I printed this talk by Ezra Taft Benson off a while ago, and it's just been sitting in my room . I finally picked it up and read it the other day, and what a slap in the face! I hadn't ever really thought of myself as prideful, but it turns out I was crazy wrong ... especially in light of a certain issue that has come up.
[A] major portion of this very prevalent sin of pride is enmity toward our fellowmen. We are tempted daily to elevate ourselves above others and diminish them.
The proud make every man their adversary by pitting their intellects, opinions, works, wealth, talents, or any other worldly measuring device against others. In the words of C. S. Lewis: 'Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. ...It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.'
Pride is a sin that can readily be seen in others but is rarely admitted in ourselves. Most of us consider pride to be a sin of those on the top, such as the rich and the learned, looking down at the rest of us. There is, however, a far more common ailment among us - and that is pride from the bottom looking up. It is manifest in so many ways, such as faultfinding, gossiping, backbiting, murmuring, living beyond our means, envying, coveting, withholding gratitude and praise that might lift another, and being unforgiving and jealous.
The proud depend upon the world to tell them whether they have value or not. Their self-esteem is determined by where they are judges to be on the ladders of worldly success. They feel worthwhile as individuals if the numbers beneath them in achievement, talent, beauty, or intellect are large enough. Pride is ugly. It says, 'If you succeed, I am a failure.'
If we love God, do His will, and fear his judgment more than men's, we will have self-esteem.
Pride is a damning sin in the truest sense of that word. It limits or stops progression. The proud are not easily taught. They won't change their minds to accept truths, because to do so implies they have been wrong.
I'm going to have to work hard to change this attitude of mine. Lately, I've been discovering new imperfections every day ... which is a good thing, I guess. It is something I prayed for, I just didn't realize how well it would work!
Let's make this a wonderful week!
Read the rest of the talk here.