Chasing Contentment

Wednesday, October 19

Arrogance, in my opinion, is giving pride a bad name.

From the time we are young, we are drilled with the notion that pride goes before a fall (Proverbs 16:18), and I certainly agree that selfish, arrogant pride is a problem.

But, I think that so often we confuse that selfish ego with legitimate pride. We see men and women accomplishing things and taking all of the credit, extolling the virtues of their own personhoods, and we're reminded that we shouldn't be prideful. But that isn't the kind of pride I think we need to see more of (for we certainly see plenty of that) in life.

From the time Griff was young (about the age Eliza's at now), I can recall watching his obvious pleasure when he was able to do something, to accomplish something he didn't think he could do. Even now at seven, he still has that pure joy in accomplishment, and I think that's the kind of pride we grown-ups need. Last night, he was so excited to tell me and Mike that he scored best in his class on a standardized math and reading test, and he was pretty sure we should celebrate, which, of course, we did.

At what point did the 'pride goes before a fall' warning overcome the simple joy of accomplishment?

As a Christian, I am more than willing to tell people that I can't accomplish much on my own, but through Christ, I can do so very much if only because it's Him working in me (Philippians 4:13)... my role, I think, is just being willing and available. And if we give Him credit for giving us the traits and talents and abilities that we have, what is so wrong with saying, 'yes, I did that, and it is good' or 'thank you for noticing that I did that well?'

There must be a difference between confidence in the abilities God has given us and the belief that we have all that we need within ourselves without Christ. There must be a way to teach our children to avoid the downfalls of arrogance while still encouraging them to take pride in their accomplishments. What, after all, is the point of teaching them the value of hard work if we don't also teach them positive, healthy ways to enjoy the results of that hard work?

[  posted by Chel on Wednesday, October 19, 2005  ]


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