Sunday, August 19, 2012

It's Not About Me

Pride keeps us from being teachable; with no learning, we settle for being “less than” and hurt many around us.

Per one definition of pride reads: a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.

The old me was a Leo. Lions not only live in prides, but are a symbol of pride. Perhaps this is something I need to take a look at more closely. Male lions are proud animals. But note, this proud creature might starve if his females didn’t provide his food. She doesn’t just prepare it as a man’s mate might; she literally hunts her prey and brings it to him.

There’s an old song that says, “You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away and know when to run….” Pride keeps us from that wisdom, often costing us dearly. Pride rears its ugly head during our common, day-to-day opportunities to learn.

Finances are a good example. Sometime we insist we know a better way, or refuse to hear teaching that will free up our cash flow. A good pastor will teach his flock to tithe, not because it fills the offering plates, but because it blesses the givers. But money wounds can cause us to cling to every dollar that comes our way.

Parenting is another arena we tend to insist that our way is the right way, even when everyone around us can see our children running amuck or carrying unnecessary wounds around in their little hearts.

Even when we “hear” an alternate option, we don’t listen because we’ve already determined that our way is working for us – or will by tomorrow. Sometimes pride doesn’t even care if our way is working, it’s what we want, so we win.

And who suffers? In the example of parenting, it’s the children that suffer and sometimes the price tag is high. Our suffering doesn’t come until later if/when we recognize we fell short as a parent. If pride has finally been displaced we can see that help was available. But if not, then, of course, the falling short wasn’t our fault at all.

Pride goes before a fall. God hates pride, but uplifts the humble, the teachable, those willing to submit themselves to Him. Submission goes way beyond heartless compliance. Yes, if you hate the word submit, if it makes you scoff or cringe, you have a pride issue – and you’re making costly mistakes daily that can be avoided.

Deal with pride now or pay for it later. No beauty hides in self-righteous pride.

Just a few of the many scriptures pertaining to pride:

Psalm 10:4 In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.  (NIV)

Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

Proverbs 13:10 Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.

Proverbs 14:3 A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride, but the lips of the wise protect them.

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 29:23 Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.

Isaiah 37:23 Who is it you have ridiculed and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel!

Jeremiah 13:17 If you do not listen, I will weep in secret because of your pride; my eyes will weep bitterly, overflowing with tears, because the LORD’s flock will be taken captive.

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