A Prayer to Distinguish Prides

VICAR

Dear Readers of Country Squire Magazine I trust that I find You well and that Your families are likewise happy and healthy. This week I would like to focus on pride.

If You’re too conceited or self-important, something will happen to make You look foolish. Pride comes before a fall. We’ve all heard the warnings. Yet We still fail to distinguish between good and bad pride.

Good pride? Good pride is the state of holding another in high esteem. An example of pride is the feeling a parent has when his child graduates from university. Think of Mr Stokes when his son Ben wins the World Cup for England by batting like a superhuman.

Bad pride? Bad pride is the state of holding one’s self  in high esteem to the point of arrogance. An example of bad pride might be claiming You’re a great surfer only to be beaten soundly in a surf competition by a bunch of kids. Not to be confused with confidence which is inspiring; arrogance is a turn-off. Confidence gets hired; arrogance is shown the door.

I listened to Liverpool Captain Jordan Henderson getting interviewed after beating Southampton 4-0 yesterday and he refused to be drawn into a state of pride by the interviewer who commented on Liverpool’s 22 point lead at the top of the Premiership and their unbeaten run which is breaking records. Henderson remained grounded, straight-batted all the persistent interviewer’s questions and claimed – believably – “we take each game as it comes” while paying respect to Southampton’s efforts in the match. Sure, he must be proud…he has held aloft the European Cup, the Club World Cup and the Super Cup over the last months. Be Henderson. Control Your pride.

Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”

Sometimes our greatest enemy is ourselves. Pride and ego can get in the way of making rational decisions. Keep a cool head and remember that the higher You climb, the heavier You can fall. As ever, I wish You all well. I trust You have a peaceful Sunday and that the (objectively superior) English – humble and clinical – trounce the French in the rugby. God Bless You all.

Heavenly Father,

I pray that I may not let pride keep me down when it may be mine to be carried to the heights. With tenderness take me out of myself, that I may see how pride deceives, and destroys a humble spirit. Help me to master both stubbornness and pride.

Amen.

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