• Talizin: Putting Pride in its Proper Place

  • Putting Pride in its Proper Place

    Pride, as defined by a Google search, is “a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievement of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired, or consciousness of one’s own dignity.” In more recent times, the word has become synonymous with one’s identity in the LGBTQ+ community. But, is there a place for pride in Lutheran education?

    From a biblical perspective, pride is sin. Proverbs addresses pride’s destruction.

    • Proverbs 8:13— The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.
    • Proverbs 11:2— When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.
    • Proverbs 16:18— Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
    • Proverbs 21:24— “Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride.
    • Proverbs 29:23— One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.

    From these verses, we get a solid understanding of what God thinks of pride. It is the opposite of hating evil and fearing the Lord. Pride brings disgrace and destruction. In Mark 7:14–23, pride is included in a long list of sins including evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, and so on. Mark speaks on how sin comes from one’s heart.

    How often do we compare sin and think “I’m a good person; I haven’t murdered anyone”? Our human understanding ranks sin from acceptable to unacceptable to unforgivable. Ultimately, no matter the sin, it comes from the desires of our flesh, our heart. 1 John 2:16 says, “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.”

    Conversely, in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, one of the Beatitudes states, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5 Jesus was telling His followers to be gentle and quiet, and He set the perfect example of what this looks like in how He lived. Looking at all of the Beatitudes, the blessed characteristics that Jesus describes are contrary to what the world tells us.

    Where, as believers, are we to place our identity? Our identity is in Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior! We are to give our lives and our hearts to Christ.The world tells us we should take pride in our identity, who we have deemed ourselves to be, our feelings, and desires. We can even be proud of our Lutheran heritage! But, where, as believers, are we to place our identity? Our identity is in Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior! We are to give our lives and our hearts to Christ. Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” That is something to be proud of! It’s nothing that we have done, but 100% what Christ did for us. Ephesians 2:18 makes this perfectly clear: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is NOT your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Our world is suffering from an identity crisis and it’s our mission as the church to tell everyone who they are as an image-bearing part of God’s creation.

    • How do your school programs show pride in their operation?
    • What measures can you take to put pride in biblical perspective?
    • In what areas of school life is “pride in perspective” most difficult to manage? Why?

    Is there a place for pride in Lutheran education? 1 Corinthians 1:31 indicates “so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” Putting Christ at the center of all we do and giving all the glory to Him is where pride fits in Lutheran education. Teaching students math, science, language arts, and social studies, while important, is not the main goal of Lutheran education. The students’ salvation, placing their faith and trust in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, is the pinnacle of Lutheran education. As educators teach their content and boldly proclaim the name of Jesus, the Holy Spirit can take hold of each one and go with them into their future unashamed. Romans 1:16 boldly claims, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…”

    Evidence of the Spirit’s work, students going into the world proclaiming Jesus as Lord of their life, admitting their sin and need for a Savior, and faith that Jesus is their Savior, are ways that the Lord shows His presence in Lutheran education. As we see this happening, we can take pride in knowing that Christ is exalted and working in our schools. We can take pride in knowing “yet not I, but through Christ in me.”

    Becky Talizin is a middle school science teacher and graduate of Immanuel Lutheran School in Palatine, Ill.

    All quoted Scripture is from the English Standard Version.

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