Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Bit of A Ramble About...Pride

Pride is my top deadly sin. Gluttony and Sloth are tied for second place, but since I don't weigh 500 lbs and live unemployed in my parents' basement, I'll stick with Pride as number one.

Why pride? Allow me to quote George MacDonald from The Lost Princess:
"As she grew up, everybody about her did his best to convince her that she was Somebody; and the girl herself was so easily persuaded of it that she quite forgot that anybody had ever told her so, and took it for a fundamental, innate, primary, first-born, self-evident, necessary, and incontrovertible idea and principle that she was Somebody."

I could be either girl in that story. While I identify with Rosamund, I fear I resemble Agnes. I would hope I no longer walk her path.

Fortunately, God in His wisdom sent a thorn in my flesh in my 12th year of life. I learned there were other Somebodies in the world besides myself. I've been learning it one way or another ever since.

So, while pride is my problem, I have two advantages in my fight against it. One, I know it's my problem. Two, I don't like it.

I recently told a friend that my default state is cynical, perfectionistic, and critical to the point of cruelty. My family calls it "being honest." Normal people call it "being mean." I suspect the normals have the right of it.

Couple this default state with the Judgment aspect of my personality type according to Meiers-Briggs, and I can seem quite heartless and insufferably arrogant. I can do it without trying, actually. (Hmm. Does that sound proud?)

My point with this post is complicated. On the one hand, I want you my readers to know I struggle with this and to know that I know I struggle with this. On the other hand, I also want you to know that my prideful statements are rarely deliberate (unless they're funny. I have to go for the funny). It is a remnant of my fallen nature, something Christ will continue to draw out of me as long as I live.

My brother and I once got into an argument that went something like this:
"You are never wrong," he said.
"That's not true," I replied.
He rolled his eyes and left. It took me years to understand why. Turtle proud but not always bright.

I am not perfect. I can be mean, but I promise I don't do it on purpose anymore. My Jesus frowns on such behavior, and I try very hard to make Him proud of me.

I guess I'm saying it helps to read the turtle with a grain of salt, because I can't always tell when my words are hard to swallow.

You, my readers, have permission to call me out for bad behavior. It's one of my rules.

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