Cliches That Are True #1: Pride Comes Before the Fall

I may not seem like a very prideful person, and in some ways, I’m not. Certainly I’m often less than comfortable in public, mostly because I’m afraid of being judged. I don’t have the best posture either, but I do have more than a fair share of insecurities. And self-loathing is no foreign concept. Yet, somehow, I still make room for pride in my heart.

People always wonder why I make comments that are considered negative, defeatist, or just excessively modest when it comes to my prospects for achievement. It may be that I have low self esteem, but that’s not reason. The reason is that “confidence” generally backfires on me, while modesty pays. I think this is God’s little way of chiseling down my pride. Don’t believe me?

It’s the year of our Lord, 2013 and we’re in an abandoned terminal turned war zone, bunkering down in some kind of cubicle-like room with one door. I’m crouched all the way down with my MPSK machine gun and my buddy is on the other side of the room. We’re waiting for another Russian to get caught in our deadly crossfire, but we have no takers. Slowly, I peek outside. There’s no one. I run out, ready to get upstairs and claim victory. It’s all over, I think, we’ve done it! That wasn’t so bad! But then I hear a voice. Something isn’t right. I retreat, and we see a buttload of them streaming down the stairs with riot shields. We weren’t expecting that, we didn’t set any claymores. So we get slaughtered.

Me and my friend toss our controllers. We really thought we were finally going to get that third star on Call of Duty.

I’m a senior in high school and I think I’m all that just because I have straight A’s and was involved in theater. I strut around in my khaki pants and maroon polo shirt, more than reasonably sure that I will get picked student of the month one time. But month after month passes. The other kids get it, kids that are more deserving than me, with scores of hours of community service, sports achievements, better grades and attitudes than me, and everything else. Fine, whatever. They deserve it. Then, the last month arrives. I know I didn’t get it, but the hope is still there because I haven’t seen the picture yet of the winner on the bulletin board. I walked up from the parking lot and opened the doors. There was her face, not my face, the face of the victor. Fast forward to graduation. Not only did I not get that award, but I got no awards that the school wasn’t required to give me. If only I didn’t have such a rotten, repulsive personality, and my parents had been more willing to drive me around to do community service, I think to myself.

Who’s confident now?

Of course, I have many other instances of this in my life, but I don’t want to bore you anymore. The point is that pride has never done me any good, but humility has, and I know that God wants me to be humble. Though it may seem very much implied by my words, I don’t think confidence is always bad. If you can be confident in yourself and in God without getting too carried away, then I commend you. But I myself, never found that happy medium. So for now, I’ll keep ragging on myself, and thanking God for bothering with me in the first place.

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2 comments on “Cliches That Are True #1: Pride Comes Before the Fall

  1. Leah Ness says:

    I definitely agree with you on many points here, especially that pride can be a deadly trap. But as I’m learning in my own life, so can a misunderstanding of humility. I’ve heard it put this way before: ‘Humility is seeing yourself as God sees you, no more, no less.’ It’s the ‘no less’ that I struggle with. I beat myself up constantly and, as you put it, ‘rag’ on myself under the guise of humility, but God is really beginning to show me that that isn’t what He wants either. Jesus paid the ultimate price for us and He did so to give us life, and life abundant. He doesn’t want us walking around feeling guilty all the time and constantly pushing ourselves to do better. He wants us to rest in His grace, love, and forgiveness. As backward and selfish as this may sound, God does want us to love ourselves. After all, He calls us to love everyone else and since He loves you as much as He loves me, judging and hurting yourself is just as displeasing to Him as judging and hurting me would be.I completely agree with you that there is a happy medium between confidence in who you are in Christ and over confident pride. But as I’m learning the hard way, either extreme is equally dangerous, making that balance essential. God isn’t ‘bothering with you,’ He’s loving you, more than you could ever know!

    • Leah,
      Thank you for sharing your wise words. You are probably right that God wants us to “love ourselves” (but not in the same way that society would have us). It can’t be all that flattering to God if I entertain the belief that I am inferior, since He created me, even if I act inferior sometimes. Thanks again for stopping by, can’t wait to see what you post on your blog

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