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What Exactly is Pride??

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By Christy*

Christy, along 30 other REACH participants, recently completed discipleship training at the Rosedale International Center in Columbus. The following is excerpted from her team’s blog…

God has been teaching me about hope, joy, grace and all kinds of things, and I just want to tell you about all of it! However, this is supposed to be a blog entry, not a book, so I won't.  But one thing I've been thinking about a lot in the last few years is pride, and some of the DTS (discipleship training) sessions and conversations I've had recently have furthered my quest for understanding of this subject.

A lot of times, for me, trying to not be prideful has meant feeling like I should never think a positive thought about myself or feel good about anything I've done. That doesn't quite seem right. So, what exactly is pride? Something that stuck out to me in an earlier session was when Galen Burkholder talked about how in WWII they stopped making cars so that all the steel could be used to make weapons. Even those not on the front line of battle were pulling together to give everything for the battle.  What would it look like if the people of God's kingdom thought like that about the Lord's army? It dawned on me that if we have that mindset, pride automatically goes away; it's not even an issue. If my desire is truly to see God's kingdom built rather than building up myself and my own reputation, then I won't care about what other people think of me (in an unhealthy way). I won't care if I worked harder than someone else and then they get the credit for something. I won't care who tells them about Jesus; I just want them to hear the Good News!  I will want to function in the way I'm meant to in my role in the body of Christ.

This way of thinking is exciting and unifying. As Dean Sherman said in one of our sessions, "Unity in any situation is simply corporate humility." So basically, maybe being humble isn't what happens when you find the balance between self-righteousness and self-hatred, but rather the absence of self-righteousness and self-hatred that naturally comes when we are focused on being loved by and loving Jesus.  If we receive God's love, we will automatically want to draw attention to Jesus rather than ourselves.  And my favorite part about that is that it takes the heaviness and burden away from trying not to be prideful. We don't just have to buckle down and be humble by our own willpower—it comes from Jesus. This is just an example of how God has been helping me understand how "My yoke is easy and my burden is light" makes sense! Yay, Jesus!

*Last name omitted for security reasons.

Christy is from the Columbus Network of Microchurches in Columbus, OH. She participated in the 2013 REACH discipleship training school. Christy’s favorite part of DTS was going on prayer walks in Columbus and talking to strangers. In her free time, she likes to spend time with family and friends and do calculus problems for fun.