A Definition of and Manifestations of Pride
Below is an extensive quote from The Exemplary Husband by Stuart Scott, taken from Chapter 16 - Humility and Service. Time to get wrecked.
A Definition of Pride
When someone is proud they are focused on self. This is a form of self-worship. A person is prideful who believes that they, in and of themselves, are or should be the source of what is good, right and worthy of praise. They, also believe that they, by themselves, are (or should be) the accomplisher of anything that is worthwhile to accomplish, and that they should certainly be the benefactor of all things. In essence, they are believing that all things should be from them, through them, and to them or for them. Pride is competitive toward others, and especially toward God. Pride wants to be on top. Thomas Watson is quoted to have said, “Pride seeks to ungod God.” This phrase certainly describes the arrogant.
But what about those who are caught up in self-pity, who are self-absorbed with a sense of failure? This too is pride. They are just on the flip side of the pride “coin.” People who are consumed with self-pity are focusing on their own selves too much. They are not concerned with the glory of God and with being thankful for what good gifts and talents the Lord has given them, but instead are focused on how they think they have gotten a “raw deal,” or how they are not “as good as” someone else. Self-pitying people desperately want to be good, not for the glory of God, but for themselves. They want to do things for and by their own power and might for the personal recognition. They want everyone to serve them, like them, and approve of them. When these desires are not fulfilled, a prideful person will become even more inwardly focused and will continue a vicious cycle. The self-focused person who bemoans the fact that they are not what they desperately want to be (elevated and esteemed) should not be deceived by thinking they are not proud. Nothing could be further from the truth. To sum it all up, a proud person believes that life is all about them— their happiness, their accomplishments, and their worth. From our study we can put together a definition of pride that will help us evaluate our own desires and practices. Pride is:
The mindset of self (a master’s mindset rather than that of a servant): a focus on self and the service of self, a pursuit of self-recognition and self-exaltation, and a desire to control and use all things for self.
Manifestations of Pride
As we have said, pride is blinding. This fact is why it is often difficult to see pride in ourselves, and yet so easy to see it in others. Here is a sample list of pride manifestations that can easily clear away the smoke of any self-righteousness.
1. Complaining against or passing judgment on God.
A proud person in a difficult situation thinks, “Look what God has done to me after all I have done for Him” (Numbers 14: 1-4, 9,11; Romans 9: 20).
2. A lack of gratitude in general.
Proud people usually think they deserve what is good. The result is, they see no reason to be thankful for what they receive. As a matter of fact, they may even complain because they think they deserve better. They tend to be critical, complaining and discontent. The proud person is not in the practice of being thankful toward God or others (2 Chronicles 32: 25).
A proud person is often an angry person. One’s anger can include outbursts of anger, withdrawing, pouting, or frustration. A person most often becomes angry because his “rights” or expectations are not being met (Matthew 20: 1-16).
4. Seeing yourself as better than others.
A proud person is usually on top looking down on others. He gets easily disgusted and has little tolerance for differences (Luke 7: 36-50).
5. Having an inflated view of your importance, gifts and abilities.
Many proud people have a very wrong perception of themselves. They need a loving dose of reality. They need to hear, “What do you have that God didn’t give you?” (1 Corinthians 4: 7).
6. Being focused on the lack of your gifts and abilities.
Some proud people may not come across proud at all, because they are always down on themselves. This is still evidence of pride because one is focused on self and wants self to be elevated. Having a “woe is me” attitude is self-pity, which is pride (1 Corinthians 12: 14-25).
People who strive for everything to be perfect often do so for recognition. They may do it so they can feel good about themselves. Whatever the reason, this behavior is very self-serving and proud. The basic problem is making things that are less important, more important (Matthew 23: 24-28).
8. Talking too much.
Proud people who talk too much often do it because they think that what they have to say is more important than what anyone else has to say. When there are many words, sin is generally unavoidable (Proverbs 10: 19).
9. Talking too much about yourself.
A person who is proud may center on themselves in conversation. Sharing personal accomplishments and good personal qualities with others can be bragging or boasting (Proverbs 27: 2; Galatians 6: 3).
10. Seeking independence or control.
Some proud people find it extremely difficult to work under someone else or to submit to an authority. They have to be their own boss. They might say, “I don’t need anyone,” or “I don’t need accountability for my faith and doctrine.” They are often rigid, stubborn, headstrong, and intimidating. They may also say, “It’s my way or no way” (1 Corinthians 1: 10-13; Ephesians 5: 21).
11. Being consumed with what others think.
Some proud people are too concerned about the opinion of others. Many of their decisions are based on what others might think. Some are in a continual pursuit of gaining the approval and esteem of others. Focusing on what others think of you or trying to impress others is being a man-pleaser rather than a God-pleaser (Galatians 1: 10).
12. Being devastated or angered by criticism.
Proud people usually struggle a great deal with criticism. Such people cannot bear that they are not perfect or have weaknesses because they cannot accept who they really are (Proverbs 13: 1).
13. Being unteachable.
Many proud individuals know it all. They’re superior. They can’t seem to learn anything from someone else. They respect no one (Proverbs 19: 20; John 9: 13-34).
14. Being sarcastic, hurtful, or degrading.
Proud people can be very unkind people. Those who belittle other people usually want to raise themselves up above others. Very often this can be quite cleverly done through jesting. They may excuse themselves by saying, “That’s just the way I am. That’s my personality” (Proverbs 12: 18, 23).
15. A lack of service.
Proud people may not serve because they are not thinking of others, or because they want to be coaxed to serve and don’t want to continue if there is no praise.
Scott, Stuart (2013-01-07). The Exemplary Husband: A Biblical Perspective (Kindle Locations 2353-2405). Focus Publishing. Kindle Edition.
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