What Does It Mean to Be “Puffed Up?”

The Greek word phusioo (φυσιόω) means “to puff or blow up.” It comes from the word phusa which means “bellows.” Some form of the word appears five times in Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians and once in his epistle to the Colossians. In the King James Version of the Bible, it is always translated as “puffed up.” Other translations use words like “arrogant” or “boastful. One translation uses the phrase “inflated with pride.” (See, for example, 1 Corinthians 4:6, 18, 19 in the Holman Christian Standard Bible.)

The phrase “puffed up” appears nine times in the Book of Mormon, always in reference to pride.

We don’t commonly use the term “puffed up” in modern English, but we have expressions with similar imagery: being full of oneself, having a big head, or being too big for one’s boots.

Today, I will be careful not to become “puffed up.” I will recognize that accomplishments can easily go to my head and distort my view of reality. I will remember that this distortion will lead to inappropriate behavior if it is not removed. I will remember that being puffed up is inconsistent with charity, unselfishness, and peace.

2 thoughts on “What Does It Mean to Be “Puffed Up?”

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  1. President Benson was truly inspired when he called pride a “universal sin”. I find pride creeping into my life in so many little ways. It’s often so sneaky and manifests itself not in the typical “I am better than them” way, but in the more subtle “They think they are better than me” way. Thank you so much for your blog. I will also work no not being “puffed up” today.


    1. Thanks for your comment. I agree that we’re all susceptible to pride and that it can come in unexpected forms. We have to be vigilant and root it out whenever we see it. Not easy. I’m glad you found the post useful.


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