Pride and Relationships

We often don’t think that we are prideful. This usually goes along with feelings that we are not doing anything wrong, that our actions are justified and that we are not the ones with a pride problem, especially compared to our spouse.

It’s possible that the simple thought that we are not prideful, is in itself, prideful.

President Ezra Taft Benson explains that pride is often misunderstood and that in fact many people don’t realize they are being prideful.

He goes on to define pride in some detail:

“The central feature of pride is enmity—enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means “hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.

Pride is essentially competitive in nature.

Our will in competition to God’s will allows desires, appetites, and passions to go unbridled. (See Alma 38:123 Ne. 12:30.)

The proud cannot accept the authority of God giving direction to their lives.

Rebellion, hard-heartedness, stiff-neckedness, unrepentant, puffed up, easily offended, and sign seekers. The proud wish God would agree with them. They aren’t interested in changing their opinions to agree with God’s.

Enmity toward our fellowmen. We are tempted daily to elevate ourselves above others and diminish them.

The proud make every man their adversary by pitting their intellects, opinions, works, wealth, talents, or any other worldly measuring device against others.

The proud stand more in fear of men’s judgment than of God’s judgment.

It is manifest in so many ways, such as faultfinding, gossiping, backbiting, murmuring, living beyond our means, envying, coveting, withholding gratitude and praise that might lift another, and being unforgiving and jealous.

Disobedience is essentially a prideful power struggle against someone in authority over us… A proud person hates the fact that someone is above him. He thinks this lowers his position.

Selfishness is one of the more common faces of pride. “How everything affects me” is the center of all that matters—self-conceit, self-pity, worldly self-fulfillment, self-gratification, and self-seeking.

Another face of pride is contention. Arguments, fights, unrighteous dominion, generation gaps, divorces, spouse abuse, riots, and disturbances all fall into this category of pride.

Contention in our families drives the Spirit of the Lord away. It also drives many of our family members away. Contention ranges from a hostile spoken word to worldwide conflicts.

The proud do not receive counsel or correction easily.

The proud depend upon the world to tell them whether they have value or not.

Pride is ugly. It says, “If you succeed, I am a failure.”

Pride adversely affects all our relationships

Pride fades our feelings of sonship to God and brotherhood to man. It separates and divides us by “ranks,” according to our “riches” and our “chances for learning. Unity is impossible for a proud people.”

Avoiding Pride and Strengthening Relationships

According to President Benson, the antidote or pride is humility. If we are able to esteem others as we do ourselves, we show love for God and our for fellow man.

Having humility means that we do not think that we are greater or more deserving than any other person.

In addition, President Benson suggested that we can choose to humble ourselves by doing the following:

“By receiving counsel and chastisement

By forgiving those who have offended us.

By rendering selfless service.

By confessing and forsaking our sins and being born of God.”

By loving God, submitting our will to His, and putting Him first in our lives.

When we choose to be humble and to consider our family members point of view, needs and preferences as we would our own, we lay the foundation for strengthened love and commitment.

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