Pride or vainglory or vanity is the number 1 sin by order and most loved by the Devil (remember Al Pacino in the movie “The Devil’s Advocate”?).
The sin of pride affects you when you love yourself above all else. Pride is everywhere. You can observe it in people of all ages, from toddlers to the elderly. You can notice the pride within different countries and religions as well.
While pride may not always be harmful, there are instances when it can have negative consequences.
It was pride that created the devil.— Adrian Rogers
Listed below are several behaviours or actions that you do when the sin “pride” hits you.
So what do you love about yourself? Anything — appearance, knowledge, wisdom, achievements, social status, power, material things, etc.
Here are some examples to help identify how you love yourself:
Loving yourself is good to some extent. However, it becomes problematic when you fail to understand or show empathy towards others. Remember to love and respect others too.
Sin of pride affects you when you take pleasure in laughing at others’ lack of knowledge, incompetence, misery, and circumstances. You live in a misconception that you are perfect. Like:
Nobody is perfect in this world. We all make mistakes, act foolishly at times, and go through the ups and downs of life. So, it’s crucial not to forget that one day others might also laugh at you.
Pride is the sin that can readily be seen in others but is rarely admitted in ourselves.— Ezra Taft Benson
Around the world, daily we read, see, or hear that certain people think they have special rights. Because they belong to a particular place, religion, caste, or upper social status.
These people behave strangely, sometimes rude, sometimes hateful, and sometimes violently with other less privileged people.
Here are some examples:
We, as individuals, must recognize that the politicians and religious leaders have been responsible for dividing societies and continue to do so. These people possess egos, their own interpretations, and a strong belief in the “divide and rule” policy. Unfortunately, we often fall victim to their tactics.
Why does this happen? It’s because we easily place our trust in individuals who hold power and status. However, we should also apply our rational thinking. It is crucial that we educate ourselves more effectively and refrain from blindly believing in anything. Instead, we should analyze situations and seek the truth first.
In order to eradicate inequality, we must acknowledge that we are all equal. There is no benefit to exerting power over others as it does not contribute positively to society.
Want love and genuine respect? Give others the same first.
Pride is the oldest and most common of sins. Humility is the rarest and most beautiful of graces.— J. C. Ryle
You are affected by the sin of pride when you make a mistake but refuse to take responsibility for it. Instead, you become defensive when confronted by others. You play ignorant or behave stubbornly. You think you will lose your pride if you admit your mistake.
Mistakes can happen in any setting, whether at home, in the office, or within relationships. We all make mistakes at different points in our lives. Sometimes smaller. Sometimes bigger.
Perhaps you’ve ended a friendship because of a significant mistake, yet you’re unwilling to accept that it was your fault. Similarly, your relationship with your spouse or partner may be strained because you struggle to acknowledge your mistakes. However, you can save your friendship or relationship by taking ownership of your mistakes.
Acknowledging a mistake is a powerful act. It demonstrates self-awareness and a recognition of what is right and wrong. By learning from your mistakes, you can continue to grow and develop as an individual.
A person with pride often shows off their expensive possessions, contacts, social status, among other things. But why do they engage in such behavior? They derive pleasure from it, as it represents their accomplishment of something that others can only dream of.
Here are some examples of instances when one tends to show off:
You have achieved things in life, it’s great! It’s truly something to be proud of. However, when you start counting your achievements and show off in front of others — every time you get a chance — you degrade the values of your accomplishments.
Allow your achievements and possessions to exist as they are, without seeking validation from others. Cultivating a habit of humbleness is essential.
Bullying is prevalent in today’s society, both online or offline, and the sin of pride often plays a role in fueling a bully’s behavior. You have a good physical build, you bully people. You have a senior position at work, you bully your juniors. You want dominance and power over others, you bully them.
Bullies intimidate and threaten others. If you analyze instances of road rage, you’ll often find that they stem from individuals whose pride is easily wounded. As a result, they become defensive and exhibit anger or rage.
Bullying is a harmful act that adversely affects both the victim and the bully, both mentally and physically. Don’t make the life of your victim hell through bullying. If you engage in bullying behavior, it’s essential to stop. By doing so, you will lead a better life, earn respect, and make genuine friends as a compassionate person.
The sin “Lust” plays a part when you harass or stalk a girl. However, the sin “Pride” also comes into play when a girl or woman says “no” to you. It wounds your pride. You want her to say “yes” at any cost. This distorted pride can blind you, causing you to persistently harass or stalk her.
Victims of harassment or stalking have to undergo a lot of trauma. Sadly, such behavior can escalate to tragic outcomes such as suicide, murder, or sexual assault.
In the end, I would like to emphasize that we all experience pride in various forms.
Sometimes it is good pride, while other times it can be detrimental. It is crucial for us to recognize and distinguish between the two.
Focus on good pride, which helps you in gaining self-confidence, self-esteem and enjoying self-efforts. On the other hand, bad pride leads us to believe we are superior and above others.
Good pride lets you enjoy the success and achievements of goals you have set for yourself. But bad pride makes you degrade others. You jeer at them. You laugh at them.
Remember, humility and humbleness are the keys. Become your best, not best than others.
Become a better version of yourself, rather than becoming better than others.
Let’s face it. It’s hard to avoid the sin of pride, because it requires a significant amount of effort from us.
However, we can consciously work on minimizing bad pride. How do I do it? I make a conscious effort to remain grounded by staying aware of my surroundings, likes, dislikes, and so on.
I encourage you to do the same. I believe in your ability to overcome it.
If you want to attack your other sins, start with attacking your pride.— Peter Kreeft
Now, do you want to learn about identifying the sin of “Gluttony” in today’s time? Read about gluttony here.
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