Pride & Conflict
Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.
How much does your anger have to do with your pride? Probably more than you might think.
Scripture warns us about pride all over the place. Proverbs tells us much about pride; none of it good. Pride comes before the fall, A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride, but the lips of the wise protect them, Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor, and Ecclesiastes says, “The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride” just to name a few.
It is one thing to be proud of something; it is another to be prideful of something. I am proud of my children, they are God’s gift to me. I am proud of my wife for all she does for the benefit of our family. I am proud of the spiritual growth I see n people no matter where that growth may find its source. I am also proud of the accomplishments I have made in my life, but the pride is based on an understanding that all that I have was provided for me by God. If I were to be prideful of any of those things, I’d be crossing the line into ungodliness. Or, if I allow pride in something to be misdirected believing that I was the source of that accomplishment through my own strength, not only would I be sinning, but I’d be opening the door for anger and bitterness as well.
Pride is like a disease or infection that has a long incubation period, or lies dormant until the right conditions present themselves. And unfortunately, those conditions present themselves frequently. The more prideful you are, the more frequently they will pop up.
Let’s say for example that you are prideful of your clothes. A person criticizes your dress, and the next thing you know, you punch them in the nose! Well, that may be extreme, but you get the picture. If you are prideful about something, whether it is your clothes or hair, or your car, your singing voice, your accomplishments in life, your wealth… whatever it might be, and someone criticizes that thing pride will cause anger and frustration.
Humility, a Godly trait, will cause introspection, and a desire to meet the standards that God has set before us; in every area of our lives. You need to seek God in all things and see if there is merit in any criticism you might receive. If there is, you need to be able to humbly receive that criticism and work to improve that issue in whatever way God might lead. But if you are prideful of that thing and criticism comes, it will cause you to be bitter, angry, hold a grudge against that person, or you’ll immediately begin to look for things to criticize in that other personas life, or use the failings of others you might know to justify your current state of pride.
Pride is at the root of every sin. In the end, your sin is just you deciding you know better for your life than god does. You choose your way over His. But where there is strife in your life, look for pride to be at the root. If it is there, the only way to remove pride it through humility in the Spirit. Look to God and remember that without him you are dead where you stand, but that through Him, all things are possible. Sometimes it is a good thing to be reminded of our place.