“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 18:3


I enjoy little children, the young ones that don’t care how they look to others. They’re real, just the way God made them to be. They live and love with everything they have inside – freely. These are some of the reasons that photographing preschoolers has been one of my passions for years.

But children have a lot of growing to do. They’re not perfect. In the way humble children grow, needing their parents, Jesus calls for us to grow too. Spiritually we must be like a child, accepting that we are incomplete and inadequate. Jesus calls us to develop our spiritual lives, dependent on God, looking to him to give us eternal life.

But the pride that all of us have, in greater or lesser proportions, holds us back from being childlike in the way God wants us to be. Pride keeps us from submitting to the will of God. I was ashamed awhile ago when a couple of people close to me pointed out my tendency to be proud. And I had always thought I was quite humble! Amazing how we are blind to the truth about ourselves!

I’ve come to see that the hardest thing for some is to recognize how proud they are. Some of them even believe they’re just fine, but that everyone else must change.

Pride is no small sin. It can lead us to:

  • Seek recognition to exalt ourselves.
  • Accept no responsibility for wrongdoing.
  • Speak constantly without listening.
  • Be only concerned with ourselves.
  • Treat others as less than oneself, causing pain.

Pride is often at the root of stigma, causing great hurt to people with mental health issues. (see note below) The tragedy is that those causing the pain may be good people in other ways but are unable to recognize how wrongly they are treating people with certain differences. The following description of stigma may build understanding, though openness to understanding is important:

Stigma is frequently talked about, but seldom fully understood. It often represents itself covertly and overtly in fear, misunderstanding, judgement, intentional and unintentional mistreatment – and disconnection. It takes a proud person to be this way towards another – to consider the other less than himself. An individual with mental health problems could end up mistreated, no longer talked to.

Depending on what the relationship is, such treatment can bring great suffering, to the point of wanting to end one’s life. Memories of the mistreatment and the pain lessen but never go away.

So, what do we do with this pride that can cause so much harm? The truth is, we will never be able to fully escape temptations to be proud. But we can reduce them. When we catch ourselves thinking prideful thoughts, we must focus on our relationship with God.

Remember what it means to be a child of God. Jesus calls us to kneel before him like a child once more. In prayer, can we humble ourselves enough to let our pride go?

In the way Jesus himself modelled, can you “in humility value others above yourselves?”



SOURCE: From Simon M Laham Ph.D. The Science of Sin (Psychology Today)

“Pride is often cast as the most selfish of the deadly sins, and indeed, hubristc pride is a self-absorbed, other-shunning emotion.”