Pride and Arrogance

Pride is “inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable conceit of one’s own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, rank or elevation in office, which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often in contempt of others; insolence; rude treatment of others.” In a positive vein, pride is also “generous elation of heart; a noble self-esteem springing from a consciousness of worth.” Pride (transitive verb) with a reciprocal pronoun means “to pride one’s self, to indulge pride; to take pride; to value one’s self; to gratify self-esteem.”—Webster’s American Dictionary
  Being proud is “having inordinate self-esteem; possessing a high or unreasonable conceit of one’s own excellence, either of body or mind. A man may be proud of his person, of his talents, of his accomplishments or of his achievements. He may be proud of any thing to which he bears some relation. He may be proud of his country, his government, or of whatever may, by association, gratify his esteem of himself. He may even be proud of his religion or of his church. He conceives that any thing excellent or valuable, in which he has a share, or to which he stands related, contributes to his own importance, and this conception exalts his opinion of himself. A proud person is also arrogant; haughty; supercilious. While pride is “a sense of one’s own proper dignity or value and self respect,” it also can be “arrogant or disdainful conduct or treatment, haughtiness, an excessively high opinion of one’s self, or conceit.”—Webster’s American Dictionary
  Arrogance is “the act or quality of taking much upon one’s self; that species of pride which consists in exorbitant claims of rank, dignity, estimation or power, or which exalts the worth or importance of the person to an undue degree; proud contempt of others; conceitedness; presumption.” In practice arrogance is to arrogate, “to assume, demand or challenge more than is proper; to make undue claims, from vanity or false pretensions to right or merit.”—Webster’s American Dictionary

So pride contains much more than just one self-centered attitude. It is a composite of competition, one-upsmanship, arrogance, self-exaltation, and playing God. Arrogance is believing that the self is great while forgetting that God has given us every good thing. Arrogance unrightfully claims unwarranted importance or consideration out of overbearing pride, and always exalts the self. Arrogance is often haughty. Excessive pride and arrogance are sins, and the soul who entertains them shall end as did Ozymandias:

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert…Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
—Percy Bysshe Shelley

Edna Lister on Pride and Arrogance

Overcome your pride of personal performance.—Edna Lister, February 25, 1939.

Drudgery serves to eradicate all false pride from your soul.—Edna Lister, March 9, 1939.

God lets everyone work out his own salvation to the end, even to drinking the dregs of false pride. Each must face his folly, grow weary of it and be ready for God to take charge.—Edna Lister, September 16, 1941.

Law metes three years in delays for the failure of those whose heads swell.—Edna Lister, June 29, 1944.

Self pride leads to humiliation and needs to be cast out.—Edna Lister, November 1, 1944.

When you hold onto self in pride, you constantly feel inferior to others.—Edna Lister, December 15, 1944.

Pride sneaks up on you, though you have gone through all the heavenly Gates of Light. Sacrifice pride daily.—Edna Lister, December 28, 1944.

You need great humbleness, lest unwarranted pride slips into your actions or thinking. Pride of beauty, pride of intellect, pride of place, pride of position cause all “devils” of self.—Edna Lister, January 4, 1945.

Eliminate old arrogance, false pride, self-pity, self-blame, self-exaltation and self glorifying of the service you have given.—Edna Lister, February 28, 1945.

You may have no hidden pride or self.—Edna Lister, July 6, 1945.

Prideful people let ridicule stop them. The most spiritual person can have the greatest pride. Pride is one of the rottenest, purely emotional hangovers that takes five incarnations to lift.—Edna Lister, July 22, 1945.

Lift, scrape and dig until you get to the roots of pride and resentment.—Edna Lister, July 23, 1945.

Pride, conceit and self-satisfaction are the foul residues hidden in the subconscious caverns, and you would not drink from a cesspool.—Edna Lister, July 25, 1945.

Any solar plexus or heart center-based emotion that feeds self-pity is rooted in pride. Any flare-up feelings of resentment, no matter how small, are pride. When you think of self first (“What will this do for me or to me”), God credits it as pride. Grief festers in pride and self-pity, and it works out through the physical if not uprooted.—Edna Lister, July 31, 1945.

You dare not hide rotten pride behind grief, which is the fitting matter on which pride feeds. Hide nothing, bury nothing. You must be clean. You dare not be proud, which causes arthritis.—Edna Lister, July 31, 1945.

If you cannot take a reprimand without blaming the one who rebukes, it reveals pride of perfection. Humiliation consists of this, and you conquer it when you can take a reprimand with grace. The petty little self is as subtle as Satan, which only the Light of heaven reveals.—Edna Lister, August 11, 1945.

Bless another whenever he is arrogant and prideful.—Edna Lister, June 8, 1947.

Pride, arrogance and willfulness beget self-pity. It sticks, and you must dig it out to enter the high place and stay up.—Edna Lister, June 27, 1947.

When fineness of soul fills you, you never miss an opportunity to do an “angelic” fineness of soul for another. Do not let pride keep you from seeing the “fine” things to do.—Edna Lister, July 2, 1947.

A simple shrug can be the greatest arrogance, all pride, self-satisfaction, self-exaltation and disobedience.—Edna Lister, August 21, 1947.

To criticize another is self-exaltation.—Edna Lister, May 20, 1948.

Being proud with a love-of-God pride is legal.—Edna Lister, June 9, 1950.

You can’t take arrogance, pride or intolerance into heaven.—Edna Lister, October 5, 1950.

Pride earns a fall.—Edna Lister, May 19, 1952.

You build pressure while you feel saintly inside, and may explode in swollen feet, legs, glands or even brain cells bloated from pride in your own “goodness.”—Edna Lister, The Magic in the Sky, October 5, 1952.

The proud creed of self love posing as realism preaches “I am a realist. There’s no such thing as a miracle. They’re just unreal illusions.”—Edna Lister, The Living Chalice, December 7, 1952.

Anyone who disregards law dishonors God, is playing with God, breaking the law, and is arrogant.—Edna Lister, December 18, 1952.

Some people are so proud of being “realistic,” and love to tear others’ faith apart until nothing is left.—Edna Lister, All Shall See the Salvation of God, November 22, 1953.

Blame is false pride.—Edna Lister, July 12, 1954.

To ask another to make a promise is a manifestation of rebellion, willfulness, pride and stubbornness. Its odor is a stench before God.—Edna Lister, August 4, 1955.

Only the emotional life can disturb the spiritual body electrons. Hard reactions from this include pride, self-pity, dictatorial demanding and selfishness.—Edna Lister, April 14, 1956.

You must become as perfect as your heavenly Father, yet pride is the greatest danger you face.—Edna Lister, Aspiration, June 17, 1956.

You have no right to allow yourself to be humiliated on pride or hold it as a blame against another.—Edna Lister, July 20, 1956.

Jesus taught us to live under the honor of God, to be too proud to admit darkness, to be so loyal to the Prince of God that we can speak only love, too joyous of mind and soul to bother with darkness.—Edna Lister, The Way: Your Path, October 14, 1956.

"Maybe it’s my fault" is pride talking.—Edna Lister, October 25, 1956.

Dig out pride and the remnant idea that anyone has ever taken anything from you. All that is yours will be justly returned when you lift that idea’s last trace from your mind and heart. No one can take anything from anyone, permanently.—Edna Lister, October 25, 1956.

The world will pin back the ears of the prideful soul.—Edna Lister, November 18, 1956.

The remnant of pride or arrogance in your heart always goes forth, and that is what the other fellow gets.—Edna Lister, November 26, 1956.

Lift all pride and arrogance, rebellion and frustration. The mud of it traps you deeply for several lifetimes.—Edna Lister, August 13, 1957.

Fear of giving up authority causes the prideful soul to become a laggard. This is a hangover memory of the regal high place you left, that goes into reverse here. It seems like inferiority, but is actually not sacrificing the prideful self.—Edna Lister, December 2, 1956.

Ancient pride of self is the soil in which egoism is rooted.—Edna Lister, November 14, 1957.

You must have pride in your ideals, and should be too proud to become unbalanced in any stupid temperamental way.—Edna Lister, What Money Cannot Buy, December 1, 1957.

Love always forgives, but pride never forgets because it will not let you love enough. Pride is deep and consumes the space love needs. Unless you lift pride, love has no channel to use.—Edna Lister, As God Sees Me, June 8, 1958.

Blessed are the poor in pride of possession. Jesus never stopped preaching against pride, especially among those who ruled arrogantly by pride of place and education. You can be proud, but you may not have pride. You are too proud if you boast.—Edna Lister, As I See the World, June 15, 1958.

Love has no pride of self, yet arrogance inflates to fill all available space and leaves no room for anything good.—Edna Lister, As the World Sees Me, June 22, 1958.

Self exaltation is a lack of God’s love.—Edna Lister, October 20, 1958.

Pride of self fills every martyr.—Edna Lister, Constancy in Obedience, October 26, 1958.

Self-aggrandizement, self-awareness, self-pity, self itself, all entail pride, which results in judgment and condemnation. The taproot of self is as large as all the small tendrils of self put together. Better to spew it out at the cost of great contrition and repentance than to continue thinking that you are so good, only to fall on your face later with that self-root more deeply embedded.—Edna Lister, October 30, 1958.

A “perfectionist” carries pride and arrogance into the present life with a subconscious desire to cover these traits up from soul.—Edna Lister, December 15, 1958.

It’s wonderful to feel so sublimely positive you’re right, but it’s retrogression into selfishness, bigotry, pride, and self-exaltation.—Edna Lister, January 29, 1959.

Pride is a high idea of your own humility.—Edna Lister, May 24, 1959.

Self is the seat of warning when it does not rule the consciousness as pride or self-pity.—Edna Lister, I Am the Truth, October 11, 1959.

Be proud to lend a helping hand to those behind you, yet never be proud of doing or saying things that hurt others.—Edna Lister, Tomorrow Is Yours, December 13, 1959.

People with arrogant tones of voice have spent lifetimes being egotistical. Their desire to keep their vows to cleanse tone brings it to the surface. Ignore the tone and lift.—Edna Lister, March 22, 1960.

Each ascends along a stairway of love to meet a great black abyss of pride, self-pity, resentment, hatred, revenge motives, all the negatives, our enemies.—Edna Lister, From Gethsemane to Ascension, May 15, 1960.

Pride and intellect are barriers that can foster a sense of inferiority and inadequacy.—Edna Lister, September 10, 1961.

People may say you are too proud. You are, because you know that of yourself you are nothing, but the Father works everything together for good.—Edna Lister, What Is Compassion?, May 6, 1962.

You say and must mean that the other fellow is free to do it his way, although you would not do it that way. Anything less exposes pride of self, an attitude of being “too wise to fail” as you believe another has.—Edna Lister, June 7, 1962.

You cannot be uppity, prideful and gracious.—Edna Lister, Your Field of Wheat and Tares, December 9, 1962.

Lift the one you think is failing, but without pride of self because you have learned this lesson.—Edna Lister, Your Sacred Light, November 10, 1963.

Take heed of the “leaven of the Pharisees,” pride.—Edna Lister, The Greater Mystery: Your Inner Eye, December 8, 1963.

You are proud of yourself when you bite your tongue. Give up the “me” and “mine” for “thee” and “thine.” The little self screams and moans when you squeeze it to death.—Edna Lister, Shekinah Splendor, December 15, 1963.

Pride is the reason for not following law completely.—Edna Lister, June 28, 1964.

You can “lay down your life” on conceit, arrogance and pride.—Edna Lister, The Good Shepherd, November 1, 1964.

You may not be proud, but must have so much pride that you let nothing lesser touch you. A certain pride is soul protection from the outside world. You may not look down your nose arrogantly, for this denies the Christ.—Edna Lister, April 8, 1965.

Don’t be proud of “taking it on the chin.” Grab “it” and put it on a cloud before it strikes.—Edna Lister, Your Mount of Transfiguration, October 30, 1966.

You must have sincerity, loyalty and pride in your divine standing.—Edna Lister, How Great Is Your Faith, November 13, 1966.

Being eaten up with pride brings colitis.—Edna Lister, How Great Is Your Faith, November 13, 1966.

Arrogance and pride in knowing what is “right” are detriments, and blame another’s weakness. Lift them forever, now.—Edna Lister, April 23, 1967.

Pride contains much more than just one emotion. It is a composite of competition, getting ahead of the Joneses, arrogance, self-exaltation, playing God. “I try” is the equivalent of “I want, I wish, I hope. I have tried! I have prayed!”—Edna Lister, May 12, 1967.

Any stiff-necked fanatic has learned his lesson, but pride and rebellion can give him a swelled head and “holier than thou” attitude.—Edna Lister, Awareness and Becoming Law, May 26, 1968.

You resurrect your past when you turn to good, yet may bury your Godlike qualities under pride.—Edna Lister, July 1, 1969.

Always sacrifice your pride.—Edna Lister, Undated Papers, 1933-1971.

Wealth, beauty and power inspire pride, but may work through ego in a detrimental way.—Edna Lister, Undated Papers, 1933-1971.

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New Testament on Pride and Arrogance

Whoever exalts himself shall be abased, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted.—Luke 4:11.

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Old Testament on Pride and Arrogance

Behold, the day is coming, burning as an oven, and all the proud will be stubble.—Malachi 4:1.

When pride comes, then comes shame.—Proverbs 11:2.

Everyone that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord.—Proverbs 16:5.

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.—Proverbs 16:18.

A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit.—Proverbs 29:23.

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Edna Miriam Lister
The original Pioneering Mystic, Christian Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of pride: Middle English, from Old English pryde, from prud, “proud”; from Vulgar Latin prodis, from Late Latin prode, “advantageous,” from Latin prodesse, “to be good.”

Etymology of arrogant: Middle English arrogaunt, from Old French, from Latin arrogans, arrogant-, present participle of arrogare, to arrogate.

Etymology of arrogate: Latin arrogare: ad- + rogare, “to ask.”

Pride and arrogance are soul taints.
Excessive pride and arrogance are sins.


Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2023.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV). Public Domain.

The Nag Hammadi Library. James M. Robinson, ed. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1988.

The Oxford English Dictionary: Compact Ed., 2 vols. E.S.C. Weiner, editor. Oxford University Press, 1971.

Shelley, Percy Bysshe. “Ozymandias.” The Spirit of Man: An Anthology. R. Bridges, ed. London, New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1916.

Webster, Noah. “Pride, proud, arrogance.” Webster’s American Dictionary. New York: S. Converse, 1828.