PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

 

Pride


The apple of discord... the yeast of delusion...

Pride and envy are the deadliest of all sins. It's how Lucifer fell, we are time and again reminded. Pride has a way of making us all puffed up, thus making it easy for the wind to blow us away, for fire to ignite us, or - in case we're underwater - for water to cause us to float and pull us down, toward the falls.

Pride causes heartbreaks and breakups. One man's pride can result in stubbornness. Pride can cause the confusion of many. Pride may bring about unbelievable scandal right where it shouldn't be - amidst God's people and in His church. Pride causes buckets of tears to fall and so many knees to wobble in anger and profound dismay. Pride causes many sleepless nights.

How powerful pride can be! Like yeast on dough, it directs all our major actions in life. It underpins all our attitudes and motives. It has a way of hiding itself in a cunning way; we couldn't detect if we are afflicted by it simply because we're too proud to accept that we are conquered by pride, that we are green with envy. Yeast is quite tasteless and invisible yet look at how it raises the dough.

Pride and envy take their roots in insecurity. Here, we see how dangerous for a child not to feel loved, not to feel the security of being loved, because this could be the ultimate cause of all his subsequent behaviors in life. An insecure child will always find every way to prop up his ego, every way to make him recapture the sense of security he needs, to the detriment of authority, other people, the community.

While this aspect of pride calls for understanding and forgiveness, there's something unforgivable about blind self-delusion, about denying that we are insecure. Proud people, like the devil, will never admit their inadequacies. They tend to defend their pride until their last dying breath. Hell hath no fury like a wounded pride!

To a proud soul, it matters much what other people will say. Things like public opinion, the esteem of peers or society, debt of gratitude, social prestige, etc., matter a lot to them and they spend a lot of time sprucing up a personal world revovling around pride.

While the root of pride calls for understanding and forgiveness, there's another thing unforgivable about it, in that a proud person usually resorts to twisting the truth just to defend his pride. There's nothing so misplaced as pride, especially when it leads to pure deception: making what is right appear wrong and wrong seem right.

Satan dangled the apple of pride in Eden and look at us: rotten fruits of sinful pride, Adam's apples all!

There's nothing more dignified than being humble. It's okay if we admit or find ourselves being looked upon as imperfect, plain, inadequate, lacking, unpopular, mediocre, penniless, ordinary, ignored, also-ran. It's not the end of the world if we find ourselves humbled, defeated, unsuccessful, a dismal failure in the eyes of the world. The proud soul will never understand all this.

For when we are humbled and when we humble ourselves, we invite our Creator to come to our rescue. He is humble of heart Himself and nothing attracts Him than a humble, repentant soul. When we are humbled and we humble ourselves, we gain the peace and strength of our Creator, making us boast of nothing but Him.

It's alright to admit we're insecure or envious; pride never admits insecurity or envy. But let's not allow our envy or insecurity rule over us as to make us suffer the wages of pride and its reverse: inferiority complex and low self-esteem.

Let's come and seek refuge in the arms of our true security. Let's all worship and bow down to our one and only true pride.

5.12.2000


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