Pride

Pride is a fickle friend. It’s no friend at all. Last night I confessed to my wife the sin of pride that had simply been making it difficult for me to exercise well my vocation as husband.

I was being a prick. She forgave me.

It was subtle–both my pride and my behavior–but there was no getting around it. I was holding on to my own image of myself and my self-importance instead of doing what I have been called to do according to my Lord who has put me into this marriage with her. It was one of the hardest conversations of my life. It wasn’t a tear-jerker; the music didn’t swell and we didn’t fall into each other’s arms in a fit of emotion. But there I was: laid bare as I ought to have been in the first place. Whether it was an issue of id or ego, I had been in the wrong for some time. Plainly, it was difficult.

And today it doesn’t feel much different. I rarely feel as though a weight has come off, and this is no exception. Yet there is something of a hopefulness here that wasn’t there before. I don’t know that I’ll go into much more detail here.

Pride continues to be a struggle for me–either when I manifest it or when I perceive it in others. Too often I am confronted, in one or the other, the need for the last word; the subtle acknowledgement of wrong without going all the way and personally admitting wrong; holding on to sin because letting go means a release of perceived power.

Pride is a poor solution to anxiety. In the end we’re left either with our own pride–the sham of self-sufficiency–or Jesus Christ and his all-sufficiency.

Confession. Absolution. In Christ there is freedom–freedom to be weak and not to hold on to my own feeble sense of importance. Thank God.

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2 Responses to Pride

  1. A says:

    I’ve had the experience (which I ascribe to being prideful) of thinking like this, “I shouldn’t bring up this issue with (insert person’s name) it would only make him/her upset.” This kind of thinking has led me to keep in many things that either (1) weren’t that big of a deal or (2) avoid very necessary conversations only to have to face them later, and with more intense and bad results. Good for you. I’m glad to hear that you practiced openness with your spouse.
    Peace.

  2. OSC says:

    While I agree that those communication patterns are not helpful, and I commend you for getting around that kind of thinking, these don’t strike me as pride as much as conflict avoidance. To be clear, I’ve done that myself.

    I think pride is manifest more where one knows him/herself to be in the wrong and doesn’t let go of the behavior. Rather s/he holds on to it because admitting wrong gives up power, and as sinful human beings we tend to grasp at our delusions of power. Being “in the right” feeds that delusion unless we keep pride in check. It’s an insidious weed.

    On the other hand, as I think about it I think I can see where the avoidance of the appearance of pride may lead to some of the behaviors you list here. It can also be insidious in the way I think I read you describe here. Thanks for the comment.

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