If ever there was an unsinkable sin, it is pride.
Just when you think you’re finally getting the upper hand, in it pops into your heart again like sand from the beach in your shoes. That’s the darned nuisance of it! It is too small to notice, until it builds up and grates on your sole (soul). And when you finally pay attention to it and start shaking it out, it just never seems to go away. You can’t SEE anymore of it, but once you put your shoes back on and start walking – there it is again, annoyingly irritating!
And if, by some miracle of grace you manage to free yourself from its clutches for a little while, don’t get too comfortable …
It lies in wait, silently stalking the unsuspecting prey. Let him feel secure … let him think himself safe … the safer he feels, the easier to hunt him …
Sure enough, just when you thought it was safe to go outside …
Back to square one, yet again (sigh).
Why is it so hard?
Is it because we so easily confuse our need for self esteem with its correlating vice, the need for the approval of others? Or is it because we think so little of ourselves that we need to invent things to feel good about? Why must I be great / special / popular / successful / wealthy / powerful / admired / (fill in your own brand of pride here)???
Why can I not just accept that this is who I am, this is how God made me, and that He knows what He’s doing? If I could drum it into my thick head that God actually loves me as He made me, and stop trying to impress Him, or me or anyone else, life would be SO much simpler. “But by the grace of God, I am what I am” said St Paul.
Perhaps that’s what it takes. He said that because he knew that all his life he had to live with the knowledge that he had previously been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent, gentle Christians. That sort of burden weighs you down so much that there isn’t a lot of room left for pride underneath it.
When we are most broken, then we are closest to God…
Perhaps, then, the answer lies in learning to know myself truly, learning to understand my profound weakness on the one hand, and God’s immeasurably greater mercy and love on the other.
Oh well … “In your patience possess ye your soles”.