Last night, Davis came home from Christmas play practice whiney and disgruntled. During the program, the children were cast as the animals who played a part in the birth of Jesus.
Davis was to be the "sheep with the curly horn." An animal he deemed to be inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. His brother plays a camel who got the first solo and, at some point in the play, gets to bring in a giant candy cane (though not as a camel). His sister gets to bring in a present and then plays a cow who provides the Christ child with her manger.
He plays a "dumb old sheep" and didn't know if he even wanted to participate anymore.
Um. That's a big negatory, son!
My husband and I pointed out his poor attitude and that everyone was needed to make the program a success. I let him know that I was one of the few without solos in the cantata, but that wasn't affecting my participation. I even threw in the whole, "There are no small parts; only small actors," bit.
We explained that without the sheep providing his wool, the baby would have frozen. Without the sheep, there would be no shepherds to hear the good news.
"Cool! I really DO have an important part after all!"
Wow...that was easy.
I give my son good advice. Sound advice. Advice that I don't follow.
If I were to receive a small part in the Christmas play, I would most likely take it as an insult and feel similarly to the way Dave felt. Tell me there are no small parts and I would give you a gigantic eye roll. I brought up the fact I didn't receive a solo because I was bitter (but don't tell my kid that).
Why, like Alice in Wonderland, do I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it? Why am I such a hypocrite?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, pride can be defined as "a feeling that you are more important or better than other people." The Bible describes pride as something the Lord detests. DESTESTS!! (Proverbs 16:5).
I am incredibly insecure and there lies the root of the problem. A secure person, a confident person, doesn't need to look down upon others or their gifts because they are totally comfortable with who they are. They don't need to look to others for their worth, because they KNOW they have worth.
As a child of God, I HAVE worth. I am a daughter of the most high King, but my flesh feels like nothing I do is good. My flesh tells me I have no talents and that that I will forever wander without a purpose.
Satan loves pride because it takes thoughts that should be focused outwardly and upwardly and focuses them INWARDLY. (Pride was the sin that got the devil in trouble in the first place.) Before long pride becomes a stronghold. And a stronghold gives the devil a foothold
Now, I love that word: Stronghold. It's one of those words you can just see. Moms, you know that grip you've got on your baby as they're trying to wiggle away during a diaper change? That's a stronghold. Imagine being bound by shackles and chains. That is a stronghold.
Pride binds me and keeps me from being the person God wants me to be. Instead of being happy for others when they get a good part, I'm jealous. Instead of worshiping with the song while a soloist sings, I wonder why in the world my husband got a solo when he'd never gone to practice. Don't I DESERVE a solo?
No, I don't. I'm not a strong singer and I'm not "deserving" of anything. But that's pride for 'ya.
My next order of business is to recognize the icky, selfish thoughts and turn them outward. Turn them upward. God loves a humble heart. Rick Warren in The Purpose Driven Life says, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. Humility is thinking more of others.” This is the antithesis of pride.
Now, if only I can follow my own advice...