About ten years ago I was positively affected by a short article by Mart De Haan of RBC Ministries, called “the Great Imposter.” In it he noted how subtle pride can be and then went on to list the many ways it can rear its ugly head. An updated version of the article can be read at his blog here. I’ve listed below some of his “prides” to avoid. But beware, some of them sting.
Self-defeating pride– On a good day, it keeps us from thinking that we need to do anything differently. When trouble comes, we don’t want people to think we’re changing our ways just because we’re in trouble.
Wounded Pride– The pride that prompts us to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think can also fill us with self-contempt when we don’t live up to our own expectations.
Fearful Pride– The ego that causes us to be overly competitive on some occasions can also keep us from trying at all in other situations. Sometimes pride makes us willing to win at the expense of others. Sometimes it causes us to avoid the embarrassment of possible failure.
Uninhibited Pride– The pride that causes us to be meticulous with our appearance can also cause us not to care what others think of us.
Self-deceiving Pride– The pride that causes us to call attention to other people’s mistakes can lead us to believe we don’t have any reason to be critical of ourselves.
Procrastinating Pride– The arrogance that causes us to think we can change anytime we want can keep us from ever changing at all.
Uncaring Pride– The conceit that allows us to be preoccupied with our own problems can also help us to be oblivious to the pain of others.
Sulking Pride– The pride that keeps us from asking others for help can also cause us to sulk when others are not “there for us.”
Self-introducing Pride– Sometimes to admit pride seems fatal. At other times, saying that we know we are proud is a way of saying we think we have something to be proud about.
Self-berating Pride– The pride that keeps us from admitting we’re wrong can also lead to self-berating behavior that helps us avoid being corrected by others.
Pious Pride– The pride that causes us to be prayerless in our personal life can also prompt us to pray with crowd-pleasing eloquence in public settings.
Overly-talkative Pride– The survival instinct that prompts us to be silent about what is really happening in us can also cause us to dominate conversations and relationships when we don’t want others asking questions.
Slacker Pride– The self-sufficiency that drives workaholics to try to make themselves indispensable can also cause a lazy person to assume that he can be a slacker without consequences.
Tearful Pride– The conceit that causes us to disregard the feelings of others can also cause us to use tears to play on the emotions of others when we want something.
Quiet Pride– The self-interest that causes us to parade our success can also prompt us not to admit our failures.
Contrite Pride– The self-absorption that allows us to protect ourselves at others’ expense can also prompt us to think we deserve forgiveness once we’ve admitted our wrongs.