Christian Life

Pride and its Consequences

Pride is a pre-occupation with oneself. It is to think too much of ourselves. Thus, pride may be displayed either self-aggrandizement or self-pity. All that is required for pride is to occupy yourself with yourself too much.

Pride causes a host of other problems. For example, pride makes us ignorant. If we think too highly of our own opinions, we will be unteachable. We’ll only listen to people with whom we agree.

Pride makes us people-pleasers. If we think of our feelings above all, we will do pretty much anything to illicit the love of others. 

Pride makes us factious. If we think that we are the center, then we keep close only to people who look like us, think like us, and have the same enemies as us.

Pride makes us self-indulgent. If we think too much of ourselves, we will spend most of our time pursuing the dictates of our desires.

Pride makes us selfish. If we think the world’s axis lies beneath our feet, then we will work to make sure everyone else spins round it.

Pride makes us unloving. We act not for the benefit of others but solely for our own benefit.

Pride makes us short-sighted. If we think only of ourselves and we exist wholly in the moment, then we will not think of the future.

Prideful people cannot love, learn, or restrain themselves. They cannot see past the end of their own noses, and cannot gain the favor of heaven. 

For the Christian, humility begins with worship. Worship is pre-occupation with God. In humbling ourselves before God, we lift our attention from ourselves and focus on the majesty of God. In doing so, we become aware of our sinfulness and seek forgiveness.

Once our eyes are on God, we become preoccupied with what he wants. One of the most important of God’s commands is to love one another. We do so by developing an interest in the needs, hopes, and fears of other people.

God hates pride and works to rid Christians of it. Most people who belong to God experience his work in bringing us to humility. This is often a painful process. However, it results in freedom from our bondage to ourselves. The Bible is also replete with warnings for those who remain hostile to God. They will be brought low, but no freedom will follow.

Assistant Professor of Philosophy and History of Ideas at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and The College at Southeastern.