Friday, June 5, 2009

Overcoming Pride

One of my great struggles in life has been overcoming pride.

Pride is extremely dangerous. As C.S. Lewis has noticed in his book, Mere Christianity, pride is the only sin that alienates people from other people.

Every other sin can bring people together in some way. People who like stealing go on raids together. People who like lying pull off complicated deceptions. People who like adultery will congregate to do inappropriate things.

But pride is different. Pride is the one sin that makes someone completely alienated. When you are prideful you want to be above and beyond everyone else, having no fellowship with them at all. Sure, people's compliments can fuel you for a while, but those compliments only serve to push your airy head as far past those people as it can get.

And worse, pride can alienate us from God. Ezekiel tells us that Satan fell from Heaven because of pride. He loved how good he was, he pushed himself above and beyond everyone else, including God, and he rebelled and got kicked out. He's still rebelling, and we're helping him every day.

Yup, pride is dangerous, and I've definitely been guilty of it. Worse, I've usually been very confused about how to fix it.

But I've been thinking about it a lot and studying the Bible, and I think I may have figured out my problem. It can be summed up in one phrase.

Dealing with pride is not done by thinking less of yourself. Dealing with pride is done by thinking more of others.

That's the problem. I usually try to think less of myself - oh, never mind, sure, I did that, but I'm not really that great a guy. I belittle myself and try to fake myself out that I don't think too highly of myself.

But maybe there's another way to fix the problem. Maybe instead of trying to knock my opinion of myself down, I can raise my opinion of others. Maybe instead of trying to serve myself less I can try to serve others more.

As a last thought, I think I'll share something from Communications class. It's the most valuable thing we learned all year, in my opinion. It is the acronym:


It stands for Jesus, Others, and You. That's the order of priorities.

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