Monday, November 8, 2010

Uprooting Pride

I found myself the other day sending up a prayer for a decision I was trying to make.

It was one of those prayers that just happens, without much thought to it, while I'm going about my day. A quick mental whisper while I am busy with another task.

"Help me not to make a mistake in my choice."

And then I paused.

Something seemed askew with that spontaneous prayer. "Not to make a mistake." Something all-too-familiar was behind that phrase.


That nasty thing called Pride.

Oh, sure, it seemed harmless enough that I was asking for help. Admirable, even, to include God with my decision-making. Yet I wondered, am I really more concerned with what He wants or about making a mistake? Am I more worried about the good of my soul or about feeling regret?

Someone once told me that perfectionism and pride are one and the same. That perfectionism is a pretty term we use for pride.

Perfectionism is all about not making a mistake. So is pride.

Pride reminds me of the spearmint in my old garden. If you've grown spearmint, you know how deeply it grows and what a stronghold it creates! It would overtake my garden every year. I would root it out again and again, only to find later a new sprout from deeper roots that I had missed.

Pride will pop up again and again. Just when we think we've rooted it out of our hearts, it sprouts in an attitude, a judgment-- even a prayer! Only with God's help can we truly uproot it and plant the seeds of humility.

And I have this humbling feeling that it's going to take a lifetime!

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