I’ve written about the pride/shame dichotomy many times because something that I have learned in my walk, is that in order to really build a relationship with Christ one must surrender their pride. That is what to submit means, to yield. To yield what? Your pride.
What is pride? Pride is ego, self, vanity. It is not about feeling good about yourself and your accomplishments. In common language I call it “too much of me and not enough of Him.” All in good Humor here, but He simply cannot fill me up if I already full of myself. There’s just no room.
In life when one has been someone’s bit of collateral damage, in order to heal properly, one must yield their pride. I know of no other way to allow His healing to flow through us, except to lay pride down at the foot of the cross and to allow Him to fix what has been broken. It’s not easy, it’s not pleasant, and many people don’t like hearing that, but there are huge fruits to be found there. When we let go of our pride, we also let go of our wounding, our offense, our shame, our bitterness, our anger. It is often a process that takes some time, but it is so worth it. Who wants to lug around all those rocks your entire life, when you can trade them in for redemption and healing?
It is totally contrary to what the world teaches, which tends to be, build up “self-esteem” (pride,) demand justice, seek revenge, nourish and nurture your legitimate offense. We tend to validate people’s anger, to encourage their resentment, to instruct them to find other like-minded people and to celebrate mutual indignation….sometimes for years.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a time for righteous anger and people’s offense may be totally valid and justified. Pride is a normal, healthy response to having been wounded. It is natural to want to wall oneself off and to blame others who really are probably to blame. The problem is that when we do that, we enable them to continue wounding us. They’ve already hurt us once, to cling to wounded pride allows them to continue hurting us.
Letting go of pride when you have been hurt is not so easy. It is counter intuitive. Sometimes people fear that if they let go of those wounds they may walk right back into the same situation. I have found the precise opposite to be true, those who do not seek healing, tend to repeat the behavior that got us hurt in the first place, over and over again. It is almost like a script we are compelled to follow until we get it right.
Pride is really painful. Letting go of it is also painful, but once done, there is freedom to be found. One reason it is so painful is that it often forces us to confront our own responsibility, our own wrong doing, our shame. That is extremely challenging when one has been hurt by someone else, because our instincts tell us we’ve done nothing wrong. The thing is, “wrong” can be a subjective thing, it can simply mean we feel as if we’ve let ourselves down by allowing something bad to happen to us. Or perhaps we are “wrong” for clinging so fearfully to unforgiveness. Perhaps we are “wrong” for clinging to fear rather than love. Whatever it is, those are all individual issues that impact everyone differently.
I’m blogging about it once again because it is such a huge issue in our world. When I encounter bitterness, hostility, mockery from others, I see only shame and wounding, a painful burden for anyone to have to carry. I empathize there, I dislike seeing suffering when I know both healing and redemption are possible.
In relationships between men and women, letting go of pride in favor of connection instead, is vitally important. The two genders can wound each other like no one else can, but we also have the capacity to heal.
Here’s some more posts on pride.