In case you weren’t with us, in Part 1 (link) of this series, I gave a background of my own struggles with pride as a backdrop to this study. In Part 2 (link), we looked at two examples of prideful people – one obvious and one not so obvious, to set the stage for this post. In Part 3 (link), we looked at three ways pride manifests itself in people, one of which ran my life. Some of these are fairly obvious, but others most of us would never guess that pride was at the center of it.
Why are we looking at pride? Because getting pride out of our lives helps us become closer to God.
Here are four more ways pride appears in people – including two more that I allowed to control me. These types of pride are taken from Irresistible to God1 a book by Steve Gallagher. Steve Gallagher is the found of Pure Life Ministries, and has written several books that can help us all draw closer to God. They can easily be found on Amazon and I highly recommend them.
Unapproachable Pride – This person hates correction, no matter who it comes from, including God. They think they are right, so they won’t listen. “No one can tell me I’m wrong. If I am, I’ll figure it out”
Know-It-All Pride – This was my biggest area of pride when I first became aware of the pride I carried around. No one could tell me anything, especially about the Bible. I’d read it through at least 10 times front to back, studied all over the place, was an evangelist and teacher. I knew it all, or so I thought. This person is typically gifted and very talented. It’s easy for them to think they can’t ever be taught anything new. Their opinions are always more valuable than anyone else’s. You will hear this person say one thing over and over – “I know.” As my former pastor said to me when my sin was exposed – “No, you don’t know.” And I didn’t.
Another characteristic of the know-it-all is their distrust in the ability of others. They have a need to belittle the ability of others, and think they can do it better themselves. They often are ineffectual at delegating because they will eventually do it themselves. I still have problems with this as I am constantly reminding my wife of this little thing or that when she has a much better memory than I do. This is pride that must be in control. The controlling tendency is one of the biggest things people see, and also one of the hardest to defeat in our lives.
Rebellion – Do you know people who have a problem submitting to authority? It can be in the workplace, the church, their family or even in submitting to God! That is the result of this manifestation of pride. They gripe and complain about the people God has put in authority over them, and will do anything to undermine their authority. They refuse to submit, or do it very reluctantly. They want to do things their way, and try to get away with it. “I’m not going to listen to them. I’ll do it my way”
Spiritual Pride – This was the third type I really struggled with. I’m more spiritual than they are, so they just need to grow up a little. Don’t they know this message from our pastor is just right for them? I sure hope they are listening. It’s too bad Old Joe isn’t here today – he needs this message more than anyone. Those are just a few of the thoughts that used to go through my mind when my spiritual pride was in gear. I thought I was better, and they all needed to measure up to my standards.
This person also probably is continuing in unrepentant sin, even though he has that holier than thou attitude. I was so deceived by my pride that when I would almost get caught in my sin, I would praise God for allowing me to get away with it. I thought it was His way of saying it was OK that I was still caught up in that sin. Now how crazy is that line of thought? And how deceptive pride is!
These 7 types of pride are pretty all encompassing, but let me give you some other things that pride will cause us to do:
Pride will: produce an unteachable spirit, lead to stinginess, not admit mistakes, use sarcastic humor, make me feel more important than others, produce a lack of forgiveness, produce self-pity, cause impatience with others, produce discontentment, make excuses, produce insecurity or low-self-esteem, be envious or jealous, make us ungrateful, make us suspicious, find fault in others.
There are more – the list is long. I am sure you can see how un-Christian these traits are. All you have to do is go to I Cor 13:4-8 and compare these to the attributes of love, and you know that if you are displaying these things, you are not loving the way God wants you to.
The big question is – do you see yourself in any of these descriptions? If you do, then I suggest you open yourself up to the possibility that pride is in you. It must be confronted early, because it will only grow: and when it does, it will hide itself from you! That is the big danger with pride. Believe me, I was steeped in pride, and I thought I was very humble!
Why is it important that you deal with it now? Watch for part 5, and you will see how God feels about pride. Then you will know why it is so essential to take care of it and learn to control your pride and ask someone close to you to help keep you in check.
1 Irresistible to God. Steve Gallagher. Copyright 2003 Pure Life Ministries