Is pride always a sin?

We are to be happy when we do good things.  But what is our attitude when we do good work?  Do we take all the credit without acknowledging those who helped us or without thanking God for helping us?

When we have done good work we should be pleased.  We should also give thanks to anyone who has helped us (share the credit).  We should thank God for the gifts he has given us to make it possible to do good.

When people tell us we have done a good job, we should be gracious and thank them for the compliment.  It is not true humility when we try and make it seem like we didn’t do that much.  I know because I do this.  When people give me a compliment I try to downplay the significance of what I have done; perhaps saying something like ‘oh it didn’t take that much.”  God created the world in six days and on the seventh day he rested and appreciated the good work he did.  We are to follow God’s example.  When I receive a compliment now I try to offer a thank you and say I am able to do it only because of the grace of God.

Pride becomes a problem when we take ALL the credit ourself and build an ego where we claim we did it on our own and then cut ourselves off from God and others.  Then, when we try to do by ourselves, we find out just how much help we need from God.  We try to do it our way rather than God’s way.  We come to think we know better than God.

At times, when I read the Letters of St. Paul in the New Testament, I feel like he had a big ego because he talks a lot about the good work he has done.  But then we read in 2 Corinthians 12:9 we read

“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.

God gives us each different gifts in different ways.  It is when we acknowledge that we can’t do it all ourselves that God makes up for what we cannot do ourselves.  It is when we acknowledge what we can’t do that God helps us, making us strong.

Do you have too much pride?  Do you acknowledge God’s help?  Do you acknowledge the help of others?


Fr. Jeff


  1. […] Mary found out she had been chosen to be the mother of Jesus.  Mary’s reaction is not one of pride.  She does not begin to brag that she has been chosen as Jesus’ mother.  She does not […]

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