Pride comes before destruction.
What does this mean?
Well, pride comes in millions of packages. It plagues ever area of human existence. It’s wrapped up in our temperament in very predictable ways. It’s the root of judgement. It masks our insecurities. But one of the ways I want to focus on today is it’s blinding, subliminal power to erode relationships.
Again there are so many ways we could never list them all, but I have been seeing specific areas that insulate us from intimacy through a form of deflection.What I mean is, that if my spouse says something that I think is “stupid”, or didn’t make sense to me, or wasn’t quite what I thought should have been said, I will correct, criticize, make fun of, make the other person feel stupid, all through the “pride of life”.
Other ways include, when people come to me to tell me something that corrects me, I will tell the other person they are wrong, that they don’t know what they are talking about, they don’t get it, why are they so upset, and on and on. We don’t see the hurt we are inflicting.
Yes. This is me… not all the time, but enough for me to know that I do it. ( I of course considered writing this in third person). I have recently seen, as the picture above states, how it steals relationship, puts distance between me and the other person, and robs growth and intimacy. I can teach people all day long about this and how destructive it is and come home and do it.
But that’s also the blessing of talking to others about it, it also convicts me! It makes me more aware of these behaviors when I do them. This gives me the opportunity to turn that behavior around, seek forgiveness, own up to my pride and failure, and give God access to heal my insecurities so I can drop my wall of pride.
This opens the door to growth, trust, closeness, trust, humility, love, forgiveness… all the things we say we want, and that we want for all the other people in our lives. But pride is SO blinding, we will justify these behaviors, because it all makes perfect sense to ME. If it makes sense to me then it’s clear, you are wrong.
I had a conversation today with a man who earnestly wants to not do these things, and even while we are talking about it, just like this dialog here, he admittedly says “I don’t want to do it even though I know it’s true.”
The blinding power of pride.
What do we do?
1 Peter 5:6
“So put away all pride from yourselves. You are standing under the powerful hand of God. At the right time He will lift you up.”
I will “lift myself up” by “being right and justified”. Or I will let Him lift me up by admitting my pride, and humbling myself. If I do I can cultivate honest, genuine, authentic relationships, if not, I will protect myself by “being right”…. everybody else doesn’t get it.
What will my choice be today? What will yours be? The test will be here probably in the next conversation you have.
God help us all.