I recently heard an expert on biblical truths say that impatience is pride. What? No, I don’t believe that. Really? I know that God hates pride. But I have never heard that impatience is pride. How can that be? Think about it, what happens when you get impatient?
That’s an easy one to answer for me. When I get impatient it stresses me out. I ruminate. I get emotional. I cuss. Yes, you heard me right. I am an old Emergency Room nurse. Learning to cuss was a necessary survival skill. I can get really ugly. But the worst of it, it eats me up inside.
But pride? Where does that come in? I just don’t want to believe it, not me. I pray and ask God to open my eyes. Help me look into me Lord. But then I am caught short. Hmmn . . . When do I get impatient? Oh my, let me count the ways. When I want someone to follow through with what they either said or agreed upon and they don’t. This is in fact one of my emotional triggers which sends me right over the edge.
But how can that impatience be pride? Is it because I think my way of doing things is the only way? Oh, now I see. It is kind of like a double whammy. Not only am I not being loving to my brothers or sisters, it sets me up for spiritual attack. The negative self-talk begins by criticizing and then I move into how it should be done. Oops. I am so guilty.
I confess that I am sometimes, maybe too often, impatient. As I was writing this blog, I googled (because I am impatient to wait for the answers to come to me) about what others thought. One source, Bible Resources, gave some interesting points to think about. Read on with me and check off your self evaluation for Signs of Pride. Use a 1-10 scale with 1 being lowest (you don’t do this) and 10 being the highest (you do this all the time – This is not scientific.)
“Insecurity is the root of many unhealthy and ungodly behaviors. It provokes us to want the lavish praise and attention of others too much. Much of pride is motivated out of one’s unmet need for self-worth. Finding one’s identity and security in Christ is a must to avoid pride.”
Nope not me! I am secure in my identity in Christ. I am a child of God.
2. The need to be right.
“The need to be right prevents one from appropriately evaluating issues as well as themselves (Galatians 6:3). A person who needs to be right has an exalted investment in himself or herself and thinks that he/she knows better than others. In religious circles, the need to be right is frequently manifested through always saying ‘God told me’ or ‘God showed me’.”
I may be somewhat guilty, so I will give myself a 5.
3. Being argumentative.
“Individuals, who argue their point of view, especially to those in authority over them, are allowing pride to get the best of them. At the root of their argument is a belief that they are right and the other is wrong and that their will should prevail. It is appropriate to advocate for a point of view or position but not to do so in such a manner that you are more invested in your opinion than in arriving at a mutual understanding.”
Bummer, I have been caught. I want to think I negotiate. Hmmm? Maybe a 4?
4. More invested in being heard than in hearing.
“When someone develops a pattern of needing others to listen to them rather than first hearing others, pride is motivating the need. The need to be heard is common among clergy who are insecure. Oftentimes, the individual does not feel loved or valued unless people “hear them out.” In truth, this is often just an expression of insecurity and pride.”
Nope not me, I pride myself on being a good listener. Did I just say pride? I really am a good listener. A 10!
“Anger is a self-justifying emotion. This means that the nature of anger is to prompt us to justify our position and blame another for the wrongdoing. Justification of self leads to denial of our own complicity or wrongdoing. The scripture warns that the “anger of man does not accomplish the righteousness of God.” (James 1:20). An individual who is angry a lot is suffering from pride.”
Is there a difference between being angry and temporarily upset? I do not hold onto anger but I do get angry at times. I do not justify or blame. Can I get a 6?
6. Irritability and impatience.
“Only recently did I learn that the root of impatience is anger and therefore pride. When we are unable to be patient with another and are irritated, it demonstrates a haughty view of self. We feel that our views, time or needs are more important than the other persons. This again is more an indication of our pride than someone else’s slow movement or imperfection.”
BINGO! I have been had.
7. Lack of submissive attitude.
“Submission is the voluntary placement of oneself under the influence, control or authority of another. When an individual pledges their submission to you or another, yet is critical or argumentative of that authority, then pride is the hidden issue. The test of humility and submission is being able to say ‘yes’, maintain a positive attitude and trust God, especially when the decision of your authority goes against your grain or better judgment.”
Oh, do I ever need to reread this? It is trusting God, not me.
8. Not easily corrected.
“Ever work or live with someone who won’t receive any negative or corrective feedback? This too is pride.”
Nope not me!
9. Receiving correction but not changing.
“Saying thank you for the feedback, but never change. This too is a form of pride. Insecurity and fear prevents him true change”.
I cherish and always take to heart feedback. I do change. I am a work in progress!
10. Needing others to take your advice.
“Advice should always be offered without strings attached. If you find yourself resenting the fact that your advice is not followed, look deeper at the motivating issues in your life.”
11. Needing to proclaim your title or degrees.
“Demanding that others call you ‘doctor’ or ‘pastor’ or ‘bishop’ is usually a way of making you ‘one up’ and them ‘one down’. Once again, pride is fueling the requirement.”
Nope, not guilty. Not me!
12. Being stubborn.
Webster’s dictionary defines stubbornness as “unduly determined to exert one’s own will, not easily persuaded and difficult to handle or work, resistant.” The root issue of stubbornness is willfulness, which is ‘I want what I want when I want it.’ Another name for pride.
Oops, I was doing pretty good until now.
13. Comparisons and competition.
“2 Corinthians 10:12 makes it clear that comparing oneself with others is unwise. Comparison is a form of competition. It is often overt. However, it can also be the subtle sin of heart that inwardly grieves when another is more successful or rejoices. The motive of heart is pride.”
I am really not interested in comparing or competing with others. I have so much work to do on me, I don’t have time! Give me a gold star on this one!
Whew! Made it through. This was grueling to see myself dissected like this. How did you do? Which ones challenge you?
Patience takes practice. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes making it through times of trials. We have to come to a place where we understand that there are so many things that are not under our control. We have to let go of our pride and our thinking that we can make things happen in our lives. God is in control. If we give our requests to God, He will listen, but He will choose what is best for us, and He has perfect timing.
I leave you to examine your own impatience.
Pray for me and if you need prayer for your impatience, just ask, I will pray for you too.