Benjamin Franklin once said, “There is perhaps no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride; disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive and will every now and then peep out and show itself. You will see it perhaps often in this history. For even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I would probably be proud of my humility.” Thomas Jefferson also said, “Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst, and cold.” These two men spoke of pride in this way, not because they had completely rid themselves of pride and inflated ego, but because they felt the need to warn others of its poison.
The Bible also gives us God’s opinion of unhealthy pride in James 4:6: “…God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” And Proverbs 16:18 contains a warning to all of humanity: “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
So, why do so many important people of history find it necessary tell us to heed this sage advice? They understood that the god of self is to be starved, not fed.