My name is Chris Landon and I have a problem with pride.
Why do we humans have a problem with Pride?
People are genetic beasts. We inherit our shoe size from our parents. We inherit our eye color from our parents. And we inherit our struggles, our shortcomings, our “sin” from our parents. Think about alcoholism, depression, and even decisions where a high school girl chooses the “bad boy” for a boyfriend, gets pregnant at 17 and then we watch the cycle occur in each subsequent generation. Well, my struggle is “pride“.
Honestly, having a problem with pride is a blessing and curse. My pride arose because, well, I don’t know how to say this without sounding pretentious…but, I’m usually right. That is, my mind thinks like a chess game and I’m usually a few steps ahead of the rest of the crowd. It doesn’t mean I’m better than others, just that I’m usually a few moves ahead. Of the “shortcomings” out there in the world, I’m thankful this is mine, for it could be way worse. But it has its drawbacks.
This “shortcoming” means I usually win at everything I try. And if I don’t try it, it’s usually because I couldn’t see a path to victory in the first place. Okay, so now you are thinking that I’m a pompous jerk..but hear me out. Since I’m usually right, I most always win, and I likely see things that others don’t…I can get very prideful. And hence, my problem with pride.
What’s so bad about a problem with Pride?
I’m making this sound like my “shortcoming” isn’t a shortcoming at all. So where’s the bad part of pride? Well, I think God “hates” it. I think God “despises” pride. And I think He makes it very clear that having a pride problem is a sin. And in addition to that, I think people “hate” my pride, they “hate” me because of it. People have unfriended me on social media…many…many times. It hurts knowing that I damaged a relationship. People view me negatively. They view me as a face that “I just want to punch”. Don’t lie…if you truly know me, you probably wanted to punch my face before.
As an example, I came out publicly for Donald Trump in the general election. Just admitting this causes people to want to punch me in the face. I told my wife on the day Trump announced in the primary, that he would be president. I actually said, I can’t think of any way he can lose. In my chess game mind, he came out the winner. I didn’t vote for him in the primary, in fact I despised the man…but I knew he would win. Just saying those words makes people “hate” me. Shanti and I got more “hate” mail regarding my Trump post than any post I’ve ever written. It pushed away our friends, and it even divided our extended family to the point that one member even said that “your thoughts and you as people disgust me”.
Let’s take a look at a man named “Job” (pronounced Jobe) in the Bible. Job was a noble man that God tested. Job had everything. He was smart and gifted but ultimately he had a problem with pride too. He thought he knew more than God.
God said to Job,
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?” (Job 38:4)
“Who marked off its dimensions?” (Job 38:5)
“Who shut up the sea behind the doors” (Job 38:8)
“Have you ever given orders to the morning” (Job 38:12)
God now mocks Job and says:
“Surely you know these answers, you’ve lived so many years” (Job 38:21)
That moment you realize you have a problem with Pride.
Job realized his sin in Chapter 42. Job states:
“Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. But now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:3-6)
You see, having pride deep in your soul is wrong…Even though God made me with a tendency to be correct and and a tendency to win, it’s not me who deserves credit. It’s God. We should be taking that glory and passing it along to God. Ultimately, I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end he will stand with me upon the earth. His thoughts are not my thoughts, neither are my ways his ways. As heaven is higher than the earth, so are His ways higher than mine, and His thoughts higher than mine.
What to do now?
Well, Job learned the hard way and was able to curb his pride. In the end, God is more interested in our character than our comfort. His desire is to purge away our dross and remove all our impurities. So it may be time to surrender to God. It may be time to stop fighting against God.
I’ve been through some suffering in life…nearly all of it caused by me. I’m a prideful person and that pride has been harmful to myself, to my friends and to my family. But this suffering was to refine me, to shape me and to enlarge the capacity for communion with God.
To those in the world who I’ve harmed, hurt and damaged please accept my apologies. I’m truly sorry. And to those I’m bound to injure and emotionally harm in the future, I’m sorry. I have a problem with pride. I’m a broken person in need of grace and I’m working on it.
What do you struggle with? Is it pride? Is it time for you to surrender?