‘Pride Month’: When is Enough, Enough?

Written Dr. Everett Piper

As we enter the last couple weeks of June, officially designated as “Pride Month” on our national calendar, I have a couple of questions.

The most basic of which is this: Is pride a good thing? Is it a virtue, and is it wise for an entire culture to celebrate something traditionally considered the quintessential vice and one of the seven deadly sins?

Now in answering this, dare I suggest we consider the lessons of history? In other words, do the sages of the ages have anything to teach us about people and cultures that celebrate pride?

Well, a quick Google search (or resorting to the old-fashioned method of learning, i.e., actually reading a book or two) reveals that those who have gone before us had quite a bit to say about pride. In fact, they had a lot to say! Here’s just a sampling.

Israel’s King David said to be a man after God’s own heart, wrote, “The Lord preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride. … For the wicked boasts of the desires of his soul. … In the pride of his face … all his thoughts are, ‘There is no God.’ … Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart, he will not endure.”

David’s son, Solomon, reportedly the wisest man of his time, said, “Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech [God] hates. … Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished. … Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin. … The Lord tears down the house of the proud. … Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. … One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor. … Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”

Before that, the prophet Isaiah warned, “The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled. … The Lord of hosts has purposed it, to defile the pompous pride of all glory, to dishonor all the honored of the earth. … For the Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up — and it shall be brought low. … I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant, and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless. … This is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.”

And even earlier, Job, probably one of the most ancient of books, tells us that “[God] sees everything that is high; He is king over all the sons of pride.”

In the New Testament, James, the earthly brother of Jesus, was quite clear when he said, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. … Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”

Peter, the rock upon which Christ promised he would build his church, taught, “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’” And then there is Paul, who, quite the opposite of all the “love is love” nonsense, told us “love is not arrogant” or self-centered and that we should never be “haughty or wise in our own sight. … For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”

Building upon these teachings, Thomas Aquinas added, “Pride is so-called because a man aims higher than he is. He who wishes to overstep what he is, is proud.”

The Sirach states: “Pride is like a fountain pouring out sin, and whoever persists in it is full of wickedness.”

Chaucer declared, “The root of all these seven sins is Pride, the general root of all harms.”

Augustine proclaimed, “Pride despises the more just dominion of a higher authority.”

Friedrich von Hayek warned, “Pride is the fatal conceit and the road to serfdom.”

And C.S. Lewis summarized, “He who is proud would rather reign in hell than serve in heaven. … The essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. … Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.”

Finally, if all the above isn’t good enough for you, Jesus himself said, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

If there is any hope left for our nation, it is in the remnant who are, right now, on their knees, in confession and humility, praying for forgiveness rather than celebrating their pride.

“It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.” Abraham Lincoln, in his call for a “National Day of Humiliation,” rather than a month-long celebration of pride.

Dr. Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper), is a former university president and radio host. He is the author of “Not a Daycare: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” and Grow Up! Life Isn’t Safe But It’s Good, both published by Regnery. This article was originally published by The Washington Times.

Dr. Piper has been a featured speaker in dozens of venues including the Values Voter Summit, the Council for National Policy, the Young American Foundation, the National Congress for Families, and the inaugural ceremony for the United States Department of Health and Human Service’s and Office of Civil Rights creation of a new division for religious freedom. Go here to listen and watch these and/or for more info.