
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on Him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
(Romans 10:9-13 ESV)
For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” (1 Peter 2:6 ESV)

In What Should We Glory?

If much of what people glory in today leads to shame, what should men glory in? Again, Scripture gives a clear answer.
Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 9:23-24 ESV)

But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
(1 Corinthians 1:27-31 ESV)
“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 10:17 ESV)

Questions to Ponder

1. Of what are you most proud? When you eventually stand before the Great Creator on Judgment Day, will you point to this item with pride?
2. How do you cultivate a spirit of humility, the antidote to pride?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday July 3, 2019 A.D.

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:2 ESV)

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Responses

  1. Two things related to pride and shame:
    1) When Geerhardus Vos was installed as Professor at The Theological School in Grand Rapids, MI in 1888, his father Jan preached to the congregation a sermon on 2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (KJV)

    2) I recently read a book on humility (the virtuous 1st cousin of pride). The first sentence of the Preface was: Charles Spurgeon said, “The demon of pride was born with us, and it will not die one hour before us. It is so woven into the very warp and woof of our nature, that till we are wrapped in our winding-sheets we shall never hear the last of it.” This is a statement of the Biblical doctrine of Total Depravity. It is also an accurate description of what I have experienced in myself and observed in others in my lifetime. I remembered when I read that first sentence thinking, “I wonder if I need to read any further? I wonder if anything more memorable will be said than that?” Almost 2 years after completing the book, Spurgeons quote is the most prominent thing I remember from the book,

    Like


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