Pride has deep roots in our human family. A case can be made that pride is the root of almost all our internal and external conflicts. I’ve discovered many subtle ways pride has flavored my life with less than ideal outcomes.
When inside I believe somehow I am better than anyone else for any reason, it sabotages relationship opportunities. If I think I know more, look better, have more, believe the right stuff or I am right in my views, then anyone who falls into the opposite of those attitudes, I view as “less than.” If you are “less than,” then I think I am “better than.”
I may never verbalize this and it may not actually enter my conscious mind, but it poisons every interaction I have with others. Pride can fill me whether I think I am less than as well as when I think I’m better than.
What I am learning is neither of those options is true. I just am. I am a human being, flawed in so many ways yet have many gifts as well. I have a contribution to make to life and society. But I also need what you have. Our role in life is to help each other along. I’m learning that those who have had much different life experiences than me, those who believe differently, those who think differently have far more to teach me than those who are most like me. It is uncomfortable at times, but I have learned thinking my way is best and your way is wrong only leads to tension and argument rather than understanding and relationship. I have to learn to love and accept you whether we ever see eye to eye or not.
Humility requires a view that says, I’m neither better or worse than anyone else, I become “right sized.” I go on a quest to know and be known, to understand and to be understood rather than proving I am right and you are wrong.
Though I believe God wants all humans to know and love Him, though He is right and has all power, He does not force anyone to see things His way! Rather He invites us to, “Come let us reason together,” and He allows us to choose our own path, whether to join Him or not.
I believe over the course of life I’ve come to understand many things that could be helpful to others. I’m guessing the same is true for all humans. But when I am in the better than or less than mode my approach to people is already starting from a place that guarantees I won’t be useful. If on the other hand, I can value all human life and allow people the right to be on their own journey and engage them as fellow travelers, we can reason together and both will be better as a result.