THE NEGATIVE SIDE OF PRIDE
I planned to start writing my thoughts with the following sentence. Pride should be listed as one of the seven deadly sins. However, to ensure I didn’t make myself look like an idiot, I looked up the seven deadly sins first. Believable enough, Pride, is in fact, one of the seven deadly sins. The seven deadly sins are lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride. Okay, now to my writing.
Let us first evaluate the meaning of pride. “Pride is an inwardly directed emotion that carries two meanings. With a negative connotation, pride refers to an inflated sense of one’s personal status or accomplishments. With a positive connotation, pride refers to a satisfied sense of attachment towards one’s own or another’s choices and actions, or toward a whole group of people and is a product of praise independent self-reflection, or a fulfilled feeling of belonging.” (wikipedia.org. definition of pride). Pride is, in my opinion, one of the major problems in most people’s lives. It is a human trait that will block true happiness and lead to a lifetime of regret. Pride blocks the way of true happiness and prevents the feeling of wholeness, pureness, and “meaning” in one’s life. We all desire to feel whole and complete. However, that can’t be felt unless we give as much as we receive, care for others as we care for ourselves, and forgive others just as we forgive ourselves. This is something that we fail to realize we need to recognize we have done in our lives to feel whole. It is very interesting how humans often have the inability to recognize their own faults. We sometimes (quite often for many people) justify our actions and avoid facing our weaknesses and downfalls. We tend to keep our mistakes and regrets to ourselves due to pride (showing a “skin” on the outside to present to others). What are we truly feeling? Think about it. It is shame. Shame in ourselves and humility that we will feel if we let others see our faults. We tend to actually overlook our own faults and avoid admitting, even to ourselves that they exist. But guess what people don’t realize? GOD HONORS HUMILITY. Ask yourself this question. What is the difference between a HERO and a SAINT? This is very important in life to contemplate, analyze, define, and really absorb the answer to this question. A hero tends to be thought of as a person with characteristics of perfection. A hero is all too often viewed as one who can do no wrong (even when they are obviously wrong). After all, they are a hero. They are excused from their wrongs. (Yes, I’m thinking in a tone of my own sarcasm). Sad, but this is very true. Now the term saint is a Christian term and you will be very interested in its meaning. A saint is the equivalent to a hero in Christianity, but with a very different definition than that of a hero in terms of Greek mythology (and as we view a “hero”). In Christianity the main characteristic of a hero is demonstrated by one who is honorable enough to face humility. However, Christians refer to this as being a saint rather than a hero. Christianity emphasizes humility “..to illustrate ‘that no virtue can possibly be perfectly acquired or continue without the grace of discretion’ “(Wikipedia).
The interpretation of Proverbs 23:23 is as follows. Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor. The pride of a son of man will humiliate him and his humility will increase honor to him
Jas 4:6 “but he gives more grace. therefore he says: God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. No human is perfect. Only God is perfect and he honors us for having the ability and respect for him to stand tall and admit that we are not greater than another, for we all make mistakes. We are all human.
To get to my main point, my personal opinion and belief is that pride is a major cause of the interference of finding continuous and lasting meaning and happiness in life. I have always put my pride to the side (not always, I am human). Correction: I have tried to put my pride to the side whilst taking pride in my actions and ability to admit when I have done wrong. It is very hard to be honest and tell someone that you have done something that is wrong. Something you knew was wrong and you just can’t explain why you were led in that direction. My belief is that the truth will set you free. If I lose someone’s “APPROVAL” of me as a person, so be it. I can’t live with secrets and lies in my life. When I do wrong I am sorry. I learn from my mistake, take the weight of the consequences, and learn not to mess up again. I AM HUMAN. SO ARE YOU. I AM NOT PERFECT. NEITHER ARE YOU. IF YOU SAY YOU ARE YOU ARE LYING. BUT, YOU CAN LIE TO ME ALL YOU WANT TO. YOU CAN’T LIE TO YOURSELF AND YOU CAN’T LIE TO GOD. It is all about what you can live with because when you go to your grave you have a lifetime of decisions, actions, good doings, and wrong doings to take to the grave with you. You must accept that your life was what you made it. Nobody else made your life a certain way and if they did you chose to let them. Many people do wrong and then live a lie just because they can’t face humility or put aside their pride to make things right by setting things straight. It is too hard to bear the shame, so people live a life of regret after regret after regret all because they could not clear the air and move in the direction they really wish to because they can’t say, I did wrong, I made a mistake, let’s do what needs to be done to correct or fix it. Let’s get the truth out so we can do what needs to be done to move on and LIVE BY TRUTH. So many people miss out on meaningful relationships and life experiences because they can’t admit they are wrong and they continue to refuse to apologize or admit their own faults. For if they admit they have done wrong and some blame is on them, they will lose their pride. What will their family think? Do they “cover their ass” and lose what means something to them or do they speak the truth and move on with the person they love. People will regret these decisions when they realize they have lost time with their loved ones and severed relationships with others that could have been very lasting and meaningful relationships whether it be with family, friends, or significant others. My point is PEOPLE WILL HURT NOT ONLY OTHERS, BUT THEY ACTUALLY HURT THEMSELF, JUST BECAUSE THEY PASS ON ADMITTING THEY ARE WRONG, THEY DESERVE SOME BLAME IN A SITUATION, THEY MADE A MISTAKE OR STRETCHED THE TRUTH OR JUST ALTERED THE FACTS. Personally, if I can really feel something pulling at me and causing guilt, regret, etc. I would rather clear the air to move on, whether it be with or without the person I need to tell. Just getting it out is better than living with it and having it interfere with your life. Now, if it is something you can live with and it isn’t causing continuous problems then I would not say you must reveal every single thing that is in your past. It is when it is causing you to lose a relationship that could be saved by putting your pride aside and admitting your faults. It is equally important to admit your faults and mistakes if it will stop problems over something that is causing continuous interference in your life and decreasing your quality of life and happiness. When you leave this Earth, know you made the most of your life. Don’t leave with regrets. God honors humility. We are all human and even though putting your pride aside and admitting you have done wrong or given false information or stating that you could have made a few different choices on how you reacted to things in relationships, it will lead to happiness and fulfillment.
If something is in the past and it is not causing any problems in your life, pulling at your conscious or preventing you from being happy and moving forward, it is okay to let it go and silently ask God for forgiveness and move on without making the same mistakes. However, if putting your pride aside, will in any way, increase your happiness and quality of life please face the humility. Get it over with and move on so that the truth will allow you to do what needs to be done to fix the problem, allow forgiveness, and move forward. Remember these two very important facts.
1. THE NEGATIVE DEFINITION OF PRIDE PLACES PRIDE IN THE LIST OF THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS.
2. GOD HONORS HUMILITY
Proverbs 23:23 Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor.
The pride of a son of man will humiliate him and his humility will increase honor to him
Jas 4:6 “but he gives more grace. therefore he says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.