What do you think of when you think of the word “pride”? I’ll tell you what he majority of searches on Google Images would show you:
and then you would see these sprinkled sparsely among the rest:
Many of you may not know this given the majority of my blog posts, but I am a Christian. Admittedly, there’s a part of me that always wants to post about my journey, not just because it is important to me, but I find that a lot of the issues I am trying to deal with are not necessarily just things that Christians deal with but so many people who are not Christian.
This week I randomly chose a series called “Killin’ It” from Northpoint Community Church, featuring Andy Stanley. Little did I know that the “it” in the title was none other than pride. Ironically, my friends and professional peers would say that I probably lack pride. However, I know that pride runs through my family, in both maternal and paternal lines. I know it because I can be stubborn as heck. Now it isn’t to say that being stubborn and prideful is always bad, because I actually take pride in some things that make up who I am, my ethics and morals being one of them. It is one of those things that eats at my soul and literally prevents me from sleeping at night. At the same time, it is also the same thing that hurts the most when the surrounding environment is not as ethical or moral. But that is life right?
And then you have pride in the sense that most people will fail to acknowledge in themselves…pride in refusing to apologize, to admit wrong, to fail. I can say for sure that as a Type-A perfectionist-seeking dentist where the difference between a cavity and a root canal is a few millimeters, it is so difficult to admit when I’ve messed up. To some extent, I am sure that this was also influenced by my upbringing as well. That typical Asian upbringing of shooting for not 100 but 105 (for those five extra credit points that in reality, will never influence your GPA because you still have to get all As in the rest of your classes instead of helping you when you fail a course or a test), that type of upbringing must in some way or form have contributed to that.
But what does pride really do? Does it really make you feel that good? Does it make you feel good that someone else feels bad? How can making someone else feel bad feel good? In this sense, pride doesn’t seem so hot of a trait to have. Here are a few things that I noted from this online series in the first part:
- Pride doesn’t make you better, it diminishes you.
- It diminishes your capacity to admit things, to acknowledge things, and to improve.
- Pride leaves no room for anyone else: it “deprioritizes everyone else”
- for Christians, pride crowds God out. Truth be told, if we only think of ourselves, how do we think of other people at the same time? This also includes God and what He is calling us to be, to do, to make a difference, to serve His Purpose.
- It is what keeps you from __________ and causes you to _____________.
- It keeps you arguing your point even when you’ve realized you don’t have a good point.
- Keeps you from being honest with yourself, with others, and from learning new things.
- It’s what causes you to power up when you should be opening up.
I think one of the hardest things to do is to look inside ourselves and to admit when we have a problem, to acknowledge our failures and shortcomings. And maybe some of us use pride to hide those by fluffing up other things. Now being overly humble in and of itself is also a problem but that’s probably for another post. But this series is focused on pride but more importantly, how to kill it.
I can’t do this series any justice by writing about it truthfully. However, it’s something that I feel that people lose perspective of on a day-to-day basis. It’s so easy to forget good things like celebrating love everyday instead of just on Valentine’s Day, but it’s also easy to forget the things we need to work on, to face, like our flaws, but also to work on them. Shouldn’t we continually strive for the better? To make the world better? Society better? Better for our children, our friends, our family? Our dog even?
I think so. But that’s just me.
Find the online session here.
Have a blessed Sunday,