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Yes, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! I am a wife, a mother, a sister, and a friend.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Humility and Pride

Today in Sacrament Meeting one of the talks was on Humility and Pride, and although not the first time, but I was once again reminded how much I lack in humility and how much pride I do have. I honestly do not know how to let go of things and give myself completely to the Lord. I find myself being selfish, critical, unbending, and I'm so opinionated that it can get in the way of listening to those around me. It hinders my ability to forgive others and forgive myself. I often find myself feeling like Mr. Darcy, "That once my good opinion is lost, it is lost forever". I don't think I'm that bad but close. I often struggle within myself how to let go of hurts, and wrongs I have felt been put upon me, at the same time I struggle with the harm and hurt I cause others, and even worse am not aware of the harm or hurt I have caused.
The Quote given in the talk is this one by C.S. Lewis

Pride is essentially competitive - is competitive by its very nature - while the other vices are competitive only , so to speak , by accident. Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others. If every one else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking there would be nothing to be proud about. It is the comparison that makes you proud : the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition had gone, pride has gone. That is why I say that Pride is essentially competitive in a way the other vices are not.

I remember being in High school and really facing this issue of being competitive and it nearly destroyed me and the friendships I had. In College I was much more relaxed, I wanted to do my best, but that didn't mean I had to be better than anyone else. It was such a relief to know if I sat 1st chair it was okay, and if I didn't that was okay too, as long as I did my best, I could rejoice in the best of the other's around me also. Maybe it helped knowing that the conductor really did like me and had trust in me, and I trusted him to do what was best for the group. At that time, I like to think I learned a small bit of humility, it didn't come from competition but from working together as a group.

Sometimes I wonder if I have learned that art of humility and lack of competition, I still find it in myself to try to be "better" than someone else, rather than trying to be the best I can. It is a dilemma that I face often. Honestly to be humble is to put ones self into God's hands, and really submitting to his will. The question is, have I ever really done that, and do I really know how to do that. DO I really TRUST that He KNOWS what is best for me, and my husband, and my children, and am I really ready and able to give into that will. Am I willing and able to do what ever He asks whenever He asks, and at this point in my life I would have to say I don't think I'm there. Do I want to be there, I think so but there is a great part of me that shrinks back in fear because I'm afraid of what I will be asked. At the same time I have to ask myself, I must be ready, because frankly what the Lord will send my way will come, ready or not, and I have to be able to get myself ready so the lesson is not so hard to learn. I think this is a tough one for me, and something I really have to get myself to learn, and to learn it quickly. Maybe, just maybe, I will learn it in time, but there is a small voice in my head telling me that I won't and the learning will be hard and very painful. Somehow I have to learn to swallow my Pride, and get on my knees more, swallow my Pride, and forgive more, Swallow my Pride and be more sympathetic, Swallow my Pride and be more patient. Lots more to do in Swallowing my Pride! I think I have a long road to travel, and lots to think and ponder on the way.

5 comments:

Michael said...

Sweetheart, I know you and are striving to overcome weeknesses and making them strengths. And I know that I am with you for the long haul, namely for eternity, so we'll continue to learn together. Love you, Wolf

Richard said...

If I remember right, C.S. Lewis wrote in his Screwtape Letters something to the effect that humility is a virtue such that if someone knows that they have it, they will have already lost it. With that in mind, I won't tell you that your post sounds humble. It does however sound reflective and honest, two things that I know you to be, arguably to a fault.

The swallowing of pride that you talk about at the end of your post is precisely the type of swallowing of pride that I need to do. God did not want submission to His will here to be an easy thing. It is not the same as signing something that you own over to a trustee. That is a one time decision. People can argue along the lines of Joshua 24:15 that we need only decide once to serve the Lord, but that is only partly true. The reality is that we must reaffirm that decision every day. We fulfill our duties, we speak lovingly to our family and kindly to those who don't always deserve it. We take time out of our day to commune with God and time to serve His children. God does not demand an abdication of our agency, but competent, vigilant management of our agency in accordance with His directives.

My point in all that rambling is that if you are doing the 'little things' that require us to swallow our pride every day, you will find that there is not so much to swallow when God calls upon you to do anything.

As for natural competitive desires, I believe that they can be kept within the bounds of love. We can and have to gauge to some degree what we expect of ourselves by what we see others capable of doing. So long as we do not seek to elevate ourselves by hurting others and ultimately define success for ourselves as something other than besting someone else, we are okay.

I doubt that I am saying anything here that you do not already know, but I enjoyed reading your post--it makes "More Holiness Give Me" run through my head--and wanted to thank you for writing it.

Tigersue said...

Thank you Richard for your very kind comments. I have seen that quote from C.S. Lewis also. I need to start my goal of reading the Screwtape letters, I started it before I was expecting Kendra and never finished it, and I want to read Mere Christianity. I suppose I should get busy!

Tigersue said...

Richard if I do what I was talking to your wife about, I think you would be good to contribute to once in awhile. You are so eloquent in your writing. Please, say yes!

Téa said...

Richard says you're welcome and he looks forward to seeing what comes of the idea...

He really is so eloquent, I find it hard not to compare myself to him!