My son, Dean, has been learning his ABC’s. Every time he sings the song all the way through my husband and I clap for him and I tell him how proud we are and he just beams. Pride can be positive when we are so full of love for a person we care about and we want them to succeed.
We can also take pride in the things we do and do them well. We may have a great sense of pride when we accomplish a project we have been working on for a long time.
There is also a negative side to pride. This happens when we think we are better than other people. For me, I experienced pride rearing its ugly head when I was in high school. As a sophomore I tried out for varsity soccer. I trained every day. I heard from the conditioning practices what was needed to make the team. I had to have my two mile under a certain time, I had to be able to sprint, I need to be a good team player. Tryouts went great and I was so confident that I made varsity.
But when the list was posted, my name was under Junior Varsity. I was devastated. I did everything they told me to do. How did this happen? I found out a senior had made varsity, a senior with an injury who would never play, but would always sit on the bench. But that was my spot! I was better than her! I was consumed with pride. I was embarrassed also that I did not make the team.
Even though I became captain of the J.V. team and even though I got pulled up to play varsity in their tournament at the end of the year, it was never good enough. This is what pride does to us. It causes us to feel like we are better than other people. That we deserve more than they do because we are more special.
Pride consumes us and it causes broken relationships and sin in our lives. This kind of pride can be found in our gospel lesson this Sunday from Mark 9. Here we see the disciples arguing about which one of them was the greatest.
Now these were men of God. They found themselves in the presence of Christ every day and yet they too struggled with pride.
As you may have guessed, our “Wesley Challenge” question for this Sunday is “Am I Proud?” Come to worship and hear how God calls us to turn away from pride and surrender to God. I hope to see you on Sunday.
Prayer: Loving God, fill me with more of you and less of me. Help me to see the world through your eyes, and not eyes that are green with comparison. Help me to let go of the control I think I have, help me to receive help when I need it, help me to offer your grace to others who are prideful. Guide and direct me God to do your will. Amen.