There are two things I’ve never ever had anyone ask for pastoral guidance about. One is covetousness and the other is pride. I want to write briefly about the latter.
Jonathan Edwards once wrote that pride is evidenced by four things in a person’s life: 1) Drivenness, 2) Scornfulness, 3) Willfulness, and 4) Self Consciousness.
Drivenness: There is nothing wrong with wanting to well what you do… whatever that is. There is nothing wrong with doing whatever you do to the best of your ability. The problem comes in when you take joy over knowing others aren’t as good as you are. The problem is when you are glad when others fail who do the same thing you do. The problem is when you use people as tools to advance yourself without regard to how it effects them.
Scornfulness: This is when a person belittles others. This is when a person cannot rejoice when others succeed. This is when a person says things to and about others to others so as to impugn their character. This is when a person is quick to throw a look of disdain or contempt toward others when they believe that person is “gaining on them.” This person loves finding fault in others.
Willfulness. This is when a person is “always right.” The individual quickly discounts the ideas and thoughts of others as inferior. This is when a person forces their will on others without regard for the fallout. This is when a person relies on the force of their personality to overwhelm others and get their way.
Self-Consciousness. This one works two, seemingly contradictory, ways. The first is a person who has an exceedingly high view of themselves. The other is a person who is consumed with an exceedingly low view of themselves. This is when a person constantly wonders and worries about what others think of them. Either way, the person is unhealthily focused only on themselves.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve got some heart and attitude work to do!