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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Pride creates barriers between people

Pride creates barriers between people

George Washington Carver, who developed hundreds of useful products from the peanut, explained his calling.

“When I was young, I said to God, ‘God, tell me the mystery of the universe.’ God answered, ‘That knowledge is reserved for me alone.’ So I said, ‘God, tell me the mystery of the peanut.’ God said, ‘Well, George, that’s closer to your size.’ Then he told me.”

Pride and humility are two major factors of life that we must deal with as long as we are on this earth. People with pride are living an illusion; humble people live in the truth. Living in the truth should be the goal of our lives.

Let’s face it: Some people are smarter, more talented, better looking, thinner, richer, wittier than others. That’s how life is. Nevertheless, when we use our intelligence, or talents, or looks, to put others down, then pride has taken over our lives.

Humility acknowledges the existence of the gifts we have all received. Behind humility is an attitude of gratitude to God for everything we have received.

God has created us with different abilities, talents, intelligence and so forth. Just because a person has a high IQ score, does not mean that he or she is better, or worth more, than a person with a lower IQ score. The same goes for any quality or possession we may have.

In God’s eyes, we all have infinite value and worth no matter how we look, or what we know, or possess.

Pride causes so much harm because it puts barriers between people. If our position at work prevents us from associating with another person who has a less important job, then this is an obstacle to following Christ.

Humility does not mean we think less of ourselves; it means we think of ourselves less.

Being humble means living in the truth. We have to ask ourselves, “What is the truth of my life?”

We begin to get at the answer by looking closely at our relationships. We need to discover our relationships to family, friends, work, Church, the poor, the rich, the disabled, those of different racial origin, and so forth.

Am I living in the truth in each of these relationships? Sometimes we can easily discover the truth of these relationships. At other times, it may not be so easy to see what is going on, and may require quiet reflection.

In marriage, humility is obviously missing if one spouse is constantly treating the other with disrespect. In some marriages there is far too much criticism of one partner by the other. The underlying attitude is obviously one person feeling superior. This criticism can soon destroy any tenderness or understanding that every marriage needs.

Humility demands that both married parties try to see the truth of who the other is. This truth includes the best qualities that the other possesses. The humble marriage is one where both parties feel appreciated for being who they are. It is also a place where both spouses welcome the help that the other can give.

When pride prevents one spouse from accepting the help and guidance from the other, the marriage soon finds itself in trouble. Being in a marriage relationship means that I acknowledge the need for another person in my life. When we act as if we did not need our husband or wife, we are refusing to live as a community of life and love. We are living a lie.

We can extend this marriage image to include other communities. Do we treat others with equality and respect at work, at church, at school, or community groups? Or do things always have to go our way?

Again, humility demands that we seriously listen to the thoughts and opinions of others. Pride closes us in on us. Humility opens us up to God and to others.