Is it hard to live and work without pride getting in the way? I think we all know the answer to this is a resounding 'yes', but many times we forget just how much responsibility we each have in actually keeping our pride out of the mix. We cannot let pride get the inroad in our relationships, because if we do, we are bound to see a lot of arguments, hurt feelings, and even a little bit of envy entering into them. Why? Pride is going to set us against one another since it raises the opinion of one's value over another's value.
Live and work without pride. Be gentle and kind. Do not be hard on others. Let love keep you from doing that. Work hard to live together as one by the help of the Holy Spirit. Then there will be peace. (Ephesians 4:2-3)
Where there is an inordinate amount of focus on what 'we' do and what value 'we' are in a situation, there could be a little bit of a problem with pride that is revealing itself. You might not realize it, but this can manifest in the mind (one's own thoughts) before it ever does in our behavior. You might recognize it is there just by somebody's 'bearing' in the relationship - they may not say anything, but that overarching prideful bearing begins to manifest anyway. Either way, pride is a nasty thing once it takes hold and will bring much damage within a relationship if allowed to continue to be 'fed'.
Pride has this way of saying something is 'due us'. We expect some form of 'payment' or 'recognition' as a result of some type of action we took. The problem with pride is that it requires a 'bookkeeping' of sorts - it keeps accounts. If there is an imbalance of too much attention being paid to the other person's 'accounts' then we get a little out of sorts because our accounts are 'lacking'. Honestly, most of the arguments we have in life are just because we sensed there was some form of 'imbalance' in the 'accounts'. We didn't get what we thought we deserved.
Live and work without pride - it requires us focusing pretty intently on living in such a way so as to continuously being gentle and manifesting unceasing kindness. How well are you doing on those two notes this morning? I will be honest with you here - it is not as easy to live out as it is to say! Not being hard on others - now that takes it to a totally different level. If you are like me, you are probably pretty hard on yourself and that can lead to you being equally hard on others. It takes quite a bit of talking between me and my Maker to keep this in check in my life.
Pride is squelched just because we want it to be. It takes work - both the work you do yourself by being aware you have a problem with 'account keeping' and the work you count on from the Holy Spirit in your life. The efforts we put into not keeping books in a relationship is something we all need to learn, though. If we are keeping 'accounts', we are living by a system of needing to have 'equality' in relationships. I don't know if you have observed this yet or not, but not all relationships will be 'equal'. We have to give room for inequality in relationship because anything else is just plain impossible. We are equal in God's eyes, but in our own, we will always see some differences emerging. Take those 'imbalanced accounts' to Jesus and let him sort them out. It will always bring us back to 'balanced' again. Just sayin!