Last post, I left me only comparing me to myself. All quite grand, but it turns out there’s still some pride in there. Dang it. Do I need to take some DDT to this root of all evil or what? It runs deeper than crabgrass, and I hear that can go some 12 feet or so.
So like I said, there remained pride. Not just satisfaction, not just confidence, but genuine, fall-proceeding, destruction-go-beforeing pride. It happens most easily when people are trying to heap compliments upon me.
I appreciate the compliments, I truly do, especially when they pertain to my chosen craft. They warm my heart, they warm my face, they make me laugh with delight, but they sometimes allow sneaky pride-tendrils to rise up.
My first line of defense against this ego-swelling is to remember God. Remembering that I’d be capable of none of it without him is immediately humbling. I will often hold in my mind a verse of one of my favorite songs: “I will not boast in anything, no gifts, no power, no wisdom; but I will boast in Jesus Christ, his death and resurrection.”
As commonly happens when I turn my eyes upon Jesus, this makes me even giddier than I already was. But, sometimes, such an immediate response opens the door for an even sneakier brand of pride. I think this sort is best expressed, once again, in the words of the demon of CS Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters:
“Catch him at the moment when he is really poor in spirit and smuggle into his mind the gratifying reflection, ‘By jove! I’m being humble’, and almost immediately pride—pride at his own humility—will appear. If he awakes to the danger and tries to smother this new form of pride, make him proud of his attempt—and so on, through as many stages as you please.”
Fortunately, Screwtape also mentions an antidote. “But don’t try this too long, for fear you awake his sense of humor and proportion, in which case he will merely laugh at you and go to bed.” This laughing and tossing up of the hands has saved me from this ridiculous teeter-totter more than one occasion.
So yeah, in conclusion:
1) See your own pride (Also called “Admit that you have a problem”)
2) Only compare you to yourself
3) Look! It’s God! Yay!
4) Laugh at yourself
And if you just follow these four simple steps, you too can learn to be as humble and godly as I!
(In case you were wondering, yes, yes that was irony. 5 milligrams of it. You should probably check the recommended RDA of irony for your age and gender now.)