Bible Question:

Can you give Biblical examples of when pride is good?

Bible Answer:

There are a variety of Hebrew and Greek words which are translated as “pride” in our Bibles. But the basic meaning in all of them is that someone has a superior attitude toward others. A person once said that “when mud is stuck on itself it is pride.”

Good Pride

I am aware of only one passage in the Bible which is translated in such a way as to say that pride is good. The verse is found in 2 Chronicles.

He took great pride in the ways of the LORD and again removed the high places and the Asherim from Judah. (NASB) 2 Chronicles 17:6

But the Hebrew actually says that “his heart was exalted.” This means that he was excited about the ways of the Lord. This is not our normal meaning of pride.

Some people talk about the need for people to have a positive self image. Actually, there is no such thing as a positive self image apart from God. Our worth and value is found in the fact that God loves us and died for us. God tells us that He values us very much.

Bad Pride

Pride is a sin. There are many verses that say this. Here are a couple.

When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom. (NASB) Prov. 11:2

A man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor. (NASB) Prov. 29:23

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. (NASB) 1 John 2:16

Probably, the strongest passage in the Bible is found in the book of James.

But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. (NASB) James 4:6-9


Pride seeks to promote self rather than God. God says that unless we have been forgiven our sins, we are unholy. That is nothing to be proud about. When a man or woman believes in Jesus, he or she becomes holy before God by God’s declaration, but we are sin in this life. That is nothing to proud about, since He has decided to consider us to be holy. Yet, we can rejoice that God loves us and has forgiven us. He meets our needs and cares for us. He loves us!