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The Harmful Nature of Pride

2015 July 17

Cat with lion shadow on the wallI realize that with this title I could go anywhere with this post. Pride is most always harmful. I’m not one of those who believe that taking pride in a job well done is something the Lord frowns upon. Actually, I think the Lord asks us to give Him the best we have to offer, and in that we can boast in our Maker and what He has done through our hands.

The type of pride I want to talk about today is not boasting in our work or taking credit due God. Quite the opposite.

I am now living with Alzheimer’s. I’m not the victim of the dreaded disease, but someone I love has it. About three people know me well enough to understand that I am struggling with love for this person because Alzheimer’s brings out the worst in our personalities (the victim and the caregiver). I also find it humorous that God has dealt with pride in me most of my life. I take pride in the fact that He is always ready to make me look like a fool when pride takes control of my life. Now, I’m dealing with someone who has always prided herself for her pride, someone who many years ago looked at me and pointed a finger in my face and very factually said, “I am never wrong.” No. She was not kidding. One hundred percent serious.

That type of pride makes me shudder. It’s the kind that doesn’t have room for Christ in a life because one who believes they have never made a mistake, has never done anything contrary to God’s laws, also is prideful enough to believe that they don’t need a Savior.

That person has Alzheimer’s now, and her pride is getting her into all kinds of trouble. “I don’t want your help. I can do everything. I am independent, and I don’t need you.” And there’s the other side of the pride coin with an individual who is filled with such pride. “What is my PIN number for my debit card? Oh, I knew that. The machine doesn’t work.”

So, I’ve spent a lot of time in an editing post talking about Alzheimer’s and pride. Why? Because it’s basically something that has been laid on my heart.  On Wednesday and today, the theme of the posts is “advice.” I am met often with authors with prideful attitudes. Critique a person who is not used to critique or criticism, and pride will build a wall between an author and critic. I talk from both sides of the wall. I have experience in being the prideful one and the one who is met with a wall of pride.

I see advice given in other circles. Excellent advice. Someone who has received that advice comes to me and asks what I think, but the truth is, they really don’t want to know what I think. They want me to disagree with the advice given to them. On occasion, if I know about which I speak, I might disagree nicely. Usually, I find that people who offer advice in the industry do know what they’re talking about. Sometimes I might find someone who is familiar with one area of the industry giving advice that doesn’t suit another area. I might have done that once in a while. After all, I do wear a shirt that clearly states, “Learning from the wrong advice I gave to others.”

When pride gets in the way of hearing sound reason, it harms only the prideful. It sets that person up for failure. Pride says, “I don’t believe that my book isn’t well-written. I’ll show them. I’ll self-publish.” Been there. Done that. Have the scars. Will never do it again unless God decides to make my writing a household name, and I can do it well. Pride tells me that will happen. Discussions with God tell me that only He knows the plans He has for me, and whatever they are, they’re going to end up pretty good for me. Patience tells me to wait upon the Lord and seek wise counsel.

The person I mentioned above: she hates me now, but I still love her. Oh, at times, you  might not think I do. Because her hate is real to her, but it is for a moment, and it is born out of what she really has always been deep down inside. I do love her though. Yet now, it’s tough love, as in having her say she has all her medications in order but looking over her shoulder and seeing that the daily pill cups are a mess of medications she doesn’t have to take, some that should be half doses. Others should be taken as needed, and still others should only be taken at night. Pride tells her I’m interfering, and I have no business telling her how to make things easy for her. Love tells me that I must press forward and continue to nag–or to get someone else to nag for me, or to allow her to fail so that she might once and for all realize the harmful hold pride has over her. Sometimes, it requires stepping out of the way and allowing others to speak the truth to her. I still get the blame, but that’s what love is about. Telling the truth, even when it hurts someone’s pride.

Pride tells an author, no one has useful advice for a mess they might have in their hands, a mess that might be made into a masterpiece if they open their hearts and their ears to the tough love someone might be giving to them in the form of words the author does not want to hear.

Books Collage

Fay Lamb (The Tactical Editor)  is an author, editor, and writing coach, who loves to work with authors to help them meet their goals.

Her emotionally charged stories remind the reader that God is always in the details. Fay has contracted three series. Stalking Willow and Better than Revenge, Art of Characterization Cover FINAL FRONT (2)Books 1 and 2 in the Amazing Grace romantic suspense series are currently available for purchase. Charisse and Libby the first two novels in her The Ties That Bind contemporary romance series have been released. Fay has also collaborated on two Christmas novella projects: The Christmas Three Treasure Hunt, A Ruby Christmas, and the Write Integrity Press romance novella series, which includes  A Dozen Apologies, The Love Boat Bachelorand Unlikely Merger. Her adventurous spirit has taken her into the realm of non-fiction with The Art of Characterization: How to Use the Elements of Storytelling to Connect Readers to an Unforgettable Cast.

Future releases from Fay are: Everybody’s Broken and Frozen Notes, Books 3 and 4 of Amazing Grace and Hope and Delilah, Books 3 and 4 from The Ties that Bind.

Fay loves to meet readers, and you can find her on her personal Facebook page, her Facebook Author page, and at The Tactical Editor on Facebook. She’s also active on Twitter. Then there are her blogs: On the Ledge, Inner Source, and the Tactical Editor. And, yes, there’s one more: Goodreads. Anyone interested in learning more about Fay’s freelance editing and her coaching, should contact her at fay@faylamb.com

 

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