Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill tthe law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load. Galatians 6:1-5
– Galatians 6:1-5
I have a theory. I posit that pride is a root emotion and from it stem other emotions such as selfishness, arrogance, entitlement, comparison etc. Pride in this case is defined by an excessive amount of conceit, thinking more of yourself than of others. I see firsthand how strong this fleshly tendency is every single time I see a fight break out between my children. I’m reminded that sin does not have to be taught. Following an argument or fight between them I attempt to have them see how their behavior has made the other person feel or how it may be interpreted. I emphasize love for the other person, empathy, humility, and compassion, the antidotes to pride. But, if we’re being honest, it may be more visible when we see it play out between children, but adults are far worse at feeling and harboring pride. We disguise it. Pride is often hid behind self-confidence, wealth, position, career, education, independence, body image, etc. We are very discreet about pride.
But, scripture makes it clear that pride is a “way of evil” and he hates it (Proverbs 8:13). When are hearts are full of pride it is a clear indicator they are not aligned with the Lord. It makes complete sense why Paul, in a passage devoted to carrying one another’s burdens would caution his fellow believers and call them to examine their own hearts before being able to provide support to another in sin. Pride breeds intolerance of other’s sin. If we are not careful we will compare ourselves to the one who has sinned, “deceiving” ourselves into thinking we are better or beyond failure. The judgement that fellow sisters feel can be damaging as well.
Each should examine “his own work” to make sure their hearts are rid of pride and walking in line with the Spirit. It is then they can “boast” in what Christ has done through them! Once they have done so, they are to go and give themselves to the care of other believers, supporting them and carrying their loads that they cannot bear alone. How is pride hindering your ability to show the love of Christ?
For further reference see also Proverbs 8:13 and Romans 12:3