By Monica C. Voskamp
Pride. It’s been difficult to broach this subject.
After a few reluctant draft writings (I did NOT want to write on pride!), I uncovered some essentials in differentiating pride from love.
1. Pride resists.
Boy does it ever. Pride stops me from saying (point blank): I’m sorry. I was wrong. I need help.
I don’t like doing any of those.
You know all three of those phrases, (I’m sorry, I was wrong, I need help), by NOT saying them in a relationship of mine, caused massive destruction. It destroyed trust. It prevented connection. It built walls and added strong chains between my heart and hers, my mom.
It created disrespect. It bred false concepts (like superiority.) Pride stole time. That’s maybe the worst. I can never buy or gain back all the time pride stole from me. Time for rich opportunities and golden memories of the past do not exist because of pride.
#2. Pride is a thief.
I didn’t want to accept my mom’s apology when I was a little girl over hurtful words said. I held that against her for… years. It destroyed what I thought of her, changed (for the bad) how I thought and interacted with her.
Pride is an expert thief, that continues to steal. I lost learning SO many things from my mom as a child, teenager and young adult, because of pride. Pride stole that from me, from us.
I begrudgingly played the role of a daughter. I tried to be nice. I tried to like her as I got older and wanted to show I had somewhat of a relationship. (Read that? I wanted to portray at least I liked my mom when I really didn’t. There’s more pride for you!) I pretended, but deep were the layers of pride.
I didn’t like my mom. Once upon a time I did. I thought she was great and I enjoyed our ‘evening doing the dishes’ chatter. But after I heard those hurtful words, I nursed that wound and held it against my mom.
Pride stole love. It stole the love I had for my mother, and eventually that darkened to hate. It stole the beautiful spirit I shared with her and emanated in life. I became a shell of a person, empty of love.
All I needed to do was say: Mom, I treated you wrongly. I’m sorry and I feel terrible for it. I’m in the wrong not you. This is my fault.
I was holding a grudge against my mom, and nothing she did or would say changed my resolute. My lips were hardened tight, just like my heart.
Horrid truth is, I really wanted my mom to pay for what she did to me. But guess what? A wrong doesn’t right another wrong. Even more, no matter how much I wanted her to ‘pay’, it would never be enough. Humans actually aren’t capable of proper justice nor ever satisfied with the amount of justice given in a situation. Nothing can ever UNDO or right a wrong.
The only peaceful terms I’ve found is forgiveness. But I sure as heck was not going to forgive my mom.
#3. Pride doesn’t want peace.
I didn’t want peace with my mom. I didn’t want a relationship with her because, for one, I came to hate her and had NO respect for her. And two, I didn’t want to admit I had done her wrong. Really, I was no better or worse than my mom.
Pride thinks it is the better person and justifies it’s awful behavior. Crazy thing is, pride doesn’t even want to admit how hurtful it’s behavior is.
Pride destroys not only relationships, but a very person’s character. Pride prevented me from growing so much and overflowing a bright spirit.
#4: Pride stays stuck.
It doesn’t want to move forward. It isn’t willing to welcome goodness in itself. And if pride doesn’t welcome goodness, growth, and humility how can someone rooted in years of pride truly offer such attributes? They can’t.
A proud person cannot offer love because they are trapped in a dark world void of love.
#5. Pride doesn’t know love.
I grew up in a religious circle of people saying they knew about love, but they were very pious people. They were not willing to admit they were just as much as human as every person outside the church pews. I grew up with a bunch of hypocrites, pharisees. And, I became, was one of them. It’s a sober me writing this now.
#6. Pride is a pharisee mindset.
Pride thinks is it’s above the rules; it’s a Pharisee mindset. (Pharisees were a religious sect of people in ancient times who held a position of authority.) The rules didn’t apply to the Pharisee’s, yet they demanded the rules to be followed by everyone else. *That’s* what I saw growing up and that’s what I’ve seen in myself. This is NO WHERE NEAR the definition of love.
No wonder I’m so confused when it comes to love.
God is love. I saw, experienced pride in a place, a religion that professed love but lived out otherwise: lies, lies, lies.
Pride will not file a honest statement; it’s bankrupt of love.
A proud person comes to a point they don’t even realize how much deceit they are locked in. Pride prohibits love and says NO to connection. That’s the very opposite of what God wants to do with people and us humans to do with each other. Love wants to connect.
#7. Pride disconnects.
You read a bit of my relationship with my mom. It was good at one point, but then I started shutting down. I only told her “privileged information”, eventually I would barely speak to her or acknowledge her speaking to me. I had no interest in listening to her. I disconnected from her. Pride does that. 😦
Pride purposely disconnects.
What you got right there is a dead battery. (Bare with me, my car battery died recently so this just comes to mind. 🙂 ) Pride drains the life, sucks the life out of person, out of relationships, and it sucks the life out of the church.
Keys were left in a car or someone left the lights left on. A battery can only go on so long without the “juice” it has reserved. Then, it has no choice but to die. There’s NOTHING giving the battery more energy. The car will just sit there, but it will not be able to operate.
Pride kills a person’s beautiful spirit and holds them captive, frozen in a dark place.
I think we got a pretty good picture of pride here now.
The good thing is love reconnects. Love kick-starts the battery and gives it life again so one can actually move forward and not just sit at a standstill, like you would in a car with a dead battery.
Letting go of pride acknowledges the truth, the ugly of the situation AND it reaches out for help. Humility says, “Okay so the problem is my battery is dead. I need help. Who has some booster cables and another running engine?”
Love confesses the truth and, in doing so, opens a gateway to life.
Love brings a spirit back to life. It allows light and life in, like sunlight flooding a dark musty room.
I smile, and you can be happy to know, because love did this for my mom and I. I never would’ve imagined 20 year old me ever be loving, respecting and thinking the world of my mom. But I do now. 🙂
She’s amazing, beautiful, talented, wise, creative and more. I couldn’t see that before–didn’t want to. Pride had me in lock-down.
I can better understand how God is love. He takes the DNA “deadness” in us, and brings life, joy, hope, peace because of who He is, love. God isn’t proud and egotistic. He’s actually the one holding out the battery cables to us. Love gives, never forces, never demands. Love only gives abundance.
When you experience this in your life, know you’re encountering love. Love isn’t confined to a church building (sometimes hard to find there), but love is all around. Just look and see what is love, not pride. Look inside you; see with truthful eyes.
Don’t let years go by like I did. 18 years. It was eighteen years before I forgave my mom, left my pride and let love come into myself and our relationship. A connection was ignited because pride was gone.
Pride is the gangster you don’t ever want to meet.
Pride resists. Love welcomes.
Pride is a thief. Love is a giver.
Pride doesn’t want peace. Love wants restoration.
Pride stays stuck. Love provides growth.
Pride doesn’t know love. Love knows the truth.
Pride is a pharisee mindset. Love is humility.
Pride disconnects. Love connects.
When pride leaves the room, this stunning angelic being of love enters in. Never underestimate the mystic power love holds. Love is not proud.