Have you ever thought about an aspect of your personality that gets in the way of you doing the right thing or making the right choice? I know my weakness is absolutely my pride. Pride keeps us from saying sorry when we know we are wrong, Pride keeps us from asking for help when we need it. Pride makes us speak badly of other people and causes us to view ourselves through a lens of distortion.
Think about a time when you have been furious with a friend, family member, loved one. I have no trouble recalling that feeling of self-righteous anger. But I also have no trouble recalling how incredibly difficult it was, when I was in the middle of that, to say sorry. To humble myself and care about the person I was fighting with more than myself. Because that’s what pride is, it’s selfish and self-serving. And I think we can all agree that I’m not talking about the feeling you get from accomplishing something that you worked hard for. I’m talking about the pride that sits like a lump in your chest and prevents you from reaching out to someone. The pride that makes us need to be as good as someone else and take our eyes off of what really matters.
C.S. Lewis writes in his book The Problem of Pain about pride: “A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”
When I talk to people about giving my life up to God; about putting him in control, very often I get the same response. That they are responsible for their choices and all of the good things that they have. They believe that saying God in control is tantamount to abdicating responsibility for yourself. They are so busy looking down and around them that they can’t look up. Their pride is so powerful and overwhelming that they can’t accept that they aren’t in control. Because we aren’t. We can’t control if we are going make it home from work safely, or that we won’t suddenly drop dead of a heart attack, or the way that our family and loved ones treat us. But our pride deceives us and makes us believe that we are.
Instead of going through your day today feeling proud of your accomplishments and everything you have “achieved”, try going through your day with a sense of humble gratitude for the many gifts and blessings you’ve been given by your Father in heaven. You may find that not only do you start to see yourself and your life differently, but being humble allows you to see others with more compassion and kindness. You start feeling happy for their successes and blessings instead of envying them.
Ask yourself how difficult it would be for you to get down on your knees and thank God for the gifts he has given you in your life. I’m guessing that if you aren’t in the habit of humbling yourself, it seems like an almost insurmountable thing. But just like the feeling you get once you have broken through the barrier of your pride to apologize, the feeling you get from expressing gratitude and thanking God is so worth it.
Let go of your pride and gain a new life of peace and happiness.