Stuart Scott, From Pride to Humility: A Biblical Perspective (Focus Publishing, 2002; an excerpt from The Exemplary Husband: A Biblical Perspective ), notes some very insightful and penetrating traits of pride. I generally read, ponder and pray through this on a monthly basis.
Undergirding my prayer is the reminder of God’s response to pride and the proud: “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (Jms. 4:6; cf. Prov. 3:34; 1 Pet. 5:5). This is important to grasp. If one is proud, God actively opposes that person. Making this personal, if I am proud, God actively opposes me.
As you read and pray through this list, ask yourself these two questions: First, what of these manifestations are in your life? Second, what pride in your life needs to be confessed?
Manifestations of Pride (pp. 6-10)
- Complaining against or passing judgment on God.
- A lack of gratitude in general.
- Seeing yourself as better than others.
- Having an inflated view of your importance, gifts and abilities.
- Being focused on the lack of your gifts and abilities.
- Talking too much.
- Talking too much about yourself.
- Seeking independence or control.
- Being consumed with what others think.
- Being devastated or angered by criticism.
- Being unteachable.
- Being sarcastic, hurtful, or degrading.
- A lack of service.
- A lack of compassion.
- Being defensive or blame-shifting.
- A lack of admitting when you are wrong.
- A lack of asking forgiveness.
- A lack of biblical prayer.
- Resisting authority or being disrespectful.
- Voicing preferences or opinions when not asked.
- Minimizing your own sin and shortcomings.
- Maximizing other’s sin and shortcomings.
- Being impatient or irritable with others.
- Being jealous or envious.
- Using others.
- Being deceitful by covering up sins, faults, and mistakes.
- Using attention-getting tactics.
- Not having close relationships.
Thankfully forgiveness, healing and wholeness do not come in denial of these sins, but rather in confession of them. The confession “God, be merciful to me, a sinner” is followed by “this man went down to his house justified” (Lk. 18:13); “If we confess our sins,” is followed by “he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn. 1:9).
The key biblical truth: “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted” (Lk. 18:14b).
The key biblical response: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you” (1 Pet. 5:6; cf. Jms. 4:10).