A Messy Business

What makes the biggest mess when it swells and bursts?

This substance can lie dormant for long periods, bubbling occasionally, but for the most part, drawing little attention to itself--until it is stirred.

Stirring causes it to inflate instantly and become toxic. It swells and explodes, coating everyone in the vicinity with its grainy slime.

This toxic substance is called pride.
Spiritual pride.

It masquerades in a thousand costumes, rarely looking the same on any two people. But it leaves a distinctive odor that becomes easier to detect the more often you see it.

There is another substance, that when added to the first, creates a reaction like adding vinegar to baking soda: instant explosion. The second substance is Truth.

You can find hidden pride easily by stirring the soul with a little Truth. Truth poured on top of spiritual pride can blast a hole in the wall.

And the explosion is usually shocking because the soul harboring the pride is rarely aware of its presence. Those harboring it have spent a lifetime renaming it, taming it, and justifying it so that when it explodes they do not recognize it.

Instead, they attack the one holding the stir stick.

God hates our pride more than anything else. It was the first sin. Satan invented it and he has been poisoning souls with it since the beginning of Man.

But we love it, don't we?

It feels good, looks pretty, plumps up our often sagging egos, and sets our minds at rest about our own worth.
We can even be prideful about how humble we are, defining humility in a myriad of ways, none of which takes the shine off our mirror.

But let a little personal truth get close to it, and watch out. A word fitly spoken, a negative character trait obvious to everyone but the pride-holder, a soft rebuke...and there it goes! Old Faithful, spewing wrath and self-righteous indignation.

"Why, how dare they!"

"You take that back!"

"How dare you judge me..."

The very mouth that piteously declared its unworthiness to God that morning retorts in self-defense that afternoon. The same lips that cry, "God, I am unfit to be your servant," now cry, "How dare you insinuate that I am not perfect!"

  • What if we took the top off the whole mess by welcoming helpful observations from those we respect?
  • What if, instead of leaping into instant self-protection mode, we actually listened?
  • What if when we asked for an honest opinion, we actually meant it?

Think how much further along we could be in God's School of Character-building if we would actually do our lessons.

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