Inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable feeling of superiority as to one’s talents, beauty, wealth, rank, and so forth; disdainful behavior or treatment; insolence or arrogance of demeanor; haughty bearing. Pride can, more rarely, have the good connotation of a sense of delight or elation arising from some act or possession. Some synonyms of pride are egotism, arrogance, haughtiness.
The Hebrew verb ga·ʼahʹ literally means “grow tall; get high” and is the root of a number of Hebrew words conveying the idea of pride. These related forms are rendered “haughtiness,” “self-exaltation,” and, in both good and bad senses, “eminence,” and “superiority.”—Job 8:11; Eze 47:5; Isa 9:9; Pr 8:13; Ps 68:34; Am 8:7.
Pride Is Deceptive and Destructive. The proud person may not recognize that he is proud and may attribute his actions to other causes in order to avoid facing the fact of his pride. Each person should examine himself and his motives thoroughly to determine whether he has this bad trait. The apostle Paul shows the need for the right motive, and the knowledge a person should have of himself in this respect, when he says: “If I give all my belongings to feed others, and if I hand over my body, that I may boast [kau·kheʹso·mai], but do not have love, I am not profited at all.”—1Co 13:3.
Pride should therefore be rooted out of one’s personality for one’s own benefit. More important, it must be done if a person hopes to please God. One must even come to hate it, for God’s Word says: “The fear of Jehovah means the hating of bad. Self-exaltation and pride and the bad way and the perverse mouth I have hated.”—Pr 8:13.
The individual who does not get rid of his pride will suffer. “Pride is before a crash, and a haughty spirit before stumbling” (Pr 16:18), and “the house of the self-exalted ones Jehovah will tear down.” (Pr 15:25) There are a number of examples of the crash that proud individuals, dynasties, and nations have suffered.—Le 26:18, 19; 2Ch 26:16; Isa 13:19; Jer 13:9; Eze 30:6, 18; 32:12; Da 5:22, 23, 30.
Pride is deceptive. The apostle Paul counsels: “If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he is deceiving his own mind.” (Ga 6:3) The proud person seems to be taking the way most beneficial or profitable for him, but he is leaving God out of account. (Compare Jer 49:16; Re 3:17.) The Bible says: “Better is it to be lowly in spirit with the meek ones than to divide spoil with the self-exalted ones.”—Pr 16:19.
Boasting. The Greek verb kau·khaʹo·mai (boast) is used frequently in the sense of selfish pride. The Bible shows that no man has any ground for boasting in himself or his accomplishments. In the Christian congregation at Corinth, some were puffed up with pride in themselves or in other men, bringing about divisions in the congregation. They were thinking in a fleshly way, looking to men instead of to Christ. (1Co 1:10-13; 3:3, 4) These men were not interested in the congregation’s spiritual welfare, but they wanted to boast in outward appearances, not really wanting to help fellow Christians develop good hearts before God. (2Co 5:12) Consequently, the apostle Paul severely reproved the congregation, showing that there was no room for them to be boasting in anyone but Jehovah God and what he had done for them. (1Co 1:28, 29; 4:6, 7) The rule was: “He that boasts, let him boast in Jehovah.”—1Co 1:31; 2Co 10:17.
Jesus’ half brother James went even further in condemning those who boasted about certain worldly projects they were intending to carry out, telling them: “You take pride in your self-assuming brags. All such taking of pride is wicked.”—Jas 4:13-16; compare Pr 27:1.
A Good Connotation. The Hebrew word ga·ʼahʹ, the Greek word kau·khaʹo·mai, and their related forms are also used in a favorable sense with reference to pride or delight that arises from an action or possession. The psalmist spoke of Israel as “the pride of Jacob, whom [Jehovah] has loved.” (Ps 47:4) In a restoration prophecy Isaiah said that the fruitage of the land would be “something to be proud of.” (Isa 4:2) The apostle told the Thessalonian congregation that, as a result of their faith, love, and endurance, “we ourselves take pride in you among the congregations of God.” (2Th 1:3, 4) Christians are proud that Jehovah is their God, that they have come to know him, and that he has recognized them. They follow the principle: “Let the one bragging about himself brag about himself because of this very thing, the having of insight and the having of knowledge of me, that I am Jehovah, the One exercising loving-kindness, justice and righteousness in the earth.”—Jer 9:24; compare Lu 10:20.