There is a good pride (like good cholesterol which the body needs) and bad pride (like bad cholesterol which brings disease). Good pride leads to a sense of self-respect and desire to achieve. The bad pride is called a haughty spirit. It is smugness. Self-righteousness. God so hates this. We are told that a pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. When you see men and women boasting and arrogantly carrying on as if nothing can happen, mark it down: such a person will fall. It is only a matter of time. The Bible guarantees it.
But the Bible says that God is no respecter of persons. None of us is exempt. The moment I begin to take myself too seriously is the moment I head toward serious problems – unless God steps in graciously to grant me repentance. He has actually done this. I am so grateful to him. I know that in earlier years I took myself so seriously. Not that I am devoid of this now. Oh no, don’t think that. But I know that God has given me wake up calls and that he has kindly led me to repentance.
I am sure that if we were to get a true, objective picture of our smugness and self-righteousness – then see what God thinks of it, we would fall on our knees and beg him for mercy. The best thing you and I can do in this connection is to ask God in mercy to show us our self-righteousness, self-pity, feeling of entitlement and pride – but simultaneously to grant us repentance. There is good old 1 John 1:9: if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to purify us from all unrighteousness. He is a gracious God.