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Topic: Pride (04/12/04)
TITLE: The necklace of pride can choke you
By Angela Moore
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The coverings of pride are not always easy to discern. My idea of wisdom may actually be a prideful arrogance with a clever phrase to hide behind. The sting that comes from being criticized wounds the pride that indulges itself as a "creative license". The need to seem self-reliant and independent rides into town on the back of the idea that I don't need anyone and I can do it myself. Pride is revealed to me once I have fallen hard enough to hurt myself.
I tell my husband frequently that I am proud of him for being a soldier and I whisper to my infant daughter how proud I am of her for eating her first solid food so well, but the instant that my own pride takes residence in something directly related to me, it swells up with a gluttonous helium that soon becomes hard to control! If someone gives me a compliment, I receive a self-esteem boost, but the second compliment sends me on an ego-trip! When I am being selfish, "touchy", sensitive in my own skin and insensitive to others, it is my pride that is running my thoughts, and, therefore, my words, emotions and life.
God has shown me how to replace pride, piece by piece. Proverbs 11:2 in the Amplified version says, "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." Pride won't allow me to admit that I am wrong or say that I am sorry, but humility makes me run to the person I have offended. Pride tells me that others don't know anything about me and can't help me, but humility says that wisdom often lies in the words of the least likely people. Pride tells me that I can do anything I want, whenever I want and humility also tells me that this is possible, but it is through Christ who strenthens me.
The necklace that I wear today is what Proverbs 1 asks us to where: the instruction of [my] father and the law of [my] mother and the remembrance and observance of both. The instructions and the laws are those of God and they are found in Word of God. That necklace is a protective guard against my lifeline (the breath of the Holy Spirit). Every once in a while, I look down and a jewel of pride has found its way onto the chain again, but my joy is that those jewels are returnable to the jeweler of the enemy and I can return them anytime I want.