A Test for Pridefulness

None of us likes to think we are prideful. It’s always someone else; that guy over there is the arrogant one. One way of gauging is to ponder how well we accept being corrected. Consider the following verses from Proverbs:

He who corrects an arrogant man earns insult; and he who reproves a wicked man incurs opprobrium. Reprove not an arrogant man, lest he hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. Instruct a wise man, and he becomes still wiser; teach a just man, and he advances in learning (Proverbs 9:7-12).

Which one are you?Do you bristle when someone corrects you or do you grow wiser from the input you receive?

It’s not easy to accept criticism or correction without feeling some degree of humiliation, particularly when it is public in some manner.

Of course, there are different kinds of correction.There is the sort that involves facts about which we are mistaken. At other times need to be set straight on the proper procedures to be followed in some situation. Finally, there are times when we have failed in a moral sense and need to be summoned back to what is right. Whatever the case, being corrected can be difficult, and how we handle it is a good indicator of pride or humility in our soul.

There are, to be sure, times when people do not correct us in the best way possible.Perhaps they are smug or seek to embarrass us. Even in those cases, though, if we are wrong, we should view correction as beneficial, regardless of how poorly it is delivered.

Note also that the passage from Proverbs above links humility to wisdom and learning.Thus, something we call docility is related to humility. The word docility comes from the Latin word for being teachable. Too often, we can be stubbornly opinionated and resist being taught. It is important to ask the Lord for greater docility.

In preparation for Lent, take this short self-test for pridefulness: How do you take correction? How teachable are you?

10 Replies to “A Test for Pridefulness”

  1. Silent prayer for persecuted Christians who only seek reconciliation with our good Father, so that every human being can adore in peace.

  2. I corrected you on one of your insults against Pope Francis, and then you blocked me on FB. That was months ago. I don’t think a priest should block anyone because it completely dissolves the credibility of their relationship with the Good Shepherd who leaves the 99 to find the one lost sheep. Don’t make excuses. Rash judgment is not exemplary of a priest, neither is public contradiction of his superior.

    1. You seem to have some kind of chip on your shoulder. I don’t what I did to offend you and I don’t even know who you are. I do vaguely recall you may have written here before and were rather bitter about something else, but there are other commentators who go by “Taylor” as well. So I don’t know what you are talking about Nor do I recall blocking you on my Facebook or insulting Pope Francis. I have at times disagreed with him, as many do today but I certainly never insulted him And I also write to praise him when he upholds teaching. And for heavens sake, I have 5000 friends on Facebook. And, except for the last few months, I am not even the one who moderates comments. ADW had a staff member doing that. So, I don’t think I deserve your bitter jibe here and the rash judgment may be on your side.

      1. Thank you for your direct reply. St Ignatius Loyola always encouraged us to put the best interp on others actions. That should have been done for you. If you needed correction it should have been done with that in mind. Today, as you are so aware, the internet allows people immediate access to a response whether
        mean-spirited or not. BTW, I enjoy you comments and commend your blog
        nick

    2. Thank you, Msgr Pope, for an excellent and revealing test for pridefulness. Even willingness to take the test is a test!

      I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to your homilies and other talks.
      God bless your ministry!

    1. I found the debunking humorous and interesting. Is there a problem with College humor. I don’t really know anything about it. A search on the topic of correction brought me to the video, that is all.

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