As kids learn the piano, there is a very clear (planned) shift from playing notes to reading music. Within just a couple of weeks they progress a great deal in their skill by making that one shift. The funny thing is, the kids usually don't realize how big of a deal it is. Take an adult with no prior music reading skill and try to do the same thing and typically it is more difficult and overwhelming. On occasion, an adult student will trust the teacher enough to just go with the process ( assigned pieces, practice, etc.) with the faith that by following through on all of it, the skills will come in the appropriate time. But adults seem to be much less trusting than children and, as a result, have a harder time progressing with ease. It seems to me that this a good example of 'becoming like little children' and some admonition for myself in how I approach change in myself. In my desire to eliminate pride and arrogance from my heart and mouth, I've been looking for a trick or a method to 'fix' it. It occurs to me that if I was aggressively and proactively pursuing God's will for a follower of Him - the fruits of the spirit, etc. - and trusting him, like a child would, to bless the process, my situation might be much different.
Nonetheless, there are a few indications I've thought of that should raise some flags in my mind that pride is near.
-Evaluating/Comparing: My brain is pretty analytical (about things I know or like, ex. people, relationships, circumstantial ethics, etc.) and with every breath, I can find myself evaluating something. While that isn't inherently wrong or necessarily an indication of pride in myself, it can result in it. Evaluating often leads to comparison. Comparison will either result in thinking myself better than someone else or thinking myself less of someone, which will result in building myself up further to compensate. No matter what, the temptation to feed my prideful ego can be very heavy.
-Speaking quickly, rashly or very emotionally: Again not always bad, but it does increase the risk. When I speak quickly, it could be that I've not thought about it OR my emotions are so big on the issue that I wanted to jump fast. Either way, when my emotions or lack of thinking are present, I often make an assumption that everything I say will be right. There's no checks or balances on anything so pride can be sky high before there is any clue.
-Interacting with people who differ from me: Whether it is a spiritual opposition, personal preference or complete lifestyle difference, I have the tendency to put up a large defense that is very destructive in my life. Somewhere I got the idea that a difference of opinion is automatically a challenge to my very self and principle values. Especially when you write it out, isn't that silly? There is an entire world who does and thinks at least 1 thing different than I. That in no way means the entire world is out to challenge and destroy everything I think is important. Yet, that is a very tempting way to react, which then leads me to justify and build up everything I think, again placing it higher than everyone else.
I heard Dave Ramsey quote someone yesterday on the radio, saying (something to this effect) that IQ is not a good indicator for a person's expected (financial) success in life, but rather a person's level/habit of self-discipline. Verbalizing and itemizing some of these triggers I can tell is already helping me but I won't change unless I commit and DO something about it. If you are looking for someone to pray for today, I would be very thankful for remembering me in this desire to change.