Who, Me … Proud?

6 ways to combat this stealthy sin.

Several years ago, I spoke at a Mother's Day brunch on the joys of being a mother. I shared my "Six Sure-Fire Tips to Raising Godly Children" (which, of course, my five grade-school-aged children were). After I finished speaking, an older woman approached me with tear-filled eyes and said quietly, "I did all that, and my son still rebelled." I murmured a sympathetic response, but thought inwardly, Lady, you have to have done something wrong! If you had your act together, this wouldn't have happened to you. I was pretty smug about my material.

You see, I was used to women asking me, "How do you do it all—raise five children, help edit a magazine, be on the school board, and teach Sunday school?" I prayed to God that he would keep me from being prideful, but I relished compliments from people about my seemingly "perfect" life.

The years zipped by. We had teenagers—and a family crisis. One of our sons was caught having a beer party while we were away from home. What! My son? Couldn't be!

In showing me I wasn't invincible, God had answered my prayer about pride — much to my chagrin.

It also slowly became apparent our daughter, whom we'd adopted from Korea, had multiple learning disabilities as well as a deep rage about being abandoned at birth. I began to realize none of her problems fit any of my "sure-fire" formulas.

Next I became ill with an autoimmune disease and was told by experts it was stress-related.

It was then I remembered that mother's agony over her rebellious son—and my half-hearted response. I realized pride, like a spiritual virus, had infected my life. I'd been proud of whom I was, what I did, and what I'd been given. In showing me I wasn't invincible, God had answered my prayer about pride—much to my chagrin.

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May 25

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