Can I Take Pride in My Spiritual Growth?
Boasting can be tricky, it really calls for self examination.
I think CS Lewis describes it best in Mere Christianity To summarize, there is a good "pride" that comes from the joy of a job well done, whether that is losing weight, running a race, memorizing a musical piece etc. etc. That feeling is similar to the joy God felt when he looked at all that he had made and said it is good. That feeling is holy.
However, it quickly becomes perverted when we begin comparing ourselves to others. It is fine for me to be happy with my sermon, but quite another thing to be happy that I am a better preacher than X. So we always have to be on the lookout for that pride. Of course that competitive nature is rampant in our culture.
In personal Christianity, the joy also becomes dangerous when we begin doing something for that feeling of joy. It is great to get up and read your bible every day, it makes you a more disciplined person and might possibly feed your relationship with God. However, when the main thing motivating you to get up and read the bible is the feeling of joy you get from doing it, and not the closeness to God, then it serves its own purpose. You then are doing it for yourself, not for Him and you may actually be distancing yourself from God.
No one else could possibly know if you are being tempted by that kind of pride. You may not even realize it. Most likely you have a little healthy pride and some sinful pride mixed together. You should probably assume you have some of the self congratulatory pride in you, go ahead and confess it and ask God to draw you closer despite your mixed motives.
For instance, every time I write a sermon I have several motives: glorify God, reach the lost, edify believers, sound smart, get popular, get paid and look good. So I confess the silly stuff, and ask God to do the good stuff despite me.
Whenever we find that our religious life is making us feel that we are good—above all, that we are better than someone else—I think we may be sure that we are being acted on, not by God, but by the devil. The real test of being in the presence of God is, that you either forget about yourself altogether or see yourself as a small, dirty object. It is better to forget about yourself altogether. CS Lewis
Thanks for the questions, hope these answers give you fodder for thought.