Pride is one of the most significant problems of the human race. It makes an enemy of God (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5) and leads to our ruin (Proverbs 16:18). It also disrupts our relationships. Let’s consider some of the warning signs that reveal the presence of pride in our lives.
The Desire for Attention. Pride craves recognition because it is preoccupied with self. Prideful people want an audience. They don’t like having to share time on stage with others, and may even compete with or denigrate the accomplishments of other people to maximize their time in the spotlight.
Conflict. Those who struggle with pride have a hard time letting things go. A perceived insult will fester and generate future strife when the individual decides to retaliate. They take offense if they don’t get the respect they feel they deserve. They may even say “it’s no big deal,” when in reality, it is.
Fault-finding and Complaining. Pride often looks to feed itself by looking for faults in other people. Finding others’ weaknesses adds to their sense of superiority. They look for opportunities to criticize others to making themselves look better.
A Poor Sense of Humor. Prideful people bristle if someone pokes fun at them. They have a hard time laughing at themselves. They may make the occasional self-deprecating comment for the sake of appearances, but jokes made by other people often make them defensive. A healthy self-esteem can take a good-natured ribbing. The prideful person will grow irritated and respond with comments of their own that look less like humor and more like pointed barbs.
Unwillingness to Serve. Jesus often sought to serve the downtrodden and neglected and probably got very little praise for it. The prideful person feels that such service is beneath them; instead, they look for high-value opportunities where they can serve on their terms and maximize the attention they get for doing so.
Pride led to the downfall of Adam and Eve in Eden (compare 1 John 2:16 with Genesis 3:6). We have to be careful that it doesn’t lead to ours, too.