Monday, June 4, 2012

Pride's Top Ten Signs

Pride, arrogance, boasting, bragging, smugness, trusting in your own abilities, thoughts and means above all others.  Pride sounds really ugly when its described like that.  As individuals its likely that we immediately think of someone who fits that description.  But do we take inventory of ourself to see if pride is contaminating everything we do, see and think?  Not usually.  Not if you're like me.

Pride slips in unannounced daily, perhaps even hourly in the right circumstances.  When we are young (in age or in experience) we are usually naive enough to believe we have it all figured out, we know better, we're different (better) than everyone else.  But then when we're older (age or experience), we are naive enough to assume that the temptation to rely on our age or experience isn't just as great.

So, no matter who you are, what you've experienced, you will likely be tempted with pride today.  Here are a few signs that pride has infiltrated your heart:

1. Insecurity - It causes us to freely extend praise and attention of others too much.  A lot of pride is motivated from our unmet need for self-worth.

2. Anger - Anger is a self-justifying emotion.  The nature of anger is to prompt us to justify our position and blame others for the fault or wrong.  This in turn leads to denying our own role in the problem.

3. Irritability & Impatience - Impatient displays often come from a haughty view of ourself - our time, abilities, opinions, etc. - that these are more important that another persons.  This is more an indication of our pride than someone else's slow movement towards perfection.

4. Lack of a submissive attitude - Submission is the voluntary placement of oneself under the influence, control or authority of another.  When an individual pledges their submission to you or another, yet is critical or argumentative of that authority, then pride is the hidden issue.  The test of humility and submission is being able to say, 'yes', maintain a positive attitude and trust God, especially when the decision of your authority goes against your grain or better judgement.

5. Being argumentative - At the root of these arguments is often a belief that they are right and the others wrong and that their will should prevail.  It is appropriate to advocate for a point of view or  position, but not to do so in such a manner that you are more invested in your opinion than in arriving at a mutual understanding.

6. More invested in being heard than in hearing - When someone habitually  needs others to listen to them rather than first hearing others, pride is the motivation.  The need to be excessively heard often means the person doesn't feel loved or valued unless people hear them out, but is really just an expression of insecurity and pride.

7. Needing others to take your advice - Advice should always be offered without strings attached.  If you find yourself resenting the fact that your advice is not followed, look deeper at the motivating issues in your life.

8. Competition & Comparisons - We know comparing is unwise. There is nothing wrong with playing to win, providing the joy is in the playing.  If our happiness depends on defeating others, rejoicing when others find failure or our heart is inwardly grieved when others are more successful, then we are building a world of illusion that is motivated by pride.

9. Not easily corrected - How do you react when someone points out something you did wrong? If you can't take it or react with anger and defensiveness, then pride is afoot.

10. Receiving correction, but never changing - Perhaps you have perfected the people pleasing technique of telling others what they want to hear, but you never move beyond to self-reflection.  Refusing to consider others criticism, even though they may be wrong, is a pride motivated response.

Some information taken from Alfred H. Ells' article Unmasking Hidden Pride.

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