Pride: a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.
Why would anyone want to get rid of a pleasurable feeling?
Every time we get a sense of pride-of true unabashed pride-we are really saying one thing: “Look what I did.”
My son can speak at three months: look what our boy can do.
I spend two-and-a-half years getting my Masters degree: look what I finally accomplished. Look at how my hard work has paid off.
My husband makes a sale that affords us renovation: All of those long, hard days and sacrifices our family has made while my husband worked so hard is blessing us.
The 8th graders in my class create amazing projects: Look what my students did after a long quarter of perseverance.
All of these things, they’re good things, but pride isn’t the feeling we should associate with it because pride is a lie.
We have been taught to believe pride. To relish it. To find our joy in it.
And frankly, no one likes to hear that something they like is a sin.
But it is.
If you read further down into the synonyms part of the definition, you’ll read the following:
Pride is a lofty and often arrogant assumption of superiority in some respect: Pride must have a fall.
Must have a fall.
Then why in the world do we tell our children, “I’m proud of you” or our husband upon that bonus check, “Babe! I’m so proud of you!” or to others, “I’m proud that I stuck with that degree, it’s really paying off”?
Because we’ve been taught to.
Child of God, when looking within ourselves, we must remember that we are living in this world, but we are not of this world.
Whether we particularly like it or not, we are set apart. Living in exile.
Which is why what I’m sharing today is most likely not sitting well with my readers.
How do we undo this prideful thinking?
We must trade in old feelings for new.
It sounds impossible, but it can be done.
We must change our view on how the achievement was made.
All things. Not some things. All.
And if this is our truth, if this is what we claim to believe, then we cannot ever take complete credit for accomplishments because that would be a lie. That would be prideful.
And pride, we know, must come with a fall.
These three words are all we need:
Instead of “I’m so proud of…” say, “I’m so grateful that…” or “I’m so thankful that…” or “I praise God for…”
“I’m proud of myself for sticking with that tough course load and making it to graduation. That was so tough!”
“I’m so thankful God helped me through that course. That was so tough!”
“Babe! I’m so proud of you!”
“Thank God you were able to earn this bonus. I’m so thankful!”
“I’m so proud of you, son!”
“I’m really thankful God helped you through this test. I know you studied hard for it.”
It really is a switch in how we think about the end result of our hard work, but we must speak truths, especially to our children.
We are the only way they will know who’s truly at work within them allowing them the strength, courage, and perseverance to complete tasks.
Today, instead of falling from pride, we’ll fall to our knees and pray, “God, thank you!”
We will use the words with our children, “I’m so thankful God was with you through that assignment,” or “Thank you, God for my child. Thank you for his courage. His heart. And that I get to be his momma.”
We will still feel joy, excitement, and happiness, but we will turn our hearts toward giving credit where credit is due.
While only God can change a heart, we do play a very specific role in how our children’s hearts are shaped. We play an active part in our own salvation and heart changes, too.
Because we know God wants our hearts, we know we have to make ours right and raise up the next generation to understand the driving force behind their life, too.
Thank you, Lord for being with me as I wrote this piece. I pray You are in my reader’s hearts so they can become closer to You through this post. I love you! Amen!