The Pride Test
A lot of time separated from the rest of the world (at least seemingly), has produced in me an emphasis on personal introspection. Which can be a good thing, but taken to an extreme can also lead to negative consequences.
The Bible does however instruct us to examine ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5). Therefore, let’s take a moment to do that in a particular area that is a struggle for many, myself included.
Although, pride is a word used a lot in our culture today (often with a positive connotation), this post is speaking of what John Maxwell referred to as “bad pride”. He makes the differentiation thusly, “'Good pride' represents our dignity and self-respect. 'Bad pride' is the deadly sin of superiority that reeks of conceit and arrogance.”
Here is a sampling of just some of what the Proverbs have to say about pride:
· When pride comes, then comes dishonor; But with the humble there is wisdom. Proverbs 11:2
· Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling. Proverbs 16:18
· A person’s pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor. Proverbs 29:23
THE PRIDE TEST
Are you ready for a beat down? I’ve compiled from various resources a list of areas of our lives where pride might be found. If you’re willing, take a moment for a personal, honest assessment of just how insidious pride is within the human heart. So if you’re ready, hold on, because here we go!
(Each question can be answered with a simple TRUE or FALSE)
I don’t need anyone’s advice. I’m smart enough to have this all figured out without the need for counsel from anyone.
I am easily angered and offended. I don't like being crossed or disagreed with. I often feel wronged by others.
I have to look just right. I am overly concerned with my appearance and how I am perceived in public.
I live for the approval of others. I want people to be impressed with me.
I am always arguing with people. I challenge other people’s viewpoint all the time, because I think I’m right and I need to set them straight.
I won’t ask for help. I insist on struggling through my issue or problem without the need of anyone else. And I will do this even to my own detriment.
I need people to pay attention to me and provide lots of affirmation. Not only do I not want to be ignored, I have to be the center of attention. I like people to see what I do and notice me. I feel hurt or offended when they don't.
I have a hard time submitting to authority. I find it hard to submit to my boss, my pastor, elders, law enforcement – really any sort of authority in my life. I’m my own authority when it comes to all things because I know what’s best for me.
I like to make my accomplishments known.
I am overly competitive. I have to win or come out on top by any means necessary, and it really upsets me when I don't.
I wish everyone would just do things the way I do them. If so, this world would be a much better place to live, because my way is almost always better.
I talk about myself…a lot. I dominate conversations. I just wait for the other person to stop moving their lips, so I can jump in. What I have to say is more important and interesting than what they have to say. Therefore, I interrupt people all the time.
I tend to be critical of others. I find myself thinking or speaking negatively of people. I subtly feel better about myself when I point out how bad someone else is.
I can’t take constructive criticism. I won’t allow another to speak into my life. How could they possibly have anything to offer me? After all, I’m me! If they do say something, they better be extremely delicate, because otherwise I will take that as a sign of disrespect.
I am deceptive about who I am. I don’t ‘let people in’. I hide and keep the ‘true me’ from being known. I don't want people to know who I really am.
I fear man. I am consumed with what others think of me and whether or not they like me. I make decisions based upon this fear. I am always concerned with how people will react to what I say and do. Sometimes, it paralyzes me.
I tend to grumble and complain about what I have, or don’t have. I think I should have more than what I do.
I can’t be happy for someone else’s success. I should have what they have.
I find it hard to say the words, ‘I don’t know.’ When someone asks me something I don't know, I will make something up rather than admit that I don't have the answer.
I am self-sufficient. I don’t need anyone or anything else. I can do it all by myself.
I am overly self-conscious. I tend to replay in my mind how I did, what I said, how I am coming across to others, because I am very concerned about what other people think of me.
I think certain tasks are beneath me. I shouldn’t have to do that. That’s someone else’s job.
I feel deserving. If I get a good thing, that is how it should be because I deserve it. If something isn’t going my way, I am quick to utter the phrase, “I don’t deserve this!”
Willingness to be Introspective
I thank you for putting this together, because I need to send this to all my friends and family. They really need to read this! As for me, pride really isn’t an issue, because I have always been a very humble person.
How’d you do? Feel free to comment below.
I will comment graphically. This is me after running through The Pride Test:
Notice how each statement began with one very small word: “I”. That was intentional. It is love for self which is at the heart of the pride issue.
Earlier, I provided some quotations solely from the Proverbs. Here are some other quotes to chew on:
“Pride is the idolatry of the self. It is the nature of pride as competition with God – the displacing of God by the self at the center – that has led many Christian thinkers through the ages to regard pride as the mother sin and the essential element in all sin.”
“Self is the most treacherous enemy, and the most insinuating deceiver in the world. Of all other vices, it is both the hardest to find out, and the hardest to cure.”
“Pride is a person having too high an opinion of himself. Pride is the first sin that ever entered into the universe, and the last sin that is rooted out. Pride is the worst sin. It is the most secret of all sins. There is no other matter in which the heart is more deceitful and unsearchable. Pride is God’s most stubborn enemy! There is no sin so much like the devil as pride. It is a secret and subtle sin, and appears in a great many shapes which are undetected and unsuspected.”
JESUS DIED FOR PRIDE
After all this, I personally find it utterly unbelievable that in the midst of all my pride and sinfulness, God said in eternity past, “I’m going to love Mike. He doesn’t deserve it, but I will shower upon Him my love, and adopt him into My family. Despite all his pride and arrogance, sin and selfishness, I will send My one and only Son to die for those things that are abundant within him.”
God looks deep within me and yes, He finds things that are detestable to Him. Yet in His love, He bore the penalty that those sins deserve. I am now free to fight the good fight of faith and war against those things that are inconsistent with the humble heart of my Savior, Jesus Christ.