November 5, 2014

Society's Serious Misconception of Pride

Good morning, everybody! Hope everything has been going well for you so far. I actually found this post in some old drafts and thought it'd be a good one to finish for today. In relation to the context I give about my life, it's a little bit outdated, but it is definitely one of those that I really want to finish. I hope you like it!


I don't know if any of you guys have seen my vlog channel (there's some embarrassing and what I like to believe is funny/entertaining stuff on there), but recently I started doing a 365-Day Bible Reading Plan, which is the highlight of the vlog below:

A special friend and I have started a Bible Reading Journal together to hold each other accountable and to also keep track of our discussions. Reading the Bible has become a part of my routine that I've started looking forward to a lot and I've been getting so much out of meditating on God's word. So if you've thought about reading the whole Bible but never got around to doing so, please check out the video above for a solid reading plan that's been keeping me on track so far!

Anyhow, my friend and I read a section in Isaiah that I just haven't been able to get out of my mind and heart:
"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!" (Isaiah 5:20-21, New King James Version)
It's easy to look at these words and think, "Okay, this is sort of melodramatic and Bible-sounding" and go on reading, but if that was mild, the rest of that night's reading took a sharp turn for shocking intensity.

God says to Isaiah the prophet: "Go, and tell this people: 'Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.' Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and return and be healed" (Isaiah 6:9-10).

Uhhhh, God say what?

This was something that we wrestled with because it shows a side of God that is ostensibly contradictory to what we know about him. But after a bit of research, we see that it's basically a prophecy that foreshadows what'll happen to the prideful.

I feel like this can often conflict with what we're taught in society these days. Society tells us to have pride in our work, pride in our actions, pride in our nation, pride in our kids, pride in our achievements. Especially while in college, as there is so much competition among peers, I've found myself taking pride in my own accomplishments, too.

But, pride is blinding.

If you are proud in your work, how will you be humble enough to try to improve? If you're proud in your achievements, what is truly the motivation behind your actions? If you're prideful in your nation, how do you know if problems are arising, or not being solved?

Pride makes our hearts dull. It closes our ears to that conscience, and shuts our eyes against what is right.

Swallowing that pride is what we need to do before we can truly wise and discerning.

There should be a distinction between pride and love. You can show love through what you do, and you can love doing what you do. 

When I contrast these two things, love is giving your talents to share with others, whereas pride is holding your talents for yourself. Love is everything that pride isn't: patient, kind, pure. Pride is blindness.

Have you ever been in an argument where you've been in the wrong? If you apologized, why did you? (And if you didn't apologize, why didn't you? Haha.) When you apologize, it is admitting that you did something wrong. Really, you're putting your pride aside because you are deciding that your relationship is more important. In a way, when you express apology and/or forgiveness, you're choosing love over pride.

So if you're harboring resentment against somebody, or if there is any tension, think about the causes. Has another person seriously harmed you. Is pride too big for forgiveness?

And I suppose that we can also consider our motivations for doing what we do. Is it to share our talents with others, or to only uplift ourselves? When we are prideful, what else in life are we missing?

Just a bit of food for thought for this week. Please let me know all your reactions and insights in the comments below!

Smile on,
-Riley XO
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