3 Ways Pride May Be Infecting Your Life
Pride and arrogance are warned against throughout the Bible. How do we recognize and purge this dangerous and infectious sin from our lives?
Pride is a reality in the modern world. We’re often told, “Take pride in your ______.”
Instead of emphasizing personal responsibility and gratitude, this world emphasizes self-worth and self-centeredness. From Satan’s developing pride because of his beauty (Ezekiel 28:17) to modern political candidates and celebrities flaunting their greatness, the entire span of history shows us how infectious and dangerous pride can be.
It’s no wonder God listed pride as something He hates and inspired multiple scriptures to be written about why He hates it and why all humanity should defeat it (Proverbs 6:16-17). We are even told, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). This alone should be a warning that pride has to go.
The pride of Satan or egomaniacs like Adolf Hitler is easy to spot. But pride can also be more subtle. Pride may be lurking in the background of your life, and you might not even be aware of it.
Three ways pride may be infecting your life
1. Social media.
Facebook can be an amazing tool for staying connected with friends and family. However, it can also be a breeding ground for personal pride. Here are some ways pride can reveal its ugly face on social media outlets like Facebook:
- Constantly posting pictures of ourselves and wanting comments.
- Constantly checking to see how many people liked or commented on something and actually getting upset if “not enough” people were involved.
- Looking for public reaction and acceptance of random things we do, like eating breakfast or going to the grocery store.
Challenge: Review past posts and comments and see how much attention we tried to pull toward ourselves. Also, go through our personal photo albums and see if we have an excessive amount of “selfies” posted.
2. Conversations with friends.
There’s nothing like getting together with friends and having great conversations. But what happens when pride creeps into our conversations? It is easy to spot in others, but much harder to spot in ourselves.
Examples of pride in conversations:
One-uppers: Trying to beat the stories or experiences other people are relating (“My day was worse” or “I had a bigger problem”). This is an attempt to bring the focus back on us, no matter what other people were saying.
Pride is not an easy sin to overcome, mainly because it is so easy to see in others, yet so painfully difficult to see in ourselves. Still, knowing the danger of pride should make us that much more eager to fight this sin at every turn. Conversation dominators: When one person dominates a conversation to the extent that the other person cannot get a word in edgewise. Conversation should be give-and-take, not just give.
Know-it-alls: Never admitting wrong and always pointing out wrong in others. Unfortunately, too often this goes beyond just conversation and turns into a full lifestyle of pride. It is very important to have the ability to admit when we are wrong.
Challenge: Ask a friend or family member—someone close enough to us to be honest despite possible hurt feelings—to answer this question gently but truthfully: “Do you sometimes think I’m being prideful in what I say?” If we are not comfortable doing this, we can still try to evaluate our own conversations.
3. Our spirituality.
Jesus Christ warned against pride in our own spirituality (Matthew 6:5). Though Christ wants us to practice righteous living, He doesn’t want us to live righteously to attract attention to ourselves or so that we will just look righteous to others. Constantly calling attention to our personal righteousness is an easy way to fall into pride (the epitome of unrighteousness). Throughout the Gospels, Jesus constantly corrected the Pharisees for practicing religion just to be seen by others.
Here are some ways this problem can exist today:
- Using social media to promote our personal righteousness. Though our faith shouldn’t be hidden, it also shouldn’t be used as a way to make ourselves look better to others.
- Letting everyone know all about our good works and charitable giving through social media and conversation (Proverbs 27:2; Matthew 6:2-4).
- Frequently correcting other people in order to make ourselves look better.
Challenge: Check our writings, Facebook, e-mails, texts or what we say to see how often we’ve notified the world of our spirituality.
A hard road
Pride is not an easy sin to overcome, mainly because it is so easy to see in others, yet so painfully difficult to see in ourselves. Still, knowing the danger of pride (Proverbs 16:18) should make us that much more eager to fight this sin at every turn.
Let’s crush pride with humility!
To learn more about overcoming pride, read the blog post on “Overcoming Pride.”