When does pride become sinful?

Is it only sinful when we think we are morally superior to others or also when we think in a prideful way that we are smarter or better athletes than other? Is it also a sin if a prideful thought comes to your head but you quickly dismiss it?

Thanks for your answers in advance :).

Pax Christi!

Pride becomes a sin when it prevents or inhibits our obedience to God’s will. Examples include: “I don’t need to change my behavior; I’m good enough.”; “I didn’t mean any harm, so why should I apologize?”; “I go to church (or know the Bible, or pray a lot), so nobody can tell me XYZ!”

A common claim is, “I’m going to heaven!”

Uh - you’re not the judge, and you can’t see into the future!

I’ve heard people say, “But, I believe in God!”

Yes. And so does everyone in Hell.

A little pride is natural and healthy: “Hey, I’m good at sports!” A little humility (NOT the lack of pride, but a limit to it) is also healthy: “You know, I could improve in some areas.”

Hope this helps. God bless.

Your examples appear sinful in my judgement. Christ calls us to compassion and humility.

It is ok to “take pride in your work” but that is different than vanity which is more if what you described.

Further I believe Pride/selfishness are at the root of ALL sins.

It is not spiritual healthy to dwell on comparing yourself to other people. Part of this is because our inherent attributes are nothing to be prideful over to begin with, because they are strictly given and we do not have ownership over our attributes. Pride is twisted in that it is not interested (per se) in whether you are a better person than the person that you were yesterday; it is only interested in being better than the person next to you. If that means degrading the other person in order to make yourself seem better, then that is good enough. Sometimes this can take the form of literal bullying, though more commonly it means scrutinizing other people of all their weaknesses while glossing over any of our own.

Pride becomes sinful the moment it starts distancing you from God. A person should take joy in edifying themselves from day to day and growing ever deeper in God’s love.

I heard a very good sermon this morning in which the priest said humility is simply recognizing what you’re supposed to do and accomplishing it without looking for recognition or praise or reward. He said pride enters in when we start to think we’re more special than others and that we can do things on our own, which is why so many people in our culture are currently not even aware of a need for God. Jesus is the ultimate example of what it is not to be prideful - He is consubstantial with the Father, but He did not deem equality with the Father something to be grasped. Instead of saying “Ok, now resurrect me” as he hung dying on the cross, he simply said, “It is accomplished.”

I use the following questions as a start to examine my conscience when it comes to the sin of pride:

Have I put myself first before God, and been too full of pride?
Do I entertain too great an opinion of myself or value myself above my deserts?
Have I a superior attitude in thinking, or speaking or acting?
Have I refused to admit my own weakness(es)?
Am I snobbish?
Have I offensive, haughty ways of acting or carrying myself?
Do I hold myself above others?
Do I demand recognition?
Do I desire to be always first?
Do I never seek advice? Am I ready to accept advice?
Have I refused to learn from others?
Am I in any sense a “bully”? Am I inclined to be “bossy”?
Am I prone to belittle persons, or places, or things?
Am I prone to be critical of persons, places, things?
Do I speak ill of others?
Have I lied about others?
Do I make known the faults of others?
Am I ready to speak about the faults of others? Do I find fault easily?
Do I seek to place the blame on others, excusing myself?
Am I quick to see the faults of others? Or dwell on others’ faults?
Do I ridicule others?
Is there anyone to whom I refuse to speak? Is there anyone to whom I have not spoken for a long time?
Am I prone to argue? Am I positive and offensive in my arguments? Have I a superior, “a know-it-all attitude” in arguments?
Have I been stubborn? Refused to admit I was wrong? Refused to accept that another person had a better idea?
Am I self-conscious?
Does human respect enter into my daily life?
Am I sensitive? Am I easily wounded?
Do I tend to publish what I think good in myself, that I may be esteemed by others?
Am I arrogant, attributing to myself the good I have not.
Am I presumptuous and overly ambitious, by confiding too much in my own strength, conceiving myself capable of accomplishing things above my abilities, and in rashly attempting them?
Do I have contempt of others, on account of the good opinions I have of myself, and is this contempt is manifested by words or actions or by being severe and exacting on inferiors?
Do I neglect to submit to my superiors, by disobeying them, blaming their conduct, or murmuring against them?
Do I refuse to acknowledge my faults; or when, in confessing the facts, we maintain we have done well, or at least allege false excuses?
Do I have contempt of admonitions and corrections?
Am I ungrateful for God’s benefits?
Have I been content with my lowly position, or have I resented the role that Christ asks of me?

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