Why I’m Not Proud to be an American

January 16, 2013 at 11:45 am | Posted in Jeremiah, Uncategorized | 10 Comments
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I was born in America, and most of the time I love it here. I suppose it’s possible that one day, when I don’t have anything better to do, I will sit in front of my computer all day and post conspiracy theories about the government on Facebook, and make pointed jabs at the President, and publish funny photos and links to nasty diatribes about whoever the currently elected officials are. But let me go on record right now as saying that I hope to avoid that if I can. Despite all the problems with our politicians and our political system, I can’t think of any place I would rather live (except Heaven, of course.)

But here’s the deal: I didn’t choose to be an American. It just so happened that God arranged it so I would be born here. I didn’t have to work hard to earn my citizenship. I didn’t have to swim across a river, sail across an ocean, hike through a forest, or even pass a written exam. Being American – like everything else in my life – is a blessing I did not deserve.

Just now, my favorite search engine counted the word “pride” 46 times in my King James Bible, and, the best I can tell, it’s always a bad thing. “Proud” is in there 47 times, “haughty” 10, and “puffed up” 6. Have you ever done a Biblical word study on how God feels about pride? It might knock the wind out of your sails.

Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise [man] glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty [man] glory in his might, let not the rich [man] glory in his riches:

Jeremiah 9:23

If even the wise, the mighty, and the rich are not supposed to boast about their accomplishments, achievements, or advancements, then how in the world can I be “proud” of the nation in which I happen to live? Look, I’m not the theological language police, but I would like to see all of us Christians clean up our vocabulary a little bit. When our kids get good grades, do well in sports, or perform well at a recital, my wife and I try to say that we’re “thankful” for them. That seems much more God-glorifying than saying we’re “proud” of them. I feel the same way about America. I am not proud to be an American, but I am thankful to the Lord that He made me one. And if you really feel like you just have to express pride about something, try this one on for size:

But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I [am] the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these [things] I delight, saith the LORD.

Jeremiah 9:24

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  1. […] Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be. Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you – people who make your day a little brighter […]

  2. […] a reaping of what was sewn in cold-heartedness, lack of love, even hatred and gloating over others. Pride is never a good thing before God, and it is extremely important to stay in an attitude of […]

  3. […] God’s weapon. He used the Assyrians to chasten His people, but they themselves became proud, and pride is an abomination to […]

  4. […] else? (covetous) Do you desire to be looked up to, and to be told how “great” you are? (proud) Do you really believe that you are great? (boasters) Do you treat God’s name as an […]

  5. […] of pride, where we have somehow redefined it to be a good thing. So we get folks who are proud of their country, proud of their kids, proud of the U.S. Soccer team, proud of their family or last name. And then […]

  6. […] learned from their experiences, but they wanted the cheap instead of the costly because of their pride and […]

  7. […] have written about this before, but – and this is hardly surprising – I apparently managed to […]

  8. […] to turn away from God, to become divisive and petty, and (his specialty) to become proud – proud of their community, proud of their neighbors, proud of their church, proud of the way they themselves behaved in a […]

  9. […] of us – not our impressive abilities and not our works. We can’t “earn” grace. I”m not proud to be an American because I had nothing to do with where I was born. It would be even more ludicrous for me to be […]

  10. […] think of ourselves as property, and especially not someone else’s property. If, like me, are an American, you believe that our leaders are supposed to serve us, not rule over us. We think we are free and […]


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