“If pride made a devil out of an archangel, what will it do to us?”
– pg. 245, The Prayer That Changes Everything, by Stormie Omartian

The definition of pride, as it appears on, is: “…a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.” I don’t like to think of myself as a prideful person, but in order to move beyond the pride that does lie within me, I must be honest about it. Do I think myself better than others? Do I believe that I have more to offer to the world, in a meeting, or in my home than another person? Do I expect my own talents and merits to get me where I want to be in life, without the help of others or even of God? Have I ever questioned God’s plan and wondered why He would allow certain things to happen?

I can come up with some very good reasons for all of the questions listed in the previous paragraph. I could say that it is important for me to have self-esteem, to recognize my good qualities, and to offer my assistance to others who cannot accomplish what I can with the gifts God has given me. All that is true. The problem comes when I start to behave in such a way that my self-esteem becomes egotistical and off-putting to others, my good qualities taken to the extreme become barriers between real communication and relationships with others, and my constant offers of assistance turn into a condescending attitude that expresses my belief that only I know what is best for myself – and everyone else around me.

It is not easy to look within and point at the ugliness of some of my human qualities. It takes a whole lot of courage to recognize I need help from God and others – and to ask for it. Most importantly, it builds character to know that nothing that I accomplish here on earth is something I do on my own. All my goodness, my talents, my love have been given to me by God. Anything I am able to do for others is because of the guidance or wisdom from others who have gone before me.

For me, the key to all this is balance. It is important for me to praise God for all that He has given to me. It is also important for me to use those gifts, help others, and accept help from others. Finally, it is important for me to feel good about who I am today. Like a see-saw that only balances properly with more than one person, this spiritual balance can only work if I ask for help – first from God, and then from others who have found a spiritual balance that works for them.

Alone, I sit in pride and await my fall. With God and others, I live in love and await paradise.

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