Oh man, the degrees of pride. I started thinking about this deeply early this morning.
I’m constantly working around a bunch of men who are facing many different tasks within the work day. There are a lot of different errors that can occur, and many different opinions will surface within our high-paced environment. There are often times when the strong slandering starts flying from our mouths. This morning, I had decided upon waking that I was going to do my best to have a good day. I prepared myself mentally, and really had good intentions of sticking to my positive program.
As soon as I arrived at work, the mouths started running. I was being tested by the very first person I had encountered. A co-worker just started firing off insults about another person, complaining about his incompetence. I had to walk away. This guy complains about everyone else, as if he never makes a mistake, pretty often. Immediately after my run-in with that mouth, here came another mouth running about an error I had made. I simply said, ‘I do the best that I can,’ and moved on. A few minutes went by, and the trigger was pulled. I was trying to hold onto not letting myself get bent out of shape, but that first mouth, and then the second, and then yet another mouth moved towards me, probably to tell me about what someone else had failed at! My peaceful morning turned into the very thing I was trying to avoid.
We all do it. We say the negative things about others. We act as if we “would never do such a thing,” or we say, “Can you believe they did that?”
I cannot tell you how many times I have tried to be cool, and not say things to myself or others about someone’s incompetence. I mean, we would never be as dumb as the other guy when faced with the same, particular situation. Right?
I seriously wanted to tell the guy this morning how much of jerk he sounded like with his insults. But, I walked. I didn’t want drama. The second guy didn’t get a rude response either. The third guy…well, I pretty much ran away from him.
As the day went on, I was thinking about the degrees of pride that we all possess. Some have a very “proud” personality. The guy who thinks he is a gift from God himself. Always great. Always perfect. Then, you have the guy who likes to talk about the other guy and his failures (probably because he feels like a failure himself). Or, you have the super-nice guy who paints the picture to the whole world of being a complete gentleman, but then goes home and beats on his wife.
The pride that we all carry. All of us carry different types of pride. That is just part of the disease of sin that we are all born with. If that isn’t bad enough, we also have the whole world conditioning us to be proud of pride. Sports, for example. Need I explain? Social media. The amount of money earned, and the social status attached to the amounts. The types of careers. The personal achievements. The awards, degrees and recognition. Whatever one can use to “one-up” the next guy.
My walk with the Lord is humbling. I really do try to let go of pride. I know that the Lord hates it. Philippians 2:3 ESV says, “do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Maybe we should think more about what God doesn’t want, and less about what the prideful-self does? Is the motive of the heart striving to be humble, or are we so full of ourselves that the motive is to proudly, one-up the next?