Fear operates in the background throughout much of our life and relationships. And it seems this provides a convenient backdoor for pride to enter into as well. Unwittingly, pride becomes a way to protect ourselves from the potential of future hurt.
Of course, it’s only natural to protect ourselves from any possible threats that might come our way. But often we’re not aware of just how defensive we’ve become. And pride is a sneaky defense mechanism.
For instance, this might play out in our need to be right and our unwillingness to entertain a different point of view. The risk of being wrong and feeling humiliated is too great and so we refuse to humbly consider the opinions of others.
And we might justify this with our facts and logic. But our pride is still at work when we can’t extend grace, compassion, and understanding to the other. Love requires us to be kind even when we’re technically correct on an issue.
Likewise, when we come to believe our way of doing life is superior to others to the point of looking down on them, fear might be a contributing factor here as well.
We like what’s known and comfortable and the unknown can make us anxious and afraid. Putting others down becomes a way to maintain our sense of safety, as the one-up position allows us to remain in control. To humbly submit to another’s way of doing things requires us to surrender control, which might be too overwhelming for us to tolerate.
To be sure, humility often comes with the risk of being hurt and this makes naming our pride much more difficult, as we’re blind to the ways fear is motivating our heart attitudes.
But, in the end, our unchecked fear often leads to many selfish and hurtful attitudes as a way of protecting ourselves. And to overcome our pride we must regularly face and let love expel our many deep and hidden fears.