Monday, June 4, 2012

The Only Cure I Know for Pride

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I was stunned at the force of the indignant pride that rushed through me. I was frustrated, feeling disrespected, insulted, and unjustly attacked in an area where I (sad to say) like to pride myself. How dare she?!!!

Like the Ashnola River swollen to a boiling fury that belies the bitter cold of the water that courses through its rocky canyon in spring, my heart was boiling with ice-cold, debris-laden haughtiness.

The details of what precipitated this reaction are not important at all, and they aren't the reason I haven't been able to stop thinking about it all week. I have been over it countless times in my head, and although I know, in all truthfulness, that I DID nothing wrong, I also know that the thoughts and feelings that were churning around in me were arrogant and uncharitable . . . and altogether unbecoming in a heart where Jesus lives.

As soon as that surge of pride hit me, it was like I had suddenly stumbled into a vat of toxic waste. It was repugnant to find pride in such potent quantity just beneath the surface, and I wanted it gone.

It is right and good to demonstrate what Hero Husband calls "a passion for excellence," to do our very best and to do everything "as to the Lord." It is quite another thing to let that tip over into the kind of pride that begins to believe it is somehow superior. The devil was once beautiful beyond description; he was gifted enough, excellent enough, honored enough to lead worship in the halls of heaven . . . until it all fell apart when he began to believe his own press and thought he was better than everyone, including God.

Is it possible to stand tall for excellence and still live a life bowed low?

Can confidence and humility inhabit the same heart, you know, the one where Jesus lives?

Is there a way to set wise boundaries without going past the fatal tipping point toward pride and haughtiness?

Yes.

Yes.

And, Yes.

How?

There is only one cure I know for pride:

LOVE.

   "If I speak with the eloquence of men and of angels, but have no love, I become no more than blaring brass or crashing cymbal. If I have the gift of foretelling the future and hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but the very secrets of God, and if I also have that absolute faith which can move mountains, but have no love, I amount to nothing at all. If I dispose of all that I possess, yes, even if I give my own body to be burned, but have no love, I achieve precisely nothing.
   This love of which I speak is slow to lose patience—it looks for a way of being constructive. It is not possessive: it is neither anxious to impress nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance.
   Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage. It is not touchy. It does not keep account of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people. On the contrary, it is glad with all good men when truth prevails.
    Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen. . . 

   In this life we have three great lasting qualities—faith, hope and love. But the greatest of them is love."    1 Corinthians 13:1-8a, 13 (PHILLIPS) 

The more love there is in a human heart, the less room there is for pride. I pray earnestly that the Holy Spirit will pour so much love into my heart that the pride will have to go. I pray for all of us who pursue excellence here in the blogosphere to be held safe from prideful thinking by hearts overflowing with love from the Father. Finally, I pray for all of us in Christendom to continually allow pride to be displaced with the overwhelming love of God, the kind of love that spills out all over one another and into a needy, hurting world.

Has anyone opened the floodgates of your pride lately?
Did it come as a surprise?
What did you do about it?
________________________________

Joining Ann Voskamp in counting His graces for her Multitudes on Monday
I hope you'll join in if you haven't already!
In the counting of the endless gifts I say with C. S. Lewis,
"This also is Thou!"
Counting my next 1000 Gifts, joining Ann in The Joy Dare--like a scavenger hunt for graces, gifts and glory!! Wanna come along?  I dare ya!!

The continuing JOY DARE: 
#1442-1462 (May 27th through June 2)

27. 3 gifts found in church
Drummer Boy on drums
A wonderful message from our Pastor who is so humbly gifted
Hero Husband sharing so eloquently
28. 3 gifts in today's work
Trying hard to repair a misunderstanding with a classmate--"as far as it depends on you . . ." Romans 12:18
Teamwork with Hero Husband to make a fabulous Memorial Day dinner
That it's a holiday, and nothing HAS to be done today--we're all home and enjoying the togetherness.
29. a gift at 8 AM, 12 PM, 8 PM
Quiet time
She So Sweet delivered, with her project all done, to her afternoon class, headache gone!
Watching basketball with Hero Husband
30. 3 gifts blue
My stapler that helps me keep things together
Royal blue tank top that is cool and comfortable
New blue eyeliner
31. 3 gifts you gave today
Clean work clothes to both kids
Encouragement to Hero Husband to find places and times to take a breath today
Gift to myself--assignments done ahead of time!
1. 3 Gifts Orange
California poppies
Orange juice from my freezer that I squeezed myself when our oranges were fresh off the tree
Mini sticky notes that help me keep my place
2. 3 Gifts Funny
She So Sweet & Hero Husband performing after dinner
All of us taking a picture with our Krispy Kreme hats on and Krispy Kreme donuts in hand
Drummer Boy trying to teach me how to use my new iPhone (early birthday present from Hero Husband when my old phone finally began to tire)

   Beauty in His Grip Button

On In Around button
A heartfelt thank you to these generous bloggers
who make these communities available!

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