I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. Psalm 139:14
I (jcd) had just finished addressing an audience on the importance of self-confidence in children when a woman approached me. My comments had contradicted her theology. “God wants me to think of myself as being no better than a worm,” she said, apparently referring to David’s analogy in Psalm 22:6. “I would like to respect myself, but God could not approve of that kind of pride, could He?”
It’s true that the Bible condemns the concept of human pride. God seems to hold a special disdain for this particular sin. In Proverbs 6:16–19, a “proud look” (kjv) is listed first among God’s seven most despised sins. But language is dynamic; the meaning of words shifts with time. I don’t believe that the Lord is displeased with a parent’s pride in a son who succeeds at school or daughter who wins a race. The biblical meaning of pride—better translated today as haughty—is the case of a person who is too pompous to bow humbly before God, confessing sins and submitting to a life of service to others.
Your children should never be taught that they are worthless. Jesus did not leave His throne in heaven to die for the “worms” of the world. He loves us as members of the family of God, calling us “brothers and sisters.” I call that cause for genuine self-esteem.
Do your kids understand the biblical meaning of pride? Do you?
Do any of your kids exhibit attitudes of haughtiness or worthlessness?
If so, what can you do to help them develop godly self-esteem?
Lord, we are so grateful to be brothers and sisters in Your holy family. Help us to avoid the kind of pride that so clearly offends You, and enable us to respect ourselves in a manner that is pleasing to You. Amen.