20 Signs of Pride

Pride comes before the fall

In preparation for a sermon on pride and humility, I read through Richard Baxter’s Christian Directory a section on pride (Part 1, chapter 4). It is excellent. I have summarized some of his points below about a few of the worst kinds of pride:

  1. Self-idolizing pride causes men to glory in their supposed greatness, like Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4:30, “Is not this great Babylon that I have built, for the house of the kingdom, by the might of my power, for the honor of my majesty?”
  2. Pride causes men to set up their supposed worth and goodness above or against the Lord: so that they make themselves their principle ends, and practice that which some of the late presume to teach, that is is not God that can or authorize to be man’s end, but himself alone.
  3. Pride makes men more desirous to be over-loved themselves, than that God be loved by themselves or others.
  4. Pride causes men to depend upon themselves, and contrive inordinately for themselves, and to trust in themselves; as if they lived by their own wit, and power, and industry, more than by the favor and providence of God (e.g., Obad. 3; Isa. 9:9).
  5. Pride makes men return thanks to themselves which is due to God for the mercies which they have received (e.g., Dan. 4:30; Hab. 1:16).
  6. Pride sets up the wisdom of a foolish man against the infinite wisdom of God it makes men presume to judge their Judge, and judge his laws, before they understand them; and to quarrel with all that they find unsuitable to their own conceits.
  7. Pride makes men set up their own love and mercy above the love and mercy of God.
  8. Pride makes men pretend to be more just than God; and to think that they could more justly govern the world.
  9. Pride makes men slight the authority and commands of God, and despise his messengers, and choose to be ruled by their own conceits, lusts, and interest.
  10. A proud man will expect that his will be obeyed before the will of God.
  11. A proud man is more offended that one would question his authority, or speak diminutively of his power, or displease his will, or cross his interest, than with one that signs against the authority, and will, and interest of God.
  12. Proud men would fain steal from God himself the honor of many of his most excellent works.
  13. A proud man will give more to his honor than to God.
  14. A proud man would have as great a dependence of others upon him as he can.
  15. A proud men is very patient when men ascribe to him that which he knows to be above his due, thought it be to the injury of God.
  16. A proud man would have his reason to be the rule of all the world, or at least, of all that he has to do with.
  17. A proud man will let his pride keep him from repenting of any fault or error that he can but find a cloak for.
  18. A proud man is eager to know more than God reveals.
  19. A proud man is discontented with his degree (i.e., standing, worth), especially if it be low.
  20. A proud man would fain have God’s independency. Though need make him stoop, yet he would willingly be beholden to none…because he would be so great, and high, as to scorn lean on any other.

Richard Baxter, Christian Directory (Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1996), 195-198.


You might also like...