Pride is the Enemy of Growth!

I never had a lot of pride. In fact any pride I had as a child was erased when my father through a beam through our front window one pleasant summer evening as the neighbors and I watched from their porch. It was humiliating. We were those people. You know, the ones you don't let your kids spend too much time with.

My pride was stripped from me again one day as we walked with our suitcases down our street and through the neighborhood to my grandmothers home after another painful fight between my parents. There were so many times throughout my life where my pride was laid waste in front of me. Too many. We were the different ones, the ones who had problems, the one who were weird.

As painful as all of those events were, I learned a very valuable lesson. I learned to not care what other people think about me. Comparisons were useless. I was who I was, like it or not. I learned how to be strong and how to forge ahead in spite of my circumstances.

What does pride really do for you anyway?

Proverbs 11:2 states: "When swelling and pride come, then emptiness and shame come also, but with the humble (those who are lowly, who have been pruned or chiseled by trial, and renounce self) are skillful and godly Wisdom and soundness."

Proverbs 29:23 states: "A man’s pride will bring him low, but he who is of a humble spirit will obtain honor."

Can pride be a good thing? If we are talking about self-respect, then yes. But what the Bible is referring to is pride that has a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit or superiority. Pride that says things like "I'm better than, I'm smarter than, I don't need any help." Pride that says I know what I'm doing even though I keep messing up. Pride that says "if I win this game, everybody will like me, if I wear these designer shoes and drive this expensive car then everyone will see how important I am."

We must let go of false pride. Destruction, deception, hopelessness, opposition, foolishness, conformity and many other warnings of trouble are given to us throughout the Scriptures about the power of pride to destroy us. Proverbs 16:18 states: "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."

Where could pride be interfering with your growth today? Is pride standing between you and the healing of a relationship? Is pride keeping you from asking for the help you need today? James 4:6 says God gives grace to the humble. Proverbs 10:17 states:"He who heeds instruction and correction is [not only himself] in the way of life [but also] is a way of life for others. And he who neglects or refuses reproof [not only himself] goes astray [but also] causes to err and is a path toward ruin for others."

So what will you choose grace and life or foolishness and destruction? Admit your false pride to God, stop trying to hide behind things you think make you look good. Let God give you the real thing that you need: love, joy, peace and a heart of compassion and acceptance towards yourself and others. Growth and healing come to those with a willing and humble heart that recognizes their weaknesses not as something to be ashamed of but as opportunities for God to work and be glorified.

-Christina Samyan, MSW, LCSW

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