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The Ugly Part of Pride

I read an interesting quote this morning that really got me thinking.

Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man.  We say people are proud of being rich or clever or good looking, but they are not.  They are proud of being richer or cleverer or better looking than others. C.S.Lewis

It puts an interesting spin on the word, “pride“, doesn’t it?  It made me stop and reflect… actually, it made me crochet and reflect.

While I’m on the subject of crocheting, let me confess that I have been crocheting off and on for four days and I haven’t even come close to completing two rows.  Despite receiving concentrated, one-on-one help from my very patient friend Danielle, AND watching numerous videos online, something in my brain is stopping me from catching onto this craft.  I’ll tell you one thing for sure… I do not have an ounce of pride regarding my crocheting ability!

Anyway, back to this quote.  This perspective tends to focus on the ugly aspect of  pride.   It focuses on superiority, rather than love.

Now, I realize that we live in a competitive society and there are many theorists who believe that it’s the very essence of competition that ups the ante and improves the world.  I get that.  Our materialistic culture has always and will continue to value a person for his/her actions rather than his/her being.  Doctors are worth $100,000 + /year for their work.  A student is worthy of honor if he/she makes straight A’s.  People are esteemed more highly if they have executive jobs.  Good professional athletes are paid lavish salaries and idealized as heroes.  It’s always been that way and whether we admit it or not, we all have a tendency to look at highly accomplished people differently than others we have perceived as being average in their achievement.

I think healthy competition is good. It’s energizing to perform better than anyone else.

The problem comes when we begin to think that we are better than anyone else.  That’s where the ugliness of pride comes in.

According to the Bible, we all share the same intrinsic nature and value to God.  It’s challenging to treat people equally and to accept our own averageness at times.  It takes discipline of mind.  J.C. Ryle said that “thoughts are the parents of words and deeds. “

So, although it my take another five years to complete this crocheted blanket, I will press on, self esteem in tact.

Romans 12:3  Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

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