Pride goes before a fall. We’ve heard that saying many times. King Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, came up with that one.
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. – Proverbs 16:18
I believe that pride is a destructive force in relationships. Pride builds walls. Humility opens doors.
And I believe that spiritual pride is the most dangerous form of pride…
It was pride that changed angels into demons; it is humility that makes men as angels. – St. Augustine
God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble. – James 4:6
These verses and St. Augustine’s pen sear me and move me to take up the daily battle against pride. I believe we all deal with pride in its various forms, whether subtle or overt. So, like Chet shares in today’s BBTL entry, I have PA’s I’m committed to live out to battle pride in my life. And to my surprise, I found some notes just today in my study Bible from 1982 that expressed these same PA’s. Clearly God has been working on me for a long time in this discipline! I am a work in progress.
As we were raising our beloved children together, LA and I stacked hands that we would not use the phrase ‘I’m so proud of you!’ when they did something great or achieved a desired goal, whether big or small. Instead, we would say ‘I’m so happy for you!’, ‘I know how hard you have worked to accomplish your goal! Great work! I love your commitment!’ Why? We wanted a PA to hedge against the natural human bent toward pride both for our kids and ourselves as parents.
Here are some of my PA’s, anchored in my Core, especially my Worldview:
- Keep my focus on God and all His attributes (love, mercy, righteousness, justice, power, wisdom, manifold perfection, etc.) to remind myself who I am and who I am not. Isaiah 6:1-5.
- LA believed that self-pity is pride’s twin. PA: have an early warning system whenever I sense a hint of self-pity/victimhood. Combat it with God’s promises from His word. Romans 8:28, Romans 8:31, and Romans 8:37.
- Practice gratitude for the good and the bad in life as the teachers they are. 2 Corinthians 4:17.
- Say thank you countless times each day, first to God, then to others.
- Recognize and celebrate others with generosity and authenticity. Give credit often.
- Welcome feedback, ideas, and insights from others knowing that I do not have it all figured out. Thank those who take the time and energy to share their thoughts with me.
- Initiate repair when I have hurt someone. Own my stuff. Ask for forgiveness. Ephesians 4:32.
- Forgive quickly, remembering how much I have been forgiven. Colossians 2:13.
- Ask for help, first from God, then from others. I am a work in progress here. Fact.
- Grow in grace and love daily.
- Live a life of generosity, seeking first to serve others out of love and joy.
What are your PA’s, friend, to combat pride? It’s a daily battle. My prayer is that you have your own go-to principles, practices, and PA’s to win this battle and grow in humility, love, and joy. Good.