What causes problems between Niki and me in a hurry? Pride will. If I have the attitude, “I made dinner last time, it’s your turn! Look at what I do around here. I don’t want to help you. I have more important things to do than to spend time with you.” Ouch, pride!
Pride also hurts my three children when I say, “Daddy can’t play with you because I have work to do, I can’t read you a book, I’m too busy, I don’t have time to listen to you” How sad. How many times in my own life have I been too prideful to serve Niki, too prideful to help the kids with their homework and I miss opportunities to serve? Too many! I miss opportunities for humility and to show the authentic message of Jesus Christ to those I love the most. Are you willing to serve your spouse and your children?
Pride hinders reconciliation (being right between others). When someone hurts me and I say, “That person needs to make this right!” That’s pride. Humility will reach out to others. Humility makes for better relationships. Humility means you don’t have to be right all the time. And it’s easier for you to say those two hard words, “I’m sorry” or the three hardest words, “I was wrong” How is your pride? Do you ever admit you are wrong?
Another way to mess up your relationships with pride is through manipulation. For example, a prideful parent will use their children to elevate themselves. They will be so hard and so strict on their children to make them produce athletically or academically. Parents say “it’s for my child” but it’s really pride. “I will look good if my child is the star!” Other times we are nice to people, strike up a conversation JUST for what they can do for us! “I don’t like that person but if I’m nice to them then they can help me out,” that’s manipulation and pride. Am I manipulative? Do I treat people differently because of what they can give me?
Pride also tells us that we are smarter than our boss and we don’t have to listen to him or her. Pride says, “I am above the law.” Pride says, “Rebel!” Don’ listen to authority. It goes against the grain of everything God says. The same is true in church; some people think they know more than the leadership or have a direct line from God so always complain or criticize. That is pride at work.
5 In the same way, you younger men must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, serve each other in humility, for “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5
Is your pride in check? It is if you can answer yes to the following questions: Am I respectful of others? Do I respect authority?
Pride also tries to impress people. Seeking to impress with our education, with our accomplishments, or with our possessions is prideful. Do I talk about myself too much? Do I try to impress others?
This is something I see often, people will say, “I am struggling with pornography or some other addictive behavior” But are they willing to be accountable to someone? To move the computer into the family room to set up filters, to let others keep them accountable, wives, friends, a Growth Group? NO. They try to go it alone. Please don’t let your life self-destruct before you ask for some help. Don’t mess up your marriage and your family because you are stubborn and prideful.
How is my pride? Am I willing to admit that I don’t have all the answers? I am willing to be uncomfortable to grow? Am I willing to be accountable? Am I willing to learn from others? These are haunting questions that I don’t like but must ask myself.
Do you like to be around a prideful person? I don’t! They’re draining! Prideful people don’t recognize that they are driving people away from them. Wouldn’t you rather be around a humble person? A person who isn’t always trying to impress you? When you tell a story they don’t always have to have a better one. When you are humble you get along better with other people.
Humility doesn’t mean you think less of yourself, you just think more about others. When you become interested in others you become interesting to others.
23 Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor Proverbs 29:23
I want to in live in humility with others. I hope you will join me. Darrell
For more about The Mess Inside Series go to www.ridgefellowship.com