I’ll just come right out and say it…men have too much pride.
There are more times than I’d like to admit where my wife may suggest I (or we) do something and I’ll flat out ignore it because I don’t want to be told what to do. Especially if it’s something I was already thinking about doing or could’ve came up with myself without being told.
I know, this is stupid, selfish and unfair but it is true.
I’ve found that pride can take you places that only humility can get you out of. That, along with a big heart felt apology.
However, my pride is not limited to my wife. I have it with God as well.
No matter how bad I act God is always instructing and guiding me. He is a present help in my life. Yet I still find myself wanting to do it on my own. Try it my way because “I know” what I’m doing.
It’s nothing but pride and I hate it.
As a man, there are a quite a few ways I’ve witnessed pride negatively effect my life:
- Prevents you from growing. Since I’m operating as a full glass there is no capacity for me to learn or grow any more
- Makes communication impossible. Pride prevents me from seeing the other parties side of the story. All you can see is what I didn’t do and what nobody is going to make me do.
- It creates shallow relationships. No one wants to be around someone that they are constantly competing against their pride with. Pride will prevent you from true friendship and keep you as an associate.
- Damages your legacy. The single-handed, fastest way to destroy everything you’ve built in life is to operate in pride. I’ve already mentioned the importance of a legacy, pride is its enemy.
- Hurts those closest to you (including yourself). It’s impossible to be in tune with those closest to you if your head is high and chest is always puffed out. You can’t hear the subtle cries for help or the genuine plea of a well needed change. This can lead to immense hurt in your relationships and ultimately the end of them.
Not all pride is bad, however. Here are a few examples where pride has a positive impact:
- A man should take pride in his work. Whatever you put your hand to should gleam with confidence and pride. People should be able to tell that the person who completed the work took it seriously.
- A man should take pride in his appearance. A real man understands the impact his presentation has on others. When he walks in the room there should be a different vibe in the air. How he carries himself should demand respect.
- A man should take pride in his family. How your family presents themselves will be a direct reflection of your presence in the home. A man who takes pride in his family shows through his children being respectful, his wife feeling secure, and the entire family as a unit operating in sync with one another.
- A man should take pride in his identity. Discovering who you are is the greatest journey you will ever embark on. When the discovery is made value what you have found. Trust the identity God has placed in you. The world doesn’t need a carbon copy of anybody else, it needs you to be who you were called and created to be.
- A man should take pride in his faith. Last but definitely not least, your faith is something to take pride in. Protect it. Live by it. Let it guide you daily. Whatever your beliefs may be, put it into practice with ultimate confidence.
It’s important to know the good and bad impacts pride can make in your life. It’s equally important to realize that its presence in your live is inevitable. In fact, you will deal with pride every single day of your life. This is why it is important for us men to understand how to deal with it in a healthy manner.
You won’t always get it right. Sometimes you’ll know what you should do but still let pride get the best of you. That’s okay. it doesn’t make you a bad man and terrible father, it just makes you human.
This is why it’s important to maintain the proper perspective on pride. It’s always present just waiting for an entry way into your life to destroy it. Keep it at bay. Remember the rotten fruit it will produce in your life and your family.
Here are three things to remember when fighting the presence of pride in your life:
- It’s not about you. It’s amazing at times how easy it is to make things all about yourself at times. Pride thrives on self glorification. By simply removing yourself from the picture pride begins to suffocate. When you start focusing on the needs of others more than yourself (hello married men!) pride will have no dwelling place. Your heart will be more pure, your motives become outwardly focused instead of inwardly beneficial.
- When you can’t empathize, sympathize. Never forget where you came from. All that you had to overcome and what toll it took on you. That is how you extend empathy towards those who are going through what you have conquered. When you can’t extend empathy, extend sympathy. Since it’s not all about you, picture yourself in someone else shoes. Seek understanding to what they may be thinking or going through.
- Don’t forget what you’re trying to accomplish. There is a good chance whatever you are using pride to accomplish is being destroyed by the same pride. It’s biblical. Pride is the beginning of a man’s fall. It is a trick of the enemy to make you believe it is elevating you when your decline is evident. Look at pride as the adversary of your goal. Do not team up with it, remove it. It is the only thing that will prevent you from ever accomplishing it.
What’s so powerful is the three points above can be summarized in the command to love others. If you learn to genuinely love others (even those that spite you), you will be far less prone to fall victim to the entrapment of pride.
The most simple way I’ve found to combat pride is to take action. Often times pride is trying to keep us from taking the opposite action. Instead of ignoring someone out of pride, listen. Instead of speaking your mind, be quiet. Instead of acting like you know it all, learn something. Do the exact opposite of what pride is telling you to do.
This sounds easy as I type it, and you read it, but requires constant humility. Operating in daily humility is your best defense from the infiltration of pride in your life and relationships.
So the goal is not to live a “pride-less” life, it is to live a life of controlled pride. Keeping it in its proper place and not allowing it anymore real estate in your heart than is healthy.
How has pride impacted your life? I’d love to hear about how you handle pride in your life, or how you are struggling with it. Let’s talk in the comments below…