Thursday, April 12, 2012

That Little Thing Called Pride

Ooh, not a fun subject! I've never liked discussions on pride, mostly because it was too painful for me to listen! I am one that can be become prideful if I'm not careful.  I'm not super self confident, so if several people comment on how nice my hair looks, or how blue my eyes are, or something like that, I can become quite prideful in those things.  I think that many people suffer from the "péché d'orgueil" French for "Sin of Pride".  If you translate the French part there into English, you get the word Hubris- "excessive pride or self-confidence; arrogance."

Thankfully, I think many of us are aware of how pride can sneak in. More than likely you have a couple of family members who can come smack you if you start to become too prideful or arrogant. (I've found that this is the best method for getting that stubborn pride out! ;-)

Now I'll let you know that this blog post isn't even about THAT kind of pride.  Didn't know there was more than one kind of pride, did ya? ;-) Well, there is, unfortunately. I'm calling it Puffer the Sneaky.  Yes, this type of pride is VERY sneaky.  In fact, many people wouldn't even call it 'pride'. It typically goes under the name of 'a good feeling', or 'spiritual growth' (when you are talking about yourself, not others), etc.  It comes in many forms and sizes. Puffer the Sneaky isn't one to give up easily, either.

It all begins when you are very humble about something.  To give an example, I'll use the one that gave me the idea to write up this post in the first place (though, I'm sad to say, it isn't the only one I've suffered with!). We had just finished a movie.  It was late at night, we were all tired, emotions were high, etc.  I was feeling rather upset because I was so afraid that I would become like this one girl in the movie. I DID NOT want to become like her. She married for selfish reasons, and pretty much tore her husband down because she wasn't willing to support him in the tough times of life and only thought about her own comfort.  It made my blood boil watching her on the screen.  Well, I began thinking about how I could become like that if I wasn't careful.  I sometimes give way to little fits of selfishness. I get angry at my siblings for little things that don't matter.  I get upset with my parents when they don't say the right thing, and, I hope I'm not the only one that does that! =P

Mom happened to come in and was talking a bit with me about the movie and whatnot. I started crying and telling her about how I thought I could become like So-and-So in the movie, etc, etc, etc.  When she left to go to bed, she just said, "If you feel like you could become like her, then I'm proud of you for realizing that." (Or something to that extent).  I later went into her room to ask her what time she was setting her alarm and then said sorry for blubbering the way I did. ;-)  She said that she didn't mind at all, and then she said, "Sarah, I want you to know that I am proud of you for realizing what you could possibly become-even though I don't think you'd ever become like that. Here's why: you've realized that it could be a possibility, so you'll be able to avoid it."  Basically, if you know your weakness, you're not going to show that side to the enemy, right?
Well, I went to bed feeling much better. And I started thinking, "Wow, I guess I've come a long way in my walk with the Lord! I'm starting to realize my own weaknesses before they get me in trouble. I guess I'm doing pretty good... etc, etc, etc"

Enter Puffer the Sneaky.

Now, all those thoughts that were running through my head were positive ones about myself, right? It's good to have self confidence, right? I mean, we're children of the King! We should be proud of ourselves!
Hmm. Did ya catch that one word I slipped in there? "Proud". The only problem was that I was using it in a good way! Yet, it can easily be turned into the bad kind of pride. The Mr. Sneaky kind of pride.  Here I was all 'humble' about not wanting to become like that character in the movie, and yet I then went on to become prideful ABOUT my HUMBLENESS!!!  It's like an oxymoron, really. How can you be prideful about being humble?? Well, I think I pulled it off quite well, don't you?  Satan just slipped those 'positive thoughts' into my head and I let my mind run with them.
Thankfully, the Lord put His hand in and made me think about it from the other side.  I realized what I was doing and had to chuckle at myself.  Really, who would've thought that you could become prideful about being humble?  It's kind of absurd, isn't it?
So, since we usually pick up on the Puffer the Bold kind of pride (the one that is rather obvious), let's not forget his little brother Puffer the Sneaky.  Because if you don't stop Mr. Sneaky when he tries to enter your heart, it's quite likely that he will get on the phone and invite his good pal Mr. Arrogance over. Once that happens... well, you'll probably need your relatives to smack you upside the head. :-)

In Christ's Service,

All pictures via Pinterest. And I know they don't exactly fit with my post, but I wanted some kind of pics up there.. but they do go in order.  Sunrise, daytime, and sunset! ;-)


covnitkepr1 said...

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Frannie said...

Hi Sarah,

Hehe, that dreader Puffer the Sneaky . . . I know him too well!

thanks for sharing your heart and experience. How easily I fall into pride and how good GOd is to forgive us!

Blessings to you friend!

Prairie Momma said...

I confess they all live in me more often than I'd care to admit. Great post, Dear One!!!

Seeking to follow said...

I have to admit, I start laughing towards the end of this post, because you reminded me so much of CS Lewis in the Screwtape Letters. Have you ever read that book? :) Because what you described is so exactly like what he talks about - right down to the laughing over it and going to bed!

Petra said...

Ohhhh...Puffer the Sneaky (I was about to say Puffer the Stinky!) true that is. I thought this was a great post, Sarah, edifying and encouraging. Thank you for sharing your struggles and know you're not the only one!

Shelley said...

I never really thought about this. Though it does make sense, how pride can start off with simple little positive thoughts about ourselves and then snowball into arrogance. Anyways, nice post and thanks for sharing! :)