Pride vs. Humility, Dignity and Respect

Dignity, Respect, Humility Vs. Pride

Last week I talked about leaving a legacy and the effect pride has on all relationships, especially our children.

Another way to look at pride and its effects on our relationships is to ask the question: "Did my actions toward that person treat them with dignity and respect?" That is a very hard question because we may think they deserved what we said or did. We may think that person does not deserve respect and has no dignity.

What is interesting is that the greater our pride, the easier it is to justify not treating another person with dignity and respect. Some examples that have shown up in my life are in parenting, in marriage or even in our driving habits. (Run any red lights lately?)

In parenting, I was more interested in proving that I was right and that my children were wrong than in helping them to correct their attitude or poor behavior. In proving that I was right, I did not treat the child with dignity or respect. In doing so, I hurt the relationship and lowered the trust factor with my daughter. (It takes a lot of good, respectful actions to make up for one disrespectful action.) In disciplining children, it is many times easier to focus on the punishment and making them "pay" than focus on what the desired outcome of the discipline (not necessarily 'punishment') is. With pride driving our minds, it is easier and seems most expedient to lash out in anger than stop, think, and treat the other person with respect and dignity. In raising our children, our goal should be to bring them up so that they can function in society showing others respect and treating them with dignity.

In marital conflict pride shows up by a spouse yelling at the other, giving the cold shoulder or just saying "I'll do my thing while he/she does hers." Pride likes to show itself in the heat of the moment, when we can so easily justify (in our minds) why we don't need to treat the person with dignity and respect.

At work, do you treat your peers or subordinates through pride or humility? Are your actions communicating that that employee is a person and deserves respect? Does your pay scale treat a person with dignity or do you take advantage of them because you can? Do your employees know you care or do they know you care less?

In my driving, I have justified running a red light because my plans were too important to wait. (I did not think about the other drivers and how I could kill someone.)

At times, I do run across a person whose behavior is so repulsive that I don't want to treat them with dignity and respect. But, I have learned that if I stop treating them with dignity and respect, I begin the path to become like them.

Taking Personal Inventory

This list was given to me today and I thought it was worth republishing. Ask yourself, where do you tend to lean: pride or humility? Ask your wife, husband, child or friend to rate the top three strengths and weaknesses in this list.

Many people think humility a weakness or lowering yourself. I like these three definitions
a) not proud or arrogant; modest b) meek (the definition of meekness is controlled strength)
c) courteously respectful

A humble person is a person who is in control. They don't have to be always right, always in the limelight, have life always about them. A humble person is others focused.

Pride v. Humility
1. Poor listener vs. Listens attentively and works on listening skills
2. Rarely affirms others vs. Affirms often
3. Has little patience vs. Bears with others, has patience
4. Holds grudges vs. Forgives and moves on
5. Ignores people you dislike vs. Respects all
6. Needs to win conflicts vs. Loves and seeks to understand others
7. Judges quickly vs. Forgives quickly
8. Gossips, blame shifts vs. Controlled tongue
9. Minimizes or denies weaknesses vs. Admits weaknesses
10. Difficulty in admitting they are wrong vs. Seeks forgiveness
11. Compares self with others vs. Honors others
12. Insists on getting own way vs. Considers others
13. "I can do all things" vs. How can I help?
14. "What's in it for me?" vs. Gives selflessly


Genesis 3: 1-5
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden?"
The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' "
"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

This is the beginning of pride. Pride is elevating yourself above another. Adam and Eve wanted to be like or as God. It is the original sin for which all other sins are derived.

Proverbs 22: 4 Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life.

Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek (controlled strength) for they shall inherit the earth.

This is not a blessing for a wimpy person but for one who knows his/her strength but controls it and uses it properly.


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