How to avoid being destroyed by pride

My buddy Gary asked me not long ago how I feel about pride. I’ve avoided broaching the subject because I know that no matter how I approach it, I’m afraid I’m going to sound hypocritical because honestly, I’ve struggled with pride in many aspects of my life. We are all human and pride is, in my mind, one of the most destructive behaviors known to man.

How do you avoid pride in your heart when you are raised in a society that flaunts it? How do you steer clear of pride when you’re surrounded by slogans, advertisements, products and people who revel in it through speech, dress and mannerisms? How do you teach your kids that its okay to be confident, but you’re crossing the line when you begin to demonstrate arrogance?

Some say that its not a bad thing to be proud of your children’s accomplishments. But what happens when your pride takes on an all-encompassing feeling of superiority?

Suddenly, your compliments go from, ‘Oh Junior is so good at scoring goals,’ to ‘Oh my goodness, those other kids should know by now that they can’t score goals like Junior does!’ It is a gradual evolution from parental, spousal and sometimes self praise to being downright condescending and patronizing.

Ezra Taft Benson said the following about pride: “Pride is essentially competitive in nature. Pride pits our will against God and our fellow man….When pride has a hold on our hearts, we lose our independence of the world and deliver our freedoms to the bondage of men’s judgment.’

‘Pride is a sin that can readily be seen in others but is rarely admitted in ourselves. Most of us consider pride to be a sin of those on the top, such as the rich and the learned, looking down at the rest of us. There is, however, a far more common ailment among us—and that is pride from the bottom looking up. It is manifest in so many ways, such as faultfinding, gossiping, backbiting, murmuring, living beyond our means, envying, coveting, withholding gratitude and praise that might lift another, and being unforgiving and jealous.”

Yeah, pretty heavy stuff. And it gets even heavier when you consider that when we allow pride to rule our thoughts and actions, we essentially give up our ability to wield any power over any aspect of our life. Believe me, I’m a case study in pride.

Benson goes on to talk about the Faces of Pride and he eloquently lays out the major components of pride that prevent us from enjoying a life free of grudges, hurt feelings, divisive speech and more as well as references to how we can be more humble and avoid the pitfalls of pride.

When dealing with a subject as volatile as pride I tend to veer away from using examples I’ve seen or heard of and stick to the examples of pride that I’ve seen or felt in myself.

I recall a certain time in life not long ago when I unwittingly destroyed every single relationship I had with everyone I could because of my own selfish pride. I alienated Super Mom, my sons, my parents, siblings, extended family, close friends and work colleagues. Hell I even made the guy bagging groceries and the Girl Scouts selling me Samoas and Thin Mints feel like crap because I wanted everyone to feel just like me – miserable.

It has been a long, hard road but slowly, year after year, I’m doing my best to mend broken hearts and feelings by humbling myself before the people that I hurt with my misguided and stupid pride. I’m sad to say that there are still some relationships that I may never be able to fix and though I’ve come to terms with those losses it doesn’t hurt any less.

What can we do to avoid the mess caused by pride? By exercising humility and by identifying and avoiding the destructive nature of pride. How can we prevent our kids from being boastful and showing pride? In the exact same way – Live a humble life and pray that your kids emulate your example.

What do you think about pride? Leave me a comment with your thoughts.

15 thoughts on “How to avoid being destroyed by pride

  1. Man I feel this was ment for me. Something I never really looked at it as being pride. I need to change my ways. Thanks for opening my eyes to thinks. I need to humble myself and not let pride destroy me.

    1. It’s a good day when we can look in the mirror and say what you’ve said here. We all need to change something and this has been that something for me…many years in the works! Have a great day and make it count! Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  2. First of all, you just quoted one of my all-time, favorite prophets! This was such a land mark talk given by him back around 1986 but is even more timely now. This, my friend,is an amazing post! Thanks for sharing:)

  3. Seti,

    Thanks for the reminder. Gary’s my best friend in High School. Thanks for sharing your thought with us and allowing us to reflect upon the pride within each of our own lives.

    1. Talofa Norris,

      Thanks for subscribing and sharing your thoughts. I’m just getting to know Gary and he’s been a great supporter of the blog. I’m looking forward to your future comments and feedback on this and other posts.


  4. “I’m sad to say that there are still some relationships that I may never be able to fix and though I’ve come to terms with those losses it doesn’t hurt any less.” Wow. If we could only see the cost beforehand, eh? One of your best, and straight to the heart, Seti. Thank you.

  5. There’s such a thin line between pride and humility and self-confidence. I struggle with this as well. Being Polynesian, exotic looking, long hair, etc. in a place where no one looks like me and I always get some sort of attention because of my aesthetic appeal. This post is a bit of humble pie for me. Thanks Seti.

  6. Hi Seti,
    It takes only the grace of God for you and I to drop pride and pick up humility, and since
    God giveth grace to the humble, we must be born again, live like Him (Jesus Christ ) the humblest/meekest man. This is the only way that I know…………..

  7. Satan runs the show and knows exactly that pride can kill him, “Satan” so he tells us:” not to have pride and succeed,which is impossible without Pride!-As the “Creator himself needs Pride,as:”there is no other G-d,only I am the way,40 day fasting pride, as saying I am no good only g-d!
    Pride climes every mountain, but people with no pride are on the foothill and say I wish!

  8. pride is a beautiful tool of life ,Jesus went for it on the cross ,to be a son of God ,and equal wit him!

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