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What Pride Does to Relationships

Article written by Dr. David B. Hawkins // Originally posted on Crosswalk.org.


The quiet, healthy pride that comes from sincere and true accomplishment and a job well done can be a healthy thing. We have all performed well at a task and deserve to take a moment to appreciate what we have done and the gifts God has given to us. Gratitude for our blessings is a natural outgrowth of this process.

Unhealthy pride that believes he/she is better than someone else, knows more, and clings to their position brings harm to others.

Unhealthy pride inevitably leads to disgrace, as Solomon advised: “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.” (Proverbs 11: 2) He went on to say, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16: 18)

One man shared the following story:

Dear Dr. David. 

I have been stubborn in my marriage and am about to lose my wife. She has pulled away from me because I have hurt her so many times with my arrogant, powerful attitude. I always think my way is the right way of doing things and she is weary from trying to get my attention.  

I am a Christian but still struggle with stubbornly believing my way of doing things is the best way. In the process I put her down, dismiss her opinions and am on the verge of losing her for good. How can I overcome this stubborn pride? 

We can all sympathize with this man. It is like he is watching his own life dissolve in slow motion. He has a hint as to the outcome, but because of the power of denial, and the intoxicating power of pride, he persists in wielding a power that humiliates and hurts, all the while dismissing his harmful actions.

His pride, as we all know, will come to no good end if he doesn’t collar it and submit it to the will of God. Will he remain intoxicated and deluded by his own sense of right and wrong, overpowering his mate and losing her, one emotional cut at a time until she pushing away for the last time?

While this man’s story is tragic, his story is our story. We may not be on the brink of losing our marriage, but perhaps we have a broken friendship to show for our stubbornness. Perhaps we have an estranged relationship with a grown son or daughter or a neighbor who stays away because of an altercation he/she had with us.

Remember again the words of the Apostle Paul: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3: 12-13)

We are all wrestling with pride. Let’s consider what we can do about it:

 

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