“Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall,” (Proverbs 16:18).  Pride’s stealthy ambush often goes undetected prior to plummeting face first to the ground.  Hopefully, it is in those aftermath moments that we learn the greatest lessons.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned about pride was fairly recently.  I have learned that pride is the root of fear.  Fear is one of the biggest impediment to growth, and many of us believe that if we could just conquer fear, we would be well on our way to the promise land.  However, today, I would like to make the argument that fear is the manifestation of pride.  Hear me out.

In order to make my point, I’ll use an example.  Let’s say for the sake of argument, there was an opportunity for us to start a business.  One of the main reasons that we might use for not pursuing that opportunity would be the fear of failure.  Unfortunately, that fear of failure does not exist in a vacuum.  Our fear of failure is deeply interwoven into our desire for approval.  What do I mean by this?  Sometimes, we frown upon the thought of failure because we don’t want others to know that we are weak and flawed.  If we fail, we would have to admit to ourselves and others that we are imperfect.  That, my friend, is pride.  Another reasons why we might avoid the potential of failure is that we are concerned about what others would say about our situation.  Again, if one of our main reasons for not wanting to fail is that we are weighted by the opinions of others, then we are being prideful.  Here’s why.  We have placed our desire to please others above our call to be true to ourselves.  When we are not being true to ourselves, we are being something that we are not.  Adopting a persona for the sake of approval is indeed pride—making ourselves larger than we really are.

Besides our fear of failure, what other reasons do we use to avoid pursuing an opportunity?  We might use the excuse that we are not smart (rich, talented, gifted, pretty, etc.) enough.  Again, pride could be at the root.  For every problem, there is a solution.  Sometimes we allow pride, which may manifest as fear of rejection, to prevent us from asking for help.  So what if the people we ask for help tell us no.  So what if they give us a harsh yes.  If so, we should simply dust our shoulders off and move on.  However, many of us do not want to risk being rejected, so we don’t seek help.  We remain frozen in our mediocrity.  That is pride.   

The truth is, there are so many factor that determine why we act the way we do.  However, today, I wanted us to look deeper at our behavior and not simply take our actions at face value.  Sometimes, there is a deeper reason why we act the way we do.  Sometimes it’s pride.