I’m a song writer. There is nothing quite like the feeling of listening to one of my songs and enjoying it so much that I know I would buy the song if I heard it from another artist.
Is that prideful?
For Christians, pride is one of the biggest “no no’s” there is. Humility is the key to Christianity.
You can’t become a Christian unless you are humble enough to admit that you’re a sinner. And you can’t love your neighbor as yourself, let alone your enemies, if you are prideful.
That makes us unsure about how to act when we feel really proud of ourselves or our work. Maybe you accomplished something by stepping outside your comfort zone. Maybe you faced a deep rooted fear. Maybe you created a work of art.
There are certain qualities we have and actions we take that make us feel a sense of pride. The question is, is pride always sin?
I don’t think it is.
I believe taking pride in your accomplishments is actually a gift from God. But it might help to change how we think about it, and possibly what we call it.
Here are two ways to be proud of yourself in a humble way.
1. Delight, not pride.
When you accomplish something and feel really good about it, that isn’t pride. It’s delight.
Being proud of, or prideful about, your work means that you need everyone to know that you did it. Your delight is not in the work itself but in the recognition from others that you hope your work will bring.
To have delight in your work is simply to enjoy it and be amazed that it came from your hands, or mind, or words, or what have you.
“So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot,” (Ecc. 3:22).
There is a bit of a nuance, however. A fine line, if you will. I said above that if your delight is from the approval of others then it’s pride. That’s true. But at the same time, I read recently that “Art needs an audience.”
When I write a song I want to show someone. Not just because I want them to think I’m great (although that is often somewhere in the mix), but also because I want others experience it. I believe in this particular piece of art so much that I think it will cause others to stand in awe as well. Not to stand in awe at me, but at the work of art, regardless of who created it.
2. Thankful, not entitled.
The thing that keeps you humble when you feel good about something you’ve done is thankfulness.
By thankfulness I simply mean acknowledging that the ability, skill or accomplishment isn’t yours. It was given to you by God. And He can take it away if and when He wants to.
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD,” (Job 1:21).
Let me expose a common misconception, though.
You do not have to make a point to say, “It was all the Lord,” or “All glory be to God,” every time someone compliments you and says you did a good job. Often times that can come across as fakeness or false humility (and it probably is), which is a form of pride.
There’s no need to over-spiritualize a compliment by replying, “It was all the Lord.” Just say thank you. But in your heart and mind always remember that the gift is not yours but God’s. He has simply loaned it to you.
Go enjoy the work that God has given you to do. Work hard. Be creative. Strive to achieve greatness. And when you do well, delight in what you’ve done, thanking the Lord for blessing you with the ability to do great work.
You may also like:
- 6 lies we believe about our calling
- 3 Dangers of Chasing Your Dreams
- “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called” is asinine!
- Give up on being happy (How to increase your hope)
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