I’ve been struggling with pride for a considerable amount of years of my life. I’ve gotten to the point where I hold myself in esteem above others and getting really impatient with others as a result of them not being ‘‘as perfect’’ as I am. I usually get really irritated when getting told off by someone but I do not give in to it completely, as in I accept the correction but with an unwilling attitude (e.g saying okay thanks but with a sad/upset expression).
So yesterday I was discussing an issue with my dad, and I sorta got kinda irritated when he told me to do something, but I did it anyway but with an ‘‘unwilling’’ attitude. I know this may be a venial matter in itself but what about the underlying motives of this ‘‘unwilling’’ attitude? Maybe I did not like the idea that my dad had authority over me so I acted this way? My intention was not to put him down or anything, but it was just to ‘‘retain my pride’’
Like I’m willing to obey my parents’ command but I did not want to be seen as ‘‘submissive’’ you know what I mean? As in just saying ‘‘yes, I’ll do it’’ without any resistance. It is something I struggle with especially with the sin of pride still going rampant in my life, I’m working on it but still always feel inclined to choose pride over humility in certain occasions. But still, would my example be a grave sin of pride?
Well, if you are conscious of it, and feel remorseful if it makes you act uncharitably, you are dealing with it well.
Matters of disposition (a tendency to anger, or jealousy, or pride) are not in themselves sins, although they may cause us to sin. The sins is being uncharitable, or treating someone else badly, not simply the tendency, or even ‘feeling’ in itself.
Human psychology is also complex- there is a natural tendency in males (and I guess you are one?), to rebel against one’s father- it’s something to do with the ‘dominant male in the pack’ instinct. Once you get older (I’m assuming you’re fairly young?), and your dad get’s ‘elderly’ you will probably get along with him fine.
PRIDE. An inordinate esteem of oneself. It is inordinate because it is contrary to the truth. It is essentially an act or disposition of the will desiring to be considered better than a person really is. Pride may be expressed in different ways: by taking personal credit for gifts or possessions, as if they had not been received from God; by glorying in achievements, as if they were not primarily the result of divine goodness and grace; by minimizing one’s defects or claiming qualities that are not actually possessed; by holding oneself superior to others or disdaining them because they lack what the proud person has; by magnifying the defects of others or dwelling on them. When pride is carried to the extent that a person is unwilling to acknowledge dependence on God and refuses to submit his or her will to God or lawful authority, it is a grave sin. The gravity arises from the fact that a person shows contempt for God or of those who take his place. Otherwise, pride is said to be imperfect and venially wrong.
While not all sins are pride, it can lead to all sorts of sins, notably presumption, ambition, vainglory, boasting, hypocrisy, strife, and disobedience. Pride strives for perverse excellence. It despises others and, depending on its perversity, even looks down upon God. The remedies for pride are a sincere knowledge of oneself, the acceptance of daily humiliations, avoidance of even the least self-complacency, humble acknowledgment of one’s faults, and prayerful communion with God.
Something to consider; “When I was fourteen I thought my dad was the dumbest man in the world. When I turned twenty one, I was amazed at how much he had learned in seven years.” - Mark Twain
The struggle to establish one’s own identity is a normal phase of being young. Stand on what you believe is right, but never lose a basic respect for the other person. I doubt an attitude like that would constitute any serious sin.
Oh, and if you are looking for an example, when Joseph and Mary found the twelve year old Jesus in the temple after being “lost”, he answered his mother’s question honestly and respectfully, and then went with his parents and was obedient to them. Not a bad role model and example to follow???
It appears that you’re very aware of these issues. One dealing with a mortally sinful issue of pride would never have asked about this on a public forum, nor would he take frequent recourse to the sacraments, as I hope you are doing.
So, some good questions to ask yourself are: do I fail to stand in the truth? Do I never cease to sin otherwise? Do even enormous sufferings or the dread of sufferings to come not keep me from sin? If you answer yes to these, then your sin is that of the devil, or rebellion against God. If not, then you are a poor sinner like the rest of us, but you are walking the way of the Cross and of penance. Confess often, and don’t despair.
Pride can result in all kinds of harmful behavior. But just realize that pride is always opposed to God and love in one manner or another, always poses a danger to oneself and can lead to greater and greater error in one’s life. Impatience, which you mentioned, is already a sign of weakness, loss of moral integrity in terms of virtue. Also realize that we all have too much pride relatively speaking, and never an overabundance of humility.
Aquinas called pride “inordinate self-love”. It’s to exalt oneself above one’s worth. So, yes, they certainly aren’t far apart when we understand “pride” in the bad or worst sense, as one of the seven deadly sins IOW. Proud and arrogant people are thus self-enabled to justify all kinds of wrong, in the name of being always and inarguably right, ironically enough.