Good Morning, Loved Ones!
When we think about the type of people we want and ought to be, are considering the qualities and behaviors our idealized selves should embody, it is highly unlikely that “self-centered” and “arrogant” ever make the list. To just about every reasonable, right-thinking person, these labels are deeply insulting, and are considered terrible character flaws.
While no one I know is ever like this all the time, I believe we are guilty of them some of the time. We let our guard slip, we become a little to entranced with our own achievements, we feel we deserve some recognition or it’s ‘finally our turn’. But for whatever the reason, we behave in an arrogant or self-serving fashion, and too late we realize that damage has been done to the relationships around us.
These and similar flaws stem from the sin of Pride. (I use the word sin not to evangelize, but for lack of a better word.) Pride, as many of us know, is considered the greatest of sins, because it represents a pre-occupation with ourselves. (Theologically, this means we are not giving due glory to our Creator.) But if we look deeper, what is the cause of this great failing?
In his book, “Broken Gods: Hope, Healing and the Seven Longings of the Human Heart”, Gregory Popcak, Ph.D. tells us that Pride is a broken response to the human desire for abundance. Every one of us was born with the desire for abundance. This desire goes beyond the mere longing for material goods, and includes a living a full, meaningful and rewarding life filled with rich relationships. An abundant life, by its very nature, cannot be created alone.
Pride, however, is the distorted belief that I, and I alone have the ability to create such a life. It has us believe that we alone can determine what a living a full, meaningful and rewarding life truly means. Pride has us believe that if we put others forward, we will somehow cheat ourselves. It tells us that if I am to have a full, meaningful life, I must put myself first and use any advantage I can to that end.
A truly abundant life however, is comprised of three things; Meaningfulness, Intimacy and Virtue.
How do we create meaningfulness, intimacy and virtue is our lives? The answer is Humility.
Like most people, I struggled with what humility really means. I think most of us picture being humble as cringing obsequiously through life, refusing to speak well about ourselves nor never taking credit for anything we achieve. And I for one, struggled mightily with that. (Hey. I’m pretty awesome.) But then I discovered something written by C.S. Lewis that made me realize I was laboring under a false delusion.
“Humility is not thinking less of ourselves;
It is thinking of ourselves, less.”
To find Humility, we must put other first.
Humility teaches us to use the gifts we have been given, not for ourselves, but to help others. In this, we build true Meaning. We build rewarding relationships with Intimacy, by showing others they are important to us and we want to know the truth, goodness and beauty of their lives. We discover Virtue by asking ourselves, “What did life teach me today? How can I be a better person?”
To have a joyous, meaningful and fulfilled life, a life of true Abundance, Loved Ones, the answer is simple; Live it for Others.
May your day be of Service!
Show Love. Inspire Good. Be the Light.