I’ve heard it said that the root of all of our sin is pride. What do you think? Was it pride which made Satan fall from grace? Is it pride which keeps us from humbling ourselves and repenting? Is pride why it is so hard to go to our sweeties and say, “I was wrong. Please forgive me.”? Personally, I don’t like to be wrong. Do you? It chips away at the part of my fallen nature that wants to be exalted.
When we are cleansed and refined by God, one of the first characteristics to die in us is our pride. We have to let go of our will and humbly do His will in order to follow Him with our whole hearts. Just as John the Baptist said in John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Does Pride Kill Connection?
We talked about selfishness last time and the root of selfishness is pride. I am important. I want my needs met because I value myself more than others. Do you know who I am?
When I was a kid, I thought I was hot stuff. Everywhere I went, people knew who I was. My mom was a teacher at my elementary school, and my grandparents were charter members of the church we attended. Teachers all knew who I was and most of my church family had known me since birth. And, I was too young to realize that just because people knew me, it did not mean they liked me. ~smile~
Needless to say, middle school was a wake-up call. No one there knew my mom, or cared that she was a teacher. No one knew me, and few seemed to care that I was in the room. It was a much-needed experience. ~smile~ We all need to come to a place where we realize that the world does not revolve around us.
Sadly, some people never learn this fact. There are high school students, college students, young marrieds, and even senior citizens out there who are solar (i.e., they think everything revolves around them).
Pride kills connection because it is the opposite of humility. In order to have a successful relationship, both people have to be willing to humble themselves and make amends. There will be plenty of arguments, disagreements, and possibly even some blow out fights. Without the ability to let go of your pride and apologize, you and your future spouse will build up toxins in your relationship. If you don’t clear the toxins, the toxicity of the poison will eventually kill the relationship.
Not only does pride make it hard for us to humble ourselves and apologize, but it puts hurtful words in our mouths. Have you ever had that experience? You are in an argument with someone and… suddenly!… you are spewing out hateful words?
When our hearts are filled with pride, we want to exalt ourselves over others – especially when they are attacking us or trying to prove us wrong. When two people try to overpower each other, either fists are going to fly, or mouths. Some people fight with brute force and others with vicious rhetoric. Perhaps the biggest way pride kills connection is through the tongue.
Think about the nicest compliments your mom, dad, sibling, or best friend ever gave you. After you have your answer, think about the most hurtful words they ever spoke to you. Which example did you think of faster? Words hurt so deeply that even if someone constantly showered you with compliments, you would be inclined to remember the one or two hurtful statements he or she made to you. Cruel words crush our spirits.
No one is perfect and, occasionally, we are going to slip up and say something we regret. We should show grace to our friends and loved ones when they hurt us, but we should also be mindful of our own mouths, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry (James 1:19).
In your romantic relationship, and future marriage, it is especially crucial that you not let your mouth run away. You need to bring your tongue into submission and think before you speak. When altercations come (and they will), you need to filter your words through God’s word before speaking them. Will this comment build up my spouse or break him down? Will these words encourage my sweetie or make her wilt?
Remember, when you break down your spouse, you are breaking down yourself. You are a team. If he or she loses, you both lose. No one wins. (Mark 10:7-8)
Is your sweetie haughty, puffed up, overly concerned about his or her appearance, quick to blame others, easily angered, and slow to forgive? Are you? Pride is a characteristic we all have from birth and it takes the Holy Spirit working in us to break us of our pride. If your sweetie struggles with pride, but is becoming more and more humble as the days go by, that is a good sign! However, if your sweetie refuses to admit that he or she struggles with pride, yet he or she constantly makes prideful decisions or comments, then that is a problem.
I’ve quoted her before, and probably will again because I simply adore this quote. Ruth Bell Graham once said, “A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.” Another way of saying this is: a happy marriage is the union of two humble people.
How are you and your sweetie doing with pride? Is it a constant struggle but you are both growing in holiness and humbling yourselves more? Or, do you find that you are always bickering, trying to prove each other wrong, and exalting yourselves above each other?
Before getting married, take a good look at yourself and your sweetie. Ask God to give you the grace to let go of your pride and humble yourself. It is essential for your Christian walk, and necessary for a peaceful marriage. Pride is at the root of most (if not all) divorces. Don’t allow pride and selfishness to be your future marriage’s downfall.
Is pride killing the connection between you and your sweetie?