David was "a man after God's own heart" and still struggled with pride and arrogance. C. S. Lewis says that only Christians admit to pride and also that pride is an anti-God state of mind. It is the root of sin and can affect a person at any time. It most often comes with success--any kind, even spiritual success.
Pride is related to approval. It causes people to do things because they seek approval. It is also related to anger--anger can indicate pride. It is also related to authority. It keeps us from yielding to God's authority.
Several words are translated as pride. Seething anger is one. Another is a word that means making a show. Another is a word that means "lifted up". Another is a word that means "lofty". Another is "puffed up". Another is "hot air". Here he gave an illustration about filling a bag up with hot air. The bag rises and then tips and falls. Pride causes people to fall.
David struggles with pride even though he has already seen its effects on Goliath and Saul. Pride begins with disobedience, which leads to rationalization. This puts me in the position of judging between good and evil.
David's confession is in Psalm 51.
Pride is hard to see in ourselves. It is so prevalent that other people often won't say anything because they fear that it also is in their own lives.
Warning signs of pride:
- Talking about God telling me to do something that I can't back up in the Bible
- Intolerance of opinions I don't like
- Seeing myself as an evaluator and reluctance to be evaluated
- Justifying doing something by saying that God wouldn't want me to be unhappy
- Using other people to build me up (either hanging out with lesser people to show how good I am or hanging out with people of higher status to boast about who my friends are)
Pride is intertwined with discontent. It is also intertwined with anxiety. "Humble yourself before the Lord, and he will lift you up. Cast all your cares on him; for he cares for you."
God doesn't send humbling situations just to see how I'll do coping with them. He sends them to test my trust in Him. If I see the test as a test of my abilities, this can lead to pride.