That Hideous Pride—26 Ugly Faces

Regrettably, the study of what the Bible teaches concerning pride has been a reoccurring theme for me because, even after 27 years of growth since my conversion, I still see so much of it in my heart. Therefore, awhile back, I decided to begin making a list of the many faces of pride. Some are uglier than others, for sure, but compared to the holiness of God every one of them is hideous. Just as his vision of the holiness of God caused Isaiah to see the hideousness of his own sin, may our continued meditation on God’s majesty drive us to a deeper dependency on his sanctifying grace, which (let us never forget) is given to those who humble themselves (James 4:6). So, what does pride look like?

  1. Acting independently from God, which makes it the root of all other sin (Gen 3:6; Ezek 28:2; Ps 10:4; Obad 1:3)
  2. Insubordination to human authority structures (1 Pet 2:13, 18; 5:5)
  3. Self-sufficiency (1 Sam 2:3; Rev 3:16-18)
  4. Prayerlessness (1 Sam 12:23; 2 Cor 12:7-8)
  5. Quest for prominence, vying for position (Mk 10:37; 1 Jn 2:16)
  6. Contention, in-fighting (Phil 4:2; James 4:1-3, 10)
  7. Lying lips and cursing (Ps 31:18; 59:12)
  8. Violent behavior (Ps 73:6; Isa 13:11; Zech 9:6-7)
  9. A conceited spirit that elevates oneself above others (Prov 30:13; Phil 2:3)
  10. Patting oneself on the back, glory-stealing (Dan 4:28-30)
  11. Self-exaltation (Jer 48:29; Rom 11:18)
  12. Desiring, or rejoicing in, the demise of others (Ps 140:5)
  13. Boasting of the future (Isa 16:6; Jas 4:16)
  14. Determining the importance of a person based upon outward appearance (2 Cor 5:12)
  15. Praising oneself to others or subtly soliciting their praise (Prov 27:2)
  16. Haughtiness, scoffing (Prov 21:24; Jer 48:29)
  17. Lack of concern for those in need (Ezek 16:49)
  18. Serving self above others (Phil 2:3)
  19. Confidence in, and affection for, wealth (2 Chron 32:24-31; Ezek 28:5; 1 Tim 6:17; 1 Jn 2:16)
  20. Lovelessness (1 Cor 13:4)
  21. Judgmental, critical, unforgiving spirit (Matt 7:1-5; 18:21-35)
  22. Biblical knowledge without biblical love (1 Cor 8:1)
  23. Refusal to discipline sinning church members (1 Cor 5:2)
  24. Role reversal in marriage: husbands who don’t lovingly lead and wives who don’t respectfully submit (Eph 5:21)
  25. Stubborn resistance to confess sin and submit to divine discipline (Ps 32:3-4; Heb 12:5, 11)
  26. Spiritual adultery, i.e. worldliness (James 4:4-10)
The fear of the Lord will make us more sensitive to the ugly faces of pride and compel us to turn away from its hideous strength—just as Proverbs says: The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate (8:13).

Print this entry