Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
Peter Pompous is the image that comes to mind when we think of pride. Some snooty guy or girl who struts around like they are all that and box of bubble gum. But a haughty spirit can show up in ways that are not so obvious. Toddlers demonstrate this side of pride when they insist that they want to “Do it myself!” They try to do it themselves and end up with a mess, after which they throw a fit. We often throw fits like that too when we end up with a mess. We may become irrationally angry, blame someone else, or pretend we don’t care, never realizing that pride is the passion behind the tantrum.
Some people even brag about their pride, as though it was a virtue. “I’ve got my pride!” some good ol’ boy announces when he refuses help during hard times. It also presents as spiritual excuses: “I didn’t want to bother God with this.” “God gave me a brain, so why should I have to ask Him what to do?” “I dropped out of church because I can’t find one I agree with.” We may strive to appear autonomous, like baby turtles hatching from our shells, but we’re not baby turtles. We’re human beings and we need help—from God and from others. Refusing to admit that fact often results in a humbling crash. Wise people have learned to welcome opportunities to humble themselves, because it is far better to humble ourselves than for God to do it.