To overcome pride, it is critical to identify relational ways of thinking that can trigger various forms of ungodly pride. The exposure of problematic thinking patterns is the first step to replace pride with humility. Many people have negative thoughts about themselves, other people, and God as well.
These thoughts that consistently reoccur in our heads are like a tape recording that plays repeatedly. These tape recordings are a consistent reminder of all the negative experiences that we cannot seem to let go of. The severity of your experiences can turn up the volume of this tape recording. These negative experiences can take root in our thinking and emotional patterns.
Regarding those who harbor many bad experiences, it is only natural to develop a defensive stance against others who may threaten our emotional or financial well-being. This self-centered endeavor has the potential to progress into contempt for our brothers and sisters in Christ and is worthy of our consideration.
The hypervigilance caused from trauma is overly focused on remaining safe against others. This can hamper or even prevent reaching out to others. This sounds reasonable to some, but eventually the lines are blurred between staying safe and acting out on our prideful nature.
What started as self-protection mechanism can progress into unbridled contempt for our fellow man. This is how narcissism develops and if left undetected for many years, it is likely to become an engrained perspective.
A good example of how pride can disguise itself as self- protection is an individual who was abused during childhood. In an effort to avoid the pain and vulnerability that life tends to bring, he or she becomes the master of their own destiny and attempts to stay two steps ahead of other people through hard-work and determination.
This person may fixate on the negative which drives the person to reach for self-satisfaction, admiration or to believe that they can earn their salvation. The focus becomes drawn away from God, away from the connections that we are designed for.
The tape recording would repeatedly play a narrative of: You are responsible for your own destiny and it is every man and women for themselves. This is truly the narrative that perpetuates narcissistic behavior in us all.
This narrative is typically reinforced through a false sense of power derived from anger. For some, this feeling is much preferred versus the feeling of vulnerability caused by abuse and pain.
Essentially, he or she does not trust other people or the Lord and frequently overestimates the harmful intentions of both. Often the result is that those who love them are kept at arm’s length distance which prevents love from penetrating the scarred heart of the individual.
This is exactly what the adversary would have us believe and carry out in our lives. This is a good example of where trauma can manifest itself in pride and self-preservation versus being a victim of life. This type of pride places self-preservation above all else which robs them of rich and loving relationships that are based on trust and mutual respect.
Don't forget to continue this series from Dr. Robert Grand with 7 Ways to Overcome Intrusive Thoughts...
Dr. Robert Grand is an accomplished researcher with extensive doctoral work in fatherhood. His published dissertation completed at Liberty University on Expectant Father Fears has experienced worldwide appeal with 52 different countries utilizing his research. Robert has also Authored Six Books (available on Amazon) on recovering from Addiction, Codependency & Trauma. As a Adjunct Professor at California Baptist University, a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and a Domestic Violence Specialist II with NAMA, it is Robert's passion to spread the gospel through teaching and biblical counsel.