Recently on Facebook, a small icon on my sidebar caught my attention saying, "I am A Christian & I'm Proud."
That statement confused me for a moment, "Are Christians supposed to be proud?" I explored the linked page and found out that it isn't really about being proud. It's just the statement that misled me to think that Christians are proud people.
I feel sad at the growing vagueness in word usages today. We use words without really knowing what they mean and even use them flippantly. What does the word proud really mean?
adjective,-er, -est, adverb, –adjective
1. feeling pleasure or satisfaction over something regarded as highly honorable or creditable to oneself (often fol. by of, an infinitive, or a clause).
2. having, proceeding from, or showing a high opinion of one's own dignity, importance, or superiority.
Isn't it very embarrassing (for me it is) to claim ourselves creditable to something that we do not really deserve? Becoming God's children was never to our credit and something we should not be proud of. Nowhere in the Scriptures are we admonished to be proud. Wherever you see the word proud in the Scriptures, it will always be followed with some sort of condemnation.
I think the right word that we should use in making ourselves known as followers of Christ is, Unashamed. The word means this,
1. not ashamed; not restrained by embarrassment or consciousness of moral guilt2. open; unconcealed; unabashed:
And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. 1 John 2:28 (NIV)
I don't judge the motives of those who call themselves Christians and are proud to say it. It may be that they mean something else and just used the wrong word to express themselves. But let us no longer tolerate the use of words without meaning it. God knows well the meaning of what He is saying and so should we.
Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed. 1 Samuel 2:3 (NIV)