Even Christians who live a decent, edifying life are not completely free from pride, which is defined as the excessive love of one’s own excellence. Pride is a sin with which practically all people are affected. It is also undeniable that pride, the root of all vices and the destruction of all virtues, is the sin that brings about the most harm and destruction. It is also a very covert sin; it crawls into the deepest crevices of the human heart or even disguising itself under the appearance of virtue, rendering most arrogant people unaware of their prideful state.
So how do we fall to sin by pride?
1.) When we exalt ourselves
When we exaggerate our own virtues and flaws, much as individuals who claim to themselves traits and perfections that they either don’t possess at all or simply have in lesser amounts than what they believe they do. These people pridefully overestimate and exalt themselves. Alternatively, when we want to look to be something we are not. Perhaps it’s when we aspire to honor that we are unworthy of or when we find ourselves in an unsuitable circumstance. These people want to be favored above others and expect to be regarded more highly than all of their peers. Because they want more glory than they deserve, they sin out of pride.
2.) When we refuse the honor and glory due to God
Those who glorify themselves with their good deeds rather than God. All of the material and spiritual blessings we enjoy are gifts from God; to attribute one’s possessions to oneself is to be unjust to God and to commit a pride-based sin. This kind of arrogance is fairly typical. They pretend to have received nothing from God and attribute everything to their own effort, talent, energy, and dexterity in order to avoid having to express gratitude to God.
A farmer can say “I have good crops because of my hard work!”. A businessman can say “I get up early in the morning without any complains and I gave all of my best for my success!”. These proud persons do not consider that with all their diligence and shrewdness in business they could not accomplish the least thing if God withheld his blessing.
We must distinguish between two things in all good deeds: the fruit, or the utility and the honor. God has decreed and wills that all of the benefits of our labors flow to us, but that all glory belongs to Him alone. If somebody seeks respect and recognition from others for their good deeds, they are doing God a grave injustice and hurt. God expects that people should spend their time praising and honoring Him.
3.) When we despise our neighbor
The proud man has a very high image of himself; he imagines that others do not share his positive traits and that no one can compare to him. His inflated self-esteem and perception of himself push him to the point where he disregards and despises other people. Like the haughty Pharisee at the temple (Luke 18: 9-14).