Taking Pride in Being Humble?

I never thought I could, would or should combine pride and humility. To me the two cannot coexist. The person who has pride cannot be humble. The person who is humble is never proud – right?

I take great pride in the things I do.              

Do you take great pride in the things you do? Is it wrong to take pride in what you are doing and be proud of what you have done? Avoiding the use of the words pride and proud when describing one’s work ethic and accomplishments is most often the best route to take to maintain one’s appearance of humility and steering clear of the biblical no-no that leads to destruction (Proverbs 16:18).

I am proud of my kids.

Are you proud of your kids? Is it wrong to be proud of your offspring, the man or woman they have become and their accomplishments? Avoiding the use of the words pride and proud when describing one’s children is most often the best route to take. After all, if pride leads to destruction (Proverbs 16:18) this means there could be a double danger involved. If I am proud of someone else is it not possible that my pride could cause not only my destruction but the destruction of the one who is the recipient of my pride?

The limitations of the English language create difficulty for the Christ follower.

If we dig deeper than the words of Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” and seek to understand the intentions of the author and more important the reason God inspired these words, I believe we can safely return to using the words pride and proud and still be a follower of Christ.

The word pride is in this verse and I would suggest in any verse in the Bible that decries pride, is best understood when it is combined with the word haughty also used in Proverbs 16:18. “A haughty spirit…” refers to an exaggerated sense of one’s own value. Someone who is haughty is vain, arrogant, conceited and proud. These words in English are often used interchangeably however, when referring to one’s own accomplishments, work ethic or children and using the word pride or proud, most people are not vain, arrogant or conceited. In Proverbs 16:18 and other passages in the Bible, those who are haughty, vain, arrogant and conceited, proud in a sinful way, are the people being called out and if they do not change, will face destruction.

I am proud of being humble.

Are you proud of being humble? Is it wrong to be take pride in the work ethic you employ when you live out God’s call to be humble? Is it wrong to be proud of the humility you have shown in the past? Is it wrong to be proud of your children’s humility? If it is nothaughty, vain, arrogant or conceited but rather taking joy in living the way God wants you to live and the way God wants your children to live, is it wrong?

I am not proud of the way I have lived out humility.

Being humble has become more to me than just humility. I have, over the years, become obsessed with being humble. I have lived in fear of being proud of my work ethic, overjoyed when using my talents and pleased by success. There is no question in my mind that I am who I am because God entrusted and empowered me to be me. I have no trouble saying I am nothing without Him. My problem, or maybe I should say my fear is driven by the limits of the only language I speak. I have missed out on being proud of being a follower of Christ who embraces the talents and gifts He empowered and entrusted me with because I didn’t want to become haughty, to have an exaggerated sense of my own value, to become someone who is vain, arrogant, conceited or prideful. Have you?

Where is the line between rejoicing in my God entrusted talents, God empowered accomplishments and hard work and having an exaggerated sense of my own value? Humility is not the lack of taking pride in one’s work and accomplishments or avoiding enjoying being the me God created me. Humility is avoiding being vain, arrogant, conceited or prideful when being the me God created me to be.


  1. To me being humble is having confidence in who I am in Christ and what my capabilities are that The Holy Sprit nurtures in me to accomplish the duties Christ has assigned my, His servant, to do in service unto Him .Joseph- Anthony a son of Jehovah

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