Pride is the worst of all vices. It can remove other vices from a soul while it takes the seat of control. The clear footprint of pride is seen as the thought that you are really quite good, and in fact better than most.
The absence of pride is an actual forgetting about yourself.
Pride can beat down the other vices and cause us to feel that we are quite good.
Pride becomes its deepest when you are so delighted in yourself that you don’t care at all what other people think of you. Of course, we are not to worry about what other people think of us, but that is only right when we are incomparably more concerned with what God thinks of us.
This is why pride is so dangerous. It is subtle. We hear that it is not to matter what people think of us, but we can allow that truth to make us into devils. We hear that whether people are pleased with us or not is of no issue, and a misunderstanding of that truth will destroy life and love.
We are to please others and please God, not because we are very fine people, but because goodness and virtue are pleasing. We are not to care about the opinions of others, but only because we care far more about the opinion of God. We are to think of ourselves soberly and truthfully. God has destroyed our old worth and He has given us His worth. God does good and pleases others, but He does not base His worth on it. He is worthy by nature, and He has given us a divine nature, by grace, so that we will walk worthy, all the while knowing that it was all a gift by the unmerited favor and love of God.
God wants us to know Him. He wants to give Himself to us. When He is known and accepted you will be humble.
We are promised that if we come to know Him, and by that truth we will know ourselves as well, that we will be delightedly humble. We will feel the infinite relief of having for once got rid of all the silly nonsense about our own dignity which has made us restless and unhappy all of our lives. God is trying to make you humble in order to make this moment possible: trying to take off a lot of silly, ugly, fancy-dress in which we have all got ourselves up and are strutting about like the little idiots we are. All the “Look at me,” “Aren’t I a good boy?” and all its posing and posturing. To get here is to really rejoice in life, just being alive.
Just like God, life is to be enjoyed easily. If it is, all thoughts of self will have disappeared. How do we get there? The first step is to realize and admit that you are proud. Admit it to God. You cannot start the path to humility without it. Anyone who doesn’t think he is conceited is very conceited indeed.
HEB 12:1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
HEB 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
HEB 12:3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.
HEB 12:4 You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;
Quote from Philip Schaff: “Who can paint the glory of the rising sun with charcoal? No artist’s ideal comes up to the reality in this case, though his ideals may surpass every other reality. The better and holier a man is, the more he feels his need of pardon, and how far he falls short of his own imperfect standard of excellence. But Jesus, with the same nature as ours and tempted as we are, never yielded to temptation; never had cause for regretting any thought, word, or action; He never needed pardon; or conversion, or reform; He never fell out of harmony with His heavenly Father. His whole life was one unbroken act of self-consecration to the glory of God and the eternal welfare of His fellow men. A catalogue of virtues and graces, however complete, would give us but a mechanical view. It is the spotless purity and sinlessness of Jesus as acknowledged by friend and foe; it is the even harmony and symmetry of all graces, of love to God and love to man, of dignity and humility, of strength and tenderness, of greatness and simplicity, of self-control and submission, of active and passive virtue; it is, in one word, the absolute perfection which raises His character high above the reach of all other men and makes it an exception to a universal rule, a moral miracle in history. It is idle to institute comparisons with saints and sages, ancient or modern. Even the infidel Rousseau was forced to exclaim: “If Socrates lived and died like a sage, Jesus lived and died like a God.” Here is more than the starry heaven above us, and the moral law within us, which filled the soul of Kant with ever-growing reverence and awe. Here is the holy of holies of humanity, here is the very gate of heaven.” [Philip Schaff, The History of the Christian Church]
How do we deal with the disappointment that is our own failure to so often reach the mark set for us by Christ? We never lose sight of Him bidding us to follow.