One of the most comforting things a father can say to a child is "I am so proud of you!" Yet pride has two faces, a face of warm feelings associated with accomplishment or achievement and another face that beams inordinate high self esteem, dismissing every and all critical information. This is the pride addressed by Proverbs 16:17-18 'pride goes before a fall.'
Common English Bible (CEB)
17 The road of those who do right turns away from evil;
those who protect their path guard their lives.
18 Pride comes before disaster,
and arrogance before a fall.
There are people highly susceptible to this form of pride, those of above average intelligence who over-estimate their ability, those highly familiar with a situation, the insecure and the know it all personality, even the homeless know it all personality on the street. You see the personality trait of pride knows no class and is an enemy to true mental health.
"Pride that goes before a fall knows no class, it travels with the rich and the poor, blinds to reality, makes others feel small."
The consequences are inevitable, socially it makes others feel small and psychologically it blinds us to reality always causing disaster as we disregard critical information. For example a pilot refusing warnings from the tower to change altitude, crashing into a mountain, constant warnings to reign in personal spending causing bankruptcy, a surgeon refusing advise from a seasoned nurse causing the death of a patient, an army officer refusing a critical alert from a private causing casualties, a CEO refusing to listen to reports of qualified executives causing a company to collapse, a celebrity who lives by their own rules ignoring warnings from family and friends who loose their career, a mayor, governor, prime minister, president, parliament or congress who ignores feedback from informed reasonable constituents resulting in the demise of their administrations because of failed policies.
The Christian Bible addresses the pervasive personality disorder of narcissism which is by definition a grandiose view of one's own talents or an inordinate inflated view of one's self. Romans 12:3 records "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you." Narcissism although characteristic in children becomes a personality disorder when pervasive in adults.
It was this Proverbs 16:18 pride that caused all ancient empires to collapse and the principle continues forward. This pride is so subtle only a Holy reminder with the help of the Holy Spirit can show it to us and bring it to our attention before its too late.
Finally God expects not low but a stable-middle self esteem that can embrace and learn from failure rather than high self esteem afraid of failure. A stable-middle self esteem rather than high or low self esteem can appreciate the fabric of navigating a complex society with failure a normal part of the fabric factoring learning and recovery from mistakes as a normal part of life. This attitude is an indicator of true good mental health. Today pray we come to our senses to see pride as the destroyer of all ages and lets stand against it.