Mark 7:20-22: “And he (Jesus) said, what comes out of a man is what defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of man come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a man”.
And again, Sirach 10:12 “The beginning of man’s pride is to depart from the Lord; his heart has forsaken his Maker, for the beginning of pride is sin, and the man who clings to it pours out abominations”.
Mother Nadine, the author of Bathe Seven Times, speaks about the seven deadly sins of Pride, Sloth, Envy, Gluttony, Anger, Avarice and Lust. In this post we will focus on Pride. St Thomas Aquinas tells us, “Pride is the beginning of all sin” (A tour of the Summa, 84-2). “Pride is a powerful sin. It is the sin that was committed by Adam and Eve through disobedience and rebellion. Theologians, saints and mystics tell us that pride is the sin most hated by God, even though lust is the most frequently committed sin.” (Bathe Seven Times, pg 68).
So, there are eight different types of pride which we can fall into if we aren’t careful and watch our hearts. But, we all have some form of pride that we have to fight, because none of us are perfect. The most important thing here is to recognize where your weaknesses are so you can work on them and correct them.
Pride of Intellect is basically being “attached to our own judgments, opinions and thoughts” (pg 68). Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not”
An example of this type of pride would be resenting being told what to do. According to Mother Nadine, these individuals rely on their minds, rather than the heart. Faith starts in the heart and is then relayed to the mind, but because they only let knowledge into their minds, it never gets to the heart, …this kills faith.
Pride of Superiority or Authority: This type of pride is also called pride of Independence. We can become very stubborn and want to control the lives of others. Always telling others what they should be doing and how. We want to assert our authority over them, and make them think and believe as we do. This type of pride really dislikes being told what to do, and according to Mother Nadine, this kind of pride is really excessive self-love. “It is overbearing and arrogant. It has a very critical attitude. Its bossy, argumentative, conceited, and unkind. It wants no advice and accepts no counsel”. Jeremiah 35:13 “Will you not receive instruction and listen to my words, says the Lord?
Pride of Ambition: This kind of pride is seeking attention or recognition, honor and or positions of power. These individuals have alot of confidence in themselves and their abilities to the point of being excessive. They are doing things for their glory rather than Gods.
Pride of Sensitiveness: This type of pride is where the person is extremely sensitive and you are literally walking on egg shells around them, always afraid of hurting their feelings. They harbor grudges and very suspicious of your every word or move. They tend to be unforgiving. Have you ever had anyone ignore you and give you the quiet treatment. Oh yeah, this reminds me of me. I have done this a few times. In fact, many years ago, a good friend of mine pointed this out to me when one day she said “boy, you sure hang on to grudges.” I am so glad she did, because it was only after that, that I consciously tried to work on that. This pride wants to have ill feelings towards the one who “hurt them” and will walk around with a “Poor Me” attitude. Self -pity is very evident here. Usually, if they do speak, their tone of voice is very cold. Another characteristic of this type of pride is feeling unloved and unwanted. They tend to feel like everyone is against them and they are very anxious of what others think about them.
Pride of Timidity: Pride of timidity can be closely linked to pride of sensitiveness. These individuals tend to have a fear of what others think of them. “Often times they will even compromise in order to have someone’s respect or friendship” (pg 69) and fear being ridiculed. Fear is the driving force in this kind of pride. As I spoke earlier in my post on Fear, this type of pride will miss many opportunities to do Gods will simply because they are afraid to step out and follow God’s counsels or inspirations.
Pride of Scrupulosity: Scrupulosity has a tendency to fix itself and its attention on the wrong things. The evil one here is really trying to get our attention off of what is important and think non-stop about something that is not important. We worry excessively about this or that being a sin, when in fact, it is not.
Pride of complacency or vanity: This type of pride is very self-centered. touchy, easily offended, anxious to look good in the eyes of others. Perfectionism is a characteristic of this type of pride. “Perfectionism operates out of the pride of intellect where we already have our opinions, and of course, they are correct. We may pretend to listen to others opinions, but we really don’t take them to heart. This type of pride can also lead to being overtakative. We don’t let others get a word in, we do all the talking. This type leads to legalism, hypocrisy and stubbornness in our actons which is false humility “(Bathe Seven Times)
Spiritual Pride: St. John of the Cross says spiritual pride will show up in beginners. Beginners will pursue perfection with great zeal. The problem is that we easily become prideful in the sense that we start looking at others and condemning them if they do not have similar devotions. The beginner will love to instruct rather than take instruction. Another example of this type of pride shows up when we try to minimize our faults with others such as our spiritual directors. We don’t want them thinking that we are not as far along as we would like to think we are. Another way this pride can take hold is when intercessors begin to take credit for the answered prayers. For example, if we tell others that it was us praying for them that got the victory, instead of giving God the credit for the victory, we have fallen straight into satans camp, and out of Gods. We really need to give God the credit for all answered prayer. Whenever we do something for our glory or attention, rather than for Gods glory we have fallen into pride.
Mother Nadines’s Book, Bathe Seven Times, can be found at www.bellwetheromaha.org. It is a very poweful book.