Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pride and power

Pride is so necessary to live. But the world doesn't allow the poor to be proud. And often, God doesn't allow it because the pride is so related to bitterness and hurt.
There's the old phrase: "You can, but I cannot." Sometimes God wants even a sweet soul like me to learn to be humble. Even if that pride came about because rich powerful folks has stepped on one. I think of Job -- am nowhere as holy as Job, mind you. But I was really quite the sweet minister's granddaughter, very loving and sacrificial. But then after all kinds of cruel stuff happened, I got bitter. I was always not particularly proud when dealing with my friends. But when I dealt with people who had racial power or wealth power I did get an attitude. The Bible tells us a lot about being abased and humiliated. For instance, "The rich man has no friends but the poor man can never find a friend." The Lord's been telling me he wants me to die to this wounded part of myself. We Christians think of dying to self as dying to the arrogant proud part of ourselves, but dying to the wounded part of ourselves is also in the mix. Because that wounded pride leads to bitterness and God can't use us.

I often thought of it as a vice but it's also an emotion. And one feels the pain of wounded pride when one feels powerless. The bill collectors have power, the school system has power, the city has power....and one has none. Because in this world, money is power. Powerful friends is power.

I look forward to the day when I am so much a citizen of heaven that the things powerful humans do to me no longer affect me because I see how silly their pride is.

I often wonder if after Gabe's healing manifests, after earthly financial blessings accrue.... will I be able to pray for and give to those who have been proud against me? Or will I be so unforgiving of them I'll be proud? Can you imagine? Power is a strange thing. Wounded pride is a terrifying thing.

Elias was a man of like passions as we are and he got so upset because of hurt pride that he called down shebears to maul children who insulted his bald head. The Sons of Thunder wanted to call down lightning to destroy the Samaritans who insulted them. I find myself wondering: Since we comfort with the same comfort which we receive from God, and since folks who are healed of stuff tend to get a gift for healing people from the same ailment they suffered with, would I be willing -- after my son's healing manifests-- to go down the street to the judgmental gossipy mother of a disabled boy I know and pray for his healing? When I become rich from wind follower, will I be willing to give money to gossipy cruel folks who judged my house and my poverty?

To whom much is given, much is expected. I know I'll be willing to help the suffering good folks and the sick poor. . . but will I be willing to help the suffering cruel folks? And the sick snooty rich? The Bible tells us the rich God has sent empty away. But do I have the option of sending the rich away empty? The Bible tells us that it's the goodness of the Lord that leads to repentance. I can see myself praying for a serial killer and a vicious rapist. . . but can I see myself really wanting folks who have victimized me personally to be healed and to be blessed financially?

Will see.


Anonymous said...

Woe to those who are not daughters and sons of God. We are children of the King of the Universe and so we should have some type of pride(in a good way), but of course in this life its impossible to focus on that. We watch the rich get richer and the poor poorer.


Carole McDonnell said...

Our boast is definitely in the Lord. But humans often boast in themselves. And in God's presence no one can boast of their holiness. We can only rejoice in God's love.

This earth is full of Christians who don't realize that God told us to deny ourselves and turn our backs on the things of this earth.

But many Christians spend more time reading verses on prosperity than on dying to self.

Anonymous said...

True. Especially today, and what I am going through financially(I posted it on

My job is now asking me to pay them back! Can you believe it? I do wish to focus on dying to self...I am just so much in debt.

Carole McDonnell said...

Hi Erica: The verse that comes to my mind is the one from St Peter: "As though some strange thing had happened to you."

Sometimes it really feels that if there's a choreography of evil against one. Praise God. Fight the fight in the way that God wants us to fight it. Don't fret yourself against evildoers and don't be bitter. Rejoice always. Go to bed singing about God's goodness and ability to rescue you from danger.

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