Pride is often called the source and epicenter of all sin. It is inordinate self-love and self-importance.
Pride makes us feel superior and better than others, and tempts us to disdain and look down upon those we deem inferior. Pride is the refusal to submit to a higher authority. Arrogance is the companion to pride.
Pride prevents us from admitting our mistakes, making apologies, or seeking forgiveness. Love of self is not a bad thing, as long as it does not diminish love of neighbor and as long as it is secondary to love of God. Pride not only makes self-love the priority but eventually eliminates love of God and love of neighbor.
Theologians speculate that it was the sin of pride which the angel Lucifer succumbed to that led to his downfall and casting into hell as the Devil. John Milton’s Paradise Lost (1667 AD) is a classic poem, and one line of the poem in particular demonstrates the depth of Lucifer’s pride when he says, “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.” Vanity made Lucifer think he was the most intelligent and most beautiful of all God’s angels.
There is a good type of pride, as when people take pride in their work, their family, their culture, their nation, or their religion. It stops short of feeling superior to others. Unlike the sin of pride, healthy pride is showing interest and appreciation without degenerating into being condescending or patronizing.