Q&A: Spiritual Pride

Spiritual Pride

Question

What is spiritual pride?

Answer

Spiritual pride is not a term that appears in the Bible, so its use in modern Christian circles varies. Some people use it to describe pride in spiritual matters. Perhaps most commonly, it is used to refer to people who are proud of their spiritual gifts (as the Corinthians to whom Paul wrote) or of their spirituality (e.g. a good prayer life, ability to abstain from particular sins, etc.).

On occasion, the Bible does refer to people having proud spirits (e.g. Prov. 16:18,19; 29:23; Dan. 5:20). In these cases, it seems simply to indicate that the spirit is where pride resides in a human being. That is, if one is humble, then one has a humble spirit. If one is proud, then one has a proud spirit. Thus, using this convention, "spiritual pride" might just be another way of saying "pride." But in the normal course of modern conversation, people distinguish spiritual pride from other types of pride. In this case, they are not using the term in the way the Bible does, but more along the lines of the first use I mentioned.

Answer by Ra McLaughlin

Ra McLaughlin is Vice President of Finance and Administration at Third Millennium Ministries.