Pride is one of those things that can be taken both positively and negatively. On the positive end being proud of one’s spouse or children, some great accomplishment, or you favorite sports team (Go Steelers!) can be a very good thing. It expresses our joy and encouragement to those who have made us proud.
On the flip side lies pridefulness, which is the boisterous (even inwardly so) recognition of self and one’s own accomplishments or knowledge. Pridefulness like many of humanity’s follies has a way of sneaking up on a person, of remaining hidden until exposed to light. It lingers within that flickering thought that someone is beneath you, that wayward glance of contempt, or that moment of conceited speech.
I try to be careful in my approach to people. I speak kindly, offer due respect, go out of my way to help. But in the briefest moments I allow pridefulness to rear its ugly head. The saddest part is that it usually happens around those who I am particularly close to, though certainly not always.
As I have been praying for the Lord to correct this flaw in me, he has shown me a number of times that I have allowed pridefulness to cultivate. In the last 24 hours it has happened twice. First was in a conversation with one of my closest friends, who I have known since we were children. Even without intending it, in the briefest moment I allowed myself to feel superior in my knowledge of scripture, making a hurtful comment about someone’s naivete. though it was not directed at my friend, I soon found that he shared the same opinion as this unnamed other I was speaking about in general. And then it hit me what a prideful statement I had made. Thankfully, when I apologized my friend was quick to forgive – much quicker than I am to forgive myself I’m afraid.
The second situation occured early this morning. I passed someone that I vaguely know, who has (in my opinion) used the name of Jesus a bit freely and superficially in some of our past classes. Yet who am I to judge that. As I passed this person, those thoughts popped into my head for just a moment and then just as quickly they were gone. Just a few moments later, though, a song popped into my head and I started singing it. It only took a moment for the realization to hit me that God was pointing out my pridefulness. Can you guess the song?
“Blessed be the name, blessed be the name, blessed be the name of the Lord…”
Yeah….that one felt like a punch to the gut.
At any rate, I’m not sure why i felt the need to blog about it. Maybe this is a warning to others about how pridefulness can sneak up unnoticed. Perhaps it is a form of confession. All I know is that I recognize more each day just how much I need the grace and love of Jesus.
I am so thankful that he gives both abundantly…