When pride feels like humility and humility looks like pride

Both of these descriptions speak to the issue of pride. Love and pride are enemies and cannot both rule in a person’s life at the same time. So, when you see a braggart, someone who is arrogant and obviously full of himself, you find a person whose heart has not yet been given over to genuine love.

Pride can manifest itself quite openly or rather subtly. Open pride most often appears as arrogance and boasting in what one has or has done. But there is a more subtle way that pride works, too. You can express it by always bringing the conversation back to yourself—what you have done or experienced, so that the focus is on your accomplishments. That is the open, flagrant side of pride.

But, you know, there is a shadow side of pride as well. It is usually pretty easy to recognize the pride of arrogance and boasting, even when it is subtly expressed. But the shadow side of pride is less obvious. It is not arrogance or boastfulness. Rather, it is self-pity. Rather than calling attention to our accomplishments, the pride of self-pity calls attention to our pain and how badly we feel.

Arrogance says, “Look at what I have done, applaud me!” Self-pity says, “Look at how much I hurt, comfort me.” But both of them say, “Look at me!” And do you know what the antidote for both is? LOVE. Love doesn’t parade itself and it is not puffed up. That is, real love for others will keep you from being consumed with yourself; you won’t be too impressed with your achievements (nor encourage others to be) and you won’t be consumed by your hurts and pain.