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  • Writer's pictureW. Austin Gardner

Pride in the Christian

Pride is essentially competitive in its nature.

It involves a comparison which always goes in favor of the one who makes it.

Pride adapts itself to every temperament, accommodates itself to every situation. It is remarkably fluid. It can be humble or haughty at will. There is a form suited to every character. We do well to ask ourselves what are our particular forms of pride. Of face, race, place, grace? Of intellect, achievement, success, skill?

There is a social pride which preens itself on an accident of birth for which it can take no credit. It despises the common herd who do not move in such select circles of society.

The unbroken, proud man thirsts for and eagerly drinks in flattery and praise because it gratifies his self-love. He is elated when it is given, depressed when it is withheld. There is no one in the world about whom he delights to talk more than about himself. He will turn every conversation until it centers on himself.

The subtlety of pride is seen in the fact that its victims are generally quite oblivious to their bondage, though all around can hear the clank of the chains.

What is our reaction to criticism? Do we immediately fly to justify ourselves? Does it arouse hostility and resentment in us? Do we immediately begin to criticize our critic? Such responses to criticism are the surest proof that we are in the grip of pride. We cannot bear to have people speak of us except with approbation. Humility will take criticism no matter from whom it comes, and will profit by it because it knows that where there is smoke there is fire, and there is usually some element of truth from which it can profit in the most scathing criticism.

Our pride is hurt because we think people consider us inferior, whereas in our own heart of hearts, no matter how much we protest to the contrary, we do not feel as inferior as they appear to think.

J. Oswald Sanders, Spiritual Leadership, Spiritual Discipleship, Spiritual Maturity Set of 3 Sanders Books (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2017).

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