Sunday, June 10, 2012


It's hard, especially when you are young or inexperienced to use extreme language.  If you've never felt real heartbreak, the first time a meaningful relationship ends can feel like the worst thing ever to happen.  But, those of us who've been there and back, know that it's not.

Today you will likely be tempted to make something bigger out of a task or experience than what is necessary, what is beneficial.  Whether in writing or in your daily speak, try to say what is for a day.  Not what might be, not what you're afraid could be, but what is.  See how freely we throw around information that is purely speculation, conjecture, imagination!  How is it harmful?  How is it stimulating?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Both Sides of the Bandwagon

Have you ever had a paradigm shift?  An Aha! moment?  Been convicted by a cause or a need?  Aren't they wonderful? A new realization that you've been missing all this time!  A calling for your life or a new direction to choose with passion!  That's great!  Becoming so passionate and so convicted that you began telling everyone you know about it?  That's great too!

But fast forward just a bit.  Have you encountered friends and family that are supportive, but otherwise unaffected?  Have you grown frustrated and possibly angry with them for not seeing this as life changing as you are?  Or worse, they don't get it at all and are now avoiding you.  And then in walks the judgement, the superiority and maybe pity for not being at your level.

We've all been there.  Sometimes, as it turns out, we are right about it all.  Sometimes, though, we're just getting caught up in a fad or mislead or confused.  Time tells either way.

I believe in causes.  I believe in change and growth.  The danger is how we treat people in the process.  We rarely get everything right the first time and even if we did, that's no justification for shoving everyone that doesn't agree with you or see what you (maybe think) you see into the reject pile.  And let's be honest here - we all have personal revelations from time to time and at least half the time they aren't new or not even on target.  We are all fallible, so get rid of the smug faces and the condescending glances.  If you're right, time will tell.  You don't have to be ugly about it.

And when we are on the other side - when we don't see what the fuss is about or we think they've lost their mind - there's still no reason to be ugly about it.  Hear them out, consider if it's valuable, merited and why it would be important to them.  It's always good to keep lines of communication open, even when you might not agree all the time.  There's always something to be gained and learned in either direction.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Pride's Top Ten Signs

Pride, arrogance, boasting, bragging, smugness, trusting in your own abilities, thoughts and means above all others.  Pride sounds really ugly when its described like that.  As individuals its likely that we immediately think of someone who fits that description.  But do we take inventory of ourself to see if pride is contaminating everything we do, see and think?  Not usually.  Not if you're like me.

Pride slips in unannounced daily, perhaps even hourly in the right circumstances.  When we are young (in age or in experience) we are usually naive enough to believe we have it all figured out, we know better, we're different (better) than everyone else.  But then when we're older (age or experience), we are naive enough to assume that the temptation to rely on our age or experience isn't just as great.

So, no matter who you are, what you've experienced, you will likely be tempted with pride today.  Here are a few signs that pride has infiltrated your heart:

1. Insecurity - It causes us to freely extend praise and attention of others too much.  A lot of pride is motivated from our unmet need for self-worth.

2. Anger - Anger is a self-justifying emotion.  The nature of anger is to prompt us to justify our position and blame others for the fault or wrong.  This in turn leads to denying our own role in the problem.

3. Irritability & Impatience - Impatient displays often come from a haughty view of ourself - our time, abilities, opinions, etc. - that these are more important that another persons.  This is more an indication of our pride than someone else's slow movement towards perfection.

4. Lack of a submissive attitude - Submission is the voluntary placement of oneself under the influence, control or authority of another.  When an individual pledges their submission to you or another, yet is critical or argumentative of that authority, then pride is the hidden issue.  The test of humility and submission is being able to say, 'yes', maintain a positive attitude and trust God, especially when the decision of your authority goes against your grain or better judgement.

5. Being argumentative - At the root of these arguments is often a belief that they are right and the others wrong and that their will should prevail.  It is appropriate to advocate for a point of view or  position, but not to do so in such a manner that you are more invested in your opinion than in arriving at a mutual understanding.

6. More invested in being heard than in hearing - When someone habitually  needs others to listen to them rather than first hearing others, pride is the motivation.  The need to be excessively heard often means the person doesn't feel loved or valued unless people hear them out, but is really just an expression of insecurity and pride.

7. Needing others to take your advice - Advice should always be offered without strings attached.  If you find yourself resenting the fact that your advice is not followed, look deeper at the motivating issues in your life.

8. Competition & Comparisons - We know comparing is unwise. There is nothing wrong with playing to win, providing the joy is in the playing.  If our happiness depends on defeating others, rejoicing when others find failure or our heart is inwardly grieved when others are more successful, then we are building a world of illusion that is motivated by pride.

9. Not easily corrected - How do you react when someone points out something you did wrong? If you can't take it or react with anger and defensiveness, then pride is afoot.

10. Receiving correction, but never changing - Perhaps you have perfected the people pleasing technique of telling others what they want to hear, but you never move beyond to self-reflection.  Refusing to consider others criticism, even though they may be wrong, is a pride motivated response.

Some information taken from Alfred H. Ells' article Unmasking Hidden Pride.