Pride in Disguise

Stubborn? Easily irritated? You may have a pride problem.

People say you should teach what you know. If that's the case, then I could definitely teach a class on pride. It would be a class where people could learn:

  • how to value what you want more than valuing people;

  • how to hold tightly to resentments for decades; and

  • how to create a façade that will fool those closest to you.

Sounds great, right? All humor aside, the truth is that pride is a sin many of us struggle with. We may think pride simply means having an inflated self-esteem, but in reality pride reveals itself in many different—and ugly—ways. Do you struggle with pride like I do? Consider some of these expressions of pride in order to identify it and root it out of your own life.

Pride wants its way.

Pride revealed itself in my life when getting my way seemed more important to me than other people did. One time my friend Lois and I sat around her dining table. For hours, she listened to my rants about whatever was on my mind. This time it was my husband, Mike, and his newfound love for pipes. The problem? I didn't want him to smoke. What were my objections? The cherry fragrance that filled the house? The way he seemed relaxed?

Actually, I just didn't want him smoking.

Moments later we were all called to the table. She started by saying, "So Mike, did Anne tell you what she was getting you for Father's Day?"

"No," Mike said, as surprised as I was.

"She said she's getting you a humidor."

I shot Lois a look across the table.

"Really?" Mike responded.

Lois' eyes pleaded that I agree, so I complied. As we cleared the table later, Lois shared the plan. "Just get him the humidor," she said.

Reluctantly I picked out a humidor. Mike loved it. Within a matter of weeks, Mike lost his desire to smoke pipes.

Lois recognized that our problem was a power struggle. She saw my pride in this situation, knowing if I gave up wanting my way, so would Mike.

Wanting things to be my way can be a continual struggle. In fact, sometimes it's the little things that become the bigger challenges—like the challenge I faced as I stood before the open cabinet, with a sigh. (Make that a double sigh.) How long would it take my daughter to get it right? I had repeatedly shown her where the glasses went on each shelf. Yet, here they were all over the place. I was so angry that she didn't do it my way that I was unable to be thankful she'd put away the dishes. And the more I pushed on this subject, the more she felt devalued.

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May 25

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