“Pride goes before disaster, and a haughty spirit before a fall. It is better to be humble with the poor than to share plunder with the proud.” ~ Proverbs 16: 18-19
Other than the theme of love the theme of pride dominates the majority of literature- Hubris. I learned acutely this week: Pride has no business in an intimate relationship.
St. Augustine wrote, “It was pride that changes angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.” So very true. Pride enslaved us to sin and death. Humility freed us from sin and death.
Within a loving, intimate relationship pride ruins relationships and wrecks havoc. Pride destroys all other virtues and even other vices. Pride denies sin. Pride ultimately means an over-inflated, misplaced self reliance and rejection of our reliance on Our heavenly Father- Our Creator. Pride is like giving God the middle finger. We puff up like a petty, pouffy self-absorbed grouse. But pride makes us feel good or justified or superior. In reality, we reject God, turn ourselves into mini-gods, and reject the people we claim to love. We’re too busy loving ourselves.
Pride manifests itself in many ways within a relationship: lack of communication, resentment, abuse and control, sexual perversion like pornography or masturbation, holding a grudge, inability to think of others, lying, omitting or twisting the truth, blaming others, whining, etc.
“For pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of live, or contentment, or even common sense.” — C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.
Pride isn’t the same concept as being proud. We can delight in our gifts, talents, and accomplishments barring maintaining healthy gratitude to Our Creator who bestowed us with the capacity. Pride doesn’t mean having unhealthy boundaries, being a doormat, excusing bad behavior, or refusing to cultivate a conscience that delineates between good and evil. Having convictions or a moral compass is not automatically pride.
Pride prevents reconciliation, humility, forgiveness, freedom, and virtue. Pride tramples faith, hope, and charity (love.) Pride enslaves a person to their distortion of self reliance and prevents freedom in this life and the next. Pride snuffs out joy. Pride destroys peace. Pride prevents communion and union.
“The greatest misery does not stop Me from uniting Myself to a soul, but where there is pride, I am not there.” –St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul (1563)
I’m guilty of pride. Pride that hurts others and myself. Daily I struggle with occasions of sin and sin prompted by pride. I struggle to keep prideful behavior at bay within an intimate relationship. Pride can be sneaky too manifesting itself in unlikely manners and places.
What is the antidote to pride? Humility. Not faux humility. Authentic humility. Part 2 of this post will be an exploration of humility.
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” — C.S. Lewis