One of the best known and wisest books on pride is the book of Proverbs. In one verse, Proverbs teaches us that, ‘pride comes before destruction. And a haughty spirit before stumbling’ (Proverbs 16:18). How many of us can admittedly detect pride in others? Ourselves? Because pride can be very subtle in its manifestations, many do not know the telltale signs of pride. Consider the following characteristics of hidden pride and see if God reveals any indication of pride in your life. Be brave. Ask those who know you well if they see any of these characteristics in your life. Pray before you ask, because the spirit of offense at the other person’s response can hinder you from receiving open, honest accountability.
Signs Of Pride
1.) Insecurity: Insecurity is the root of many unhealthy and ungodly behaviors. It provokes us to want the lavish praise and attention of others too much. Much of pride is motivated out of one’s unmet need for self-worth. Finding one’s identity and security in God is a must to avoid pride.
2.) The need to be right: Individuals, who argue their point of view, especially to those in authority over them, are allowing pride to get the best of them. At the root of their argument is a belief that they are right and the other is 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.
3.) Being Argumentative: Individuals, who argue their point of view, especially to those in authority over them, are allowing pride to get the best of them. At the root of their argument is a belief that they are right and the other is 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.
4.) More interested in being heard than hearing: When someone develops a pattern of needing others to listen to them rather than first hearing others, pride is motivating the need. The need to be heard is common among clergy who are insecure. Oftentimes, the individual does not feel loved or valued unless people "hear them out." In truth, this is often just an expression of insecurity and pride.
5.) Anger: Anger is a self-justifying emotion. This means that the nature of anger is to prompt us to justify our position and blame another for the wrongdoing. Justification of self leads to denial of our own complicity or wrongdoing. The scripture warns that the "anger of man does not accomplish the righteousness of God." (James 1:20). An individual who is angry a lot is suffering from pride.
6.) Irritability and Impatience: When we are unable to be patient with another and are irritated, it demonstrates a haughty view of self. We feel that our views, time or needs are more important than the other persons. This again is more an indication of our pride than someone else’s slow movement or imperfection.
7.) Lack of 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 judgment.
8.) Not easily corrected: Ever work or live with someone who won’t receive any negative or corrective feedback? This too is pride. There was once a pastor who once noted for being easily entreated and able to receive corrective feedback from others. He would thank the person for the negative feedback and commit to pray about it, seek counsel and get back to the person with what conclusions he came to. He was a role model for many of us.
9.) Receiving correction but not changing: How many of us have worked with or known or even practice ourselves of receiving Godly correction and thank the person for the feedback, but never change? This too is a form of pride. The insecurity and fear is the prevention of truly changing.
10.) Needing others to take your advice. It is so easy to fall into the trap of having 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.
11.) Needing to proclaim your titles or degrees. A good friend of mine requires everyone to call him ‘pastor’, saying that he has deservedly earned the title. Demanding that others call you ‘doctor’ or ‘pastor’ or ‘bishop’ is usually a way of making you ‘one up’ and them ‘one down’. Once again, pride is fueling the requirement.
12.) Being stubborn: Webster’s dictionary defines stubbornness as "unduly determined to exert one’s own will, not easily persuaded and difficult to handle or work, resistant." The root issue of stubbornness is willfulness, which is ‘I want what I want when I want it’. Another name for pride.
13.) Comparison and Competition: 2 Corinthians 10:12 makes it clear that comparing oneself with others is unwise. Comparison is a form of competition. The motive of heart is pride.
In order to get free from these issues of pride takes prayer. Ask God to reveal to you the areas that would fall in the category of pride and be humble enough to receive the answer you get. This answer could come in the form of you asking another person if you fall into any of these categories and actually receiving that correction without allowing the enemy of offense step in. If another person ask you to reveal any areas that you may think they display in regards to pride, pray and seek a loving spirit when answering. Speak with that person in private, just between the two of you. Correction should never be in the form of trying to prove a point. Love you all, enjoy your day!