Food for Thought: Pride vs Humility
by Ardith Hoff
“A man received a promotion to the position of Vice President of the company he worked for. The promotion went to his head, and for weeks on end he bragged to anyone and everyone that he was now VP. His bragging came to an abrupt halt when his wife, so embarrassed by his behavior, said, ‘Listen Bob, it’s not that big a deal. These days everyone’s a vice president. Why they even have a vice president of peas down at the supermarket!’
Somewhat deflated, Bob called the local supermarket to find out if this was true. ‘Can I speak to the Vice President of peas please?’ he asked, to which the reply came: ‘of fresh or frozen?’”
Pride can be a good thing from the perspective of doing something good and feeling a sense of satisfaction or accomplishment from it. However, it can easily become a problem if we allow it to grow into a sense of smugness—a general feeling that we are somehow better than others. Self-awareness can help us to embrace humility, recognizing our own capacity towards self-deception, and accept that we can do nothing on our own will keep us from falling into the trap of poisonous pride.
“Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else.” Galatians 6:4
We have to be honest with ourselves and give God the glory for anything good we have done. “Every good and perfect gift cometh down from above.” James 1:17
Humility rests in knowing our strengths, our weaknesses, and our place in the broader scheme of things. Consider for example, how small each of us is compared to the vastness of the universe. We are but a tiny speck on an insignificant planet, at precisely the right distance from the sun so that we do not burn up. Who are we to think of ourselves as someone special, except in the eyes of a loving God? Whoever we are, and whatever good we have done is not of our own doing alone. It is because God has permitted us to do it. We are nothing without Him.