The above word is something I know that I can have a real problem with. Pride is sneaky, it creeps up on us without us knowing about it. Especially when we live in a society that encourages us to have pride. We are assaulted on a daily basis. People's bumper stickers expressing pride in their football team, their bad attitude, sexual orientation or their child at school. Commercials on TV urging us to keep looking and acting young with products, procedures and drugs. If you start looking around with spiritual eyes, you will see lots of things in our society that draw us into pride. Pride can be good, pride can be bad. As a Christian what we are proud about needs to be kept in check.
The Pharisees were very proud of their behavior. Proud because they thought they were right with God. Why, they thought this way was the problem. They followed strict rituals and rules. Their righteousness hinged on their own efforts. We too may fall into thinking this way when we attend church regularly, have a lead position in the church, etc. We have to make sure that we are remembering who made us righteous. It never hinges on us, we are not the star of the show. The only star is Jesus.
As in the parable of the Publican and the Pharisee (Luke 18:9-14). One was a sinner and he approached the Lord with humbleness asking Him to be merciful to him for he was a sinner. The other man was a Pharisee who approached the Father with pride, saying he was glad he was not like "that man" a sinner. Jesus said that the first man had the right attitude. Let that attitude be in us also.
Remember, legalists emphasize external ritual, often to the neglect of genuine heart issues. Jesus encouraged us to consider our hearts. Here is a simple way to check your spiritual temperature. Matthew 15:18 says: "Those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart." What is coming out of your mouth? I know for myself, I have got some pride that needs to be dealt with.