When does pride becomes sinful?

Im sure you are not sinning when you are proud that you won a football game or something like that. But when does it transform to sinful pride? Is looking at your face to see if its beatiful pride? Or looking at your six packs in the mirror? Or is pride only when you are showing off?

Pride becomes sin when it leads us away from God. The problem with the word nowadays is that it has come to mean many things other than the sinful definition. Being proud of your team for winning a football game, being proud of your cultural heritage, e.g. are not really examples of the ‘pride’ of the seven deadly sins. The sin of pride I would define as putting your own wants (not needs) ahead of others or especially God. If your focus on yourself is leading you to other sins or sinful thoughts (e.g. lust, greed, hedonistic behavior in general) or specifically prideful sins (e.g. vanity), or away from God in any way (“I’d rather sleep in than go to Sunday Mass”) that is when it gets sinful.

It is okay to focus on yourself for your needs though. My old priest always encouraged people to pray for themselves first to ensure they were in a state where they could pray for others. But one should make sure they are attentive to the needs of others and of God before delving into their wants.

Modern Catholic Dictionary:

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.

A couple months ago I interviewed a woman for a position at work. Whenever she would start to discuss her qualifications, she would preface her remarks with, ‘I hope this doesn’t sound prideful…’ or ‘I don’t want to be prideful…’

It has taken me most of my life to realize that being proud of your qualifications or accomplishments is not necessarily a bad thing, and that there are times when you may even do yourself a disservice by hiding your light under a bushel basket.

The simple answer is…always. When you are grateful to God for the gifts of your life it is not pride…when you have an inflated status directed to self you are taking personal credit for that which is given to you (e.g. your very existence).

To combat the temptation towards the ‘sin of pride’, firstly picture the slave boy beside the Hero basking in his official Triumph before the population of Rome - the purpose of that slave boy was to repeat to the Hero, “A memento mori” {Remember you will die.]

And then ask yourself the true origin of all your talents and abilities - and ‘looks’.

It works in bursting my bubble. :thumbsup:

A couple years ago the priest giving our Parish mission said this: Don’t think less of yourself, think of yourself less. That has stuck with me. It’s ok to be proud of your accomplisments, but focusing on those successes to the detriment of recognizing others needs is the problem.

:smiley: love the replies… May God be glorified in all that we do! :slight_smile:

I’ve studied a good bit on pride. For me, I have found that all pride is false pride. There is no ‘good’ pride.

Pride covers shame and fear. And it always involves comparison, competition. Winners and losers; worse than, better than…

There is also ‘pride of place’. The woman who came to the laboratory window for bloodwork and said her name was “Mrs. Colonel Green”. Self-elevated status due to association with ‘better than’.

To me, pride is the sin that attempts to keep me ignorant of the darkness within me. Positive self-esteem and negative self-esteem are two sides of the same coin of the devil. ‘Goodness’ in this system is an illusion. The motives for doing ‘good’ are highly suspect at best. I discovered that in an effort to ‘prove’ that I wasn’t as evil as I felt, that I would do ‘good’ things so that others would tell me I was good - so that I could believe it myself. But I needed frequent reassurance, so I would bend over backward to ‘please’ others (even to my detriment) so that I could hear those words, “You are so nice. She’s a good person.”

There’s an writing that hit home for me. From the Cyclopedia of Illustrations for Public Speakers (737):

The anemone, or “windflower”, as its Greek name means, is fascinating to botanists and to all lovers of flowers because of two highly contrasted characteristics.

One of these is what gardeners call its “sporting” tendency in color. The other is a constant quantity, which never varies. As for the former, all who know the anemone are well aware that this flower is so variable that the cultivator never knows what will be the tint of the blossoms on any plant.

But the constant quantity is the great black spot in the heart of the flower. No matter what may happen to the color of the petals, the dense dark center is always there.

So it is with this our human nature. Education, culture, refinement, high accomplishments, hereditary advantages, and natural amiablility may and do contribute toward the charm of many a personality; but the black spot of the depravity which is innate is not expunged by any of these expedients.

It takes courage to look within. But my desire was rigorous honesty, and the Holy Spirit began to supply the truth I needed to begin to turn the black center, white as snow. It’s a process. Awareness is the answer - willingness to see, the key.

Proverbs 13:10 - Only by pride cometh contention.

Anytime I have to rationalize/justify pride, there is an underlying lie to peel. Pride happens when God does not receive the glory - we credit ourselves. My mother’s pride in my earlier accomplishments were self-contratulations.

Our culture is rife with the diversions of prideful things - sports is pervasive, but not the only one. So long as God got the credit for the prospering of America, things improved. When credit to God declined, so did America - and we are in the process of being turned over tho the collective reprobate mind. Same-sex marriage isn’t the problem - the problem began when God began pulling back the dampening effect of the Holy Spirit to reveal what is hidden in us because we forgot our sinful nature and need of God and His Holy Spirit to live holy lives.

Jesus says that one day we will call on Him and He won’t be there. When the Holy Spirit departs this world completely and leaves our Wills to the mercy of the devil within - there will be no mercy. Awareness of the violent and sexual movies, games, books one ‘enjoys’ is indicative of the vicarious living of the devil’s ways we may some day be left alone to act out. Without the counter-Force of the Holy Spirit, our Wills will be overrun.

Two ‘simple’ examples of pride from my life were my hair (like I put it there and determined the texture and color myself) and my typing ability (I fashioned my fingers and their dexterity, yes?). I took credit for (had pride in) other accomplishments and abilities, for sure.

To paraphrase what one person noted: If I don’t daily note contending with the devil within, it’s because I’m moving in the same direction as him.

Consenting to (entertaining) mental rape, perversion, adultery (fantasies), murder, revenge, etc. in the mind has no spiritual advantage over one who acts on those thoughts. One ‘mind tool’ I’ve found helps is when hearing of a depraved act on the news, to say to myself, “I am that.” Given the right set of circumstances either in being raised or placed in adverse circumstances today - I, too, could have my ‘black center’ activated into action. Pride is in seeing oneself above others - more spiritual - when we are equally the owners of “hearts deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.”

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