I’m a prideful person.
In Mere Christianity C.S. Lewis wrote this about pride:
Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others. If everyone else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking there would be nothing to be proud about. It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest.
I’ve experienced this kind of pride in public speaking.
I’ve experienced this kind of pride in ministry.
I’ve definitely experienced this kind of pride in fantasy football.
I’ve been playing fantasy football for 10 years. I’m in no way an expert but I know how to set a lineup and peruse the waiver wire. I have some amount of pride in my fantasy football ability and that pride took a significant hit this weekend.
I got beat by a 17-year-old girl who didn’t start a quarterback or a kicker.
That’s really embarrassing and it wounded my pride. I really wanted to win. I talked trash all week. I thought that there was no way I could lose to a high school girl. Yet, lo and behold, Reggie Wayne scored more points than T.Y. Hilton on Monday night and I ended up with the loss.
I really hate how the loss made me feel. I wasn’t just upset about losing but I was upset about losing to a 17-year-old girl. It’s never enough just to win or to get close to winning. My pride wants to be better than everyone else. My pride wants to show everyone else that they’re not as good as I am.
Pride is an ugly, insidious sin. It makes us look at other people as potential competitors as opposed to children of God. It makes us look at God and think that we know better than he does. It makes us look at ourselves and think that there’s no room for improvement.
Our pride probably won’t turn us into Emperor Palpatine but it could make us unreasonably angry with teenage girls. Thankfully grace still abounds and, even when we don’t think there’s any room for it to work in our lives, it still does.
How do you see pride in your life?