I avoided preparing my last church lesson on pride. Although I read the materials over and over, like everyone, pride is a constant battle for me. Right before the lesson, I wrote a few things on the white board to structure my meager thoughts and then admitted that I had no idea where the lesson would take us. As a result of the discussion, I had some ah-ha moments.
We often think that humility is the opposite of pride. But if pride is love of self more than anything else, the opposite of pride is charity. Charity is loving God more than anything else, and loving our neighbors and ourselves as God loves us.
Pride = Love of Self, manifested by taking offense, being critical or judgmental, being impatient, feeling inadequate and giving into anger.
Charity = Love of God, Love of Others and Ourselves as God Does, manifested by obedience, courage, kindness, humility, hope, trust in God and compassion.
Charity enables us to love others enough to feel compassion for them rather than being hurt by them.
When I described the lesson to my husband, he pointed out that the more we try to achieve humility, the more it eludes us. However, we can purposefully work to love God and others through obedience, study, prayer, service, etc. and then humility will come naturally.
I’m grateful for God who loves me no matter what, even if I can’t figure out how to teach my lesson. A God who can create insights out of thin air. I am so proud.