Blog Posts on Pride & Humility

Fake Papers, Chastened Pride

John Piper
Fake Papers, Chastened Pride

I wonder which is stronger: the desire for erotic pleasure or the desire to avoid ridicule? Which is stronger: the craving of the body for sexual pleasure, or the craving of the ego for notable praise?It’s hard to measure, because erotic power is mainly in the body, while fear of ridicule and love for praise are mainly in the soul. Both are massive compared to the human resources to control them.

Published Gibberish

I was chastened recently by the news that 120 published academic... Continue Reading

The Chaos of Humility

Jonathan Parnell
The Chaos of Humility

Humility, for many of us, might just be mild-mannered niceness. We like to think of it all buttoned up and soft-spoken, cloaked in the quiet gray sweater his grandmother made, sitting by the modest fireplace of a friend’s home, patiently greeting and warming a crowded room of other virtues. Humility, as we might picture him, is the unnoticed nice guy who deflects all the praise and makes everyone else feel good.

But maybe we should reconsider.

For the Christian, virtue is better called... Continue Reading

The Powerful Glory of Yielding Power

Jon Bloom
The Powerful Glory of Yielding Power

Perhaps the only thing harder for prideful humans than humbly wielding power is humbly yielding power.

And the most beautiful Old Testament example of this is the way Jonathan yielded Israel’s throne to David. But as we see in 1 Samuel 23:15–18, he did far more than just yield.

Abinadab had watched his fugitive younger brother receive Jonathan like royalty. Such an embrace. Such intimate talk. Such weeping in farewell. What had David divulged to the enemy’s son?

He stepped... Continue Reading

The Pride of Nazareth

Jon Bloom

Jesus and Nazareth are inseparable. Jesus spent most of his life in Nazareth. The prophets had said, "He shall be called a Nazarene" (Matthew 2:23). History would remember him as Jesus of Nazareth. Even the demons called him that (Luke 4:34).

That's why this verse is one of the saddest in the Bible:

And he did not do many mighty works [in Nazareth], because of their unbelief. (Matthew 13:58)

It's a great irony that the Pride of Nazareth was rejected by the Nazarenes because of pride.

... Continue Reading

Winning Like a Christian Hedonist

Marshall Segal
Winning Like a Christian Hedonist

Pride is an ugly thing whenever it shows itself. It tinges the cuteness of the smallest toddler declaring their independence and self-centeredness with screams too young for words. It stains the honor of the elderly grandfather losing control of his temper and tongue. And it rears its head on the field of athletic competition time and time again.

Over the last couple weeks, the Olympic Games have proven this, especially in the greatest triumphs. It’s difficult to explain,... Continue Reading

Self, Doubt, and Writing

Sally Lloyd-Jones
Self, Doubt, and Writing

I used to think my self-doubt and insecurity about writing were signs of my profound humility. It felt noble and heroic to be this full of agonizing self-doubt. It felt lowly and meek to be so tortured about whether or not I could write. I could almost hear the soundtrack and the violins. If there'd been open, windswept moors nearby, I'd have been on them.

But that's the thing about pride. It hides itself.

The more I go on, the more I realize, it's entirely the other way round. Our... Continue Reading

He Must Increase, But I Must Decrease

Jon Bloom

All of us want to finish well. But so many of us do not. Why? Because we too easily cherish our roles in the Great Wedding more than the wedding itself. Which is why John the Baptist1 must become our mentor.


It was all a bit hard to comprehend.

John’s disciples had understood his mission. He had come to prepare the way for the Hope of Israel. It had been thrilling. The long-expected time was so close — that climactic day when Jesus appeared and John publicly... Continue Reading

John Piper on the Celebrity Factor and Pastoral Ministry

Jonathan Parnell

Is it hero worship or holy emulation? What are the dynamics that factor into the differences between true-hearted appreciation and unhealthy veneration?

The issue of a "celebrity" status among evangelical pastors has been the topic of some recent discussion. This new episode of Theology Refresh — a podcast for pastors hosted by David Mathis — interviews John Piper on how he has thought through this important subject.

Stream or download the interview.

... Continue Reading

What We May Actually Believe

Jonathan Parnell

In his article, "Pursuing the Servant's Mindset" (PDF), Stuart Scott explains the biblical concept of pride. He writes:

What's the definition of pride?

If we could sum it up, it's the mindset of self, the pursuit of self-exaltation, a focus on the desire to control all things for self. In exalting himself, the person actually believes, "I am valuable and worthy. I am the source of anything good or wise or successful. I deserve the credit for whatever I achieve or acquire. I... Continue Reading

God Has Two Hands

Josh Etter

John Calvin comments on 1 Peter 5:5:

We are to imagine that; God has two hands; the one, which like a hammer beats down and breaks in pieces those who raise up themselves; and the other, which raises up the humble who willingly let down themselves, and is like a firm prop to sustain them. Were we really convinced of this, and had it deeply fixed in our minds, who of us would dare by pride to urge war with God?

Taken from Calvin's Commentaries.