“Oh, you lost 15lbs? Well I lost 20.”
Have you ever seen the “one-upper” skit from Saturday Night Live? Penelope twists her hair and always has to outdo others. She has to win literally EVERYTHING. In any conversation, no one else can be more accomplished than her. Watch this clip (it’s funny I promise):
Penelope is a comical example of a serious sin: pride.
Pride is usually easier for us to see in others, but harder to admit in ourselves. I used to think pride was just thinking highly of yourself, which it is, but pride is more than just an over-confidence.
Pride is competitive, unforgiving, and faultfinding. It is backbiting, jealous, and selfish.
In President Benson’s talk, he defines pride as enmity towards God or our fellow men. Enmity means “hatred toward, hostility to, or the state of opposition to” (Ezra T. Benson, April 1989 General Conference).. So, we are being prideful when we put anything above God or our fellowmen. When we withhold gratitude to our Father, or to others, we are being prideful.
Pride is not just selfish and contentious acts; pride is an attitude. It is an attitude of “me, me, me.” “How does this affect me?” “How could they do something like that to me?” Pride is turning in instead of out.
Benson says “Pride affects our relationships. Christ wants to lift us to where He is, do we desire the same for others?”
Humility is the opposite of pride. It is a characteristic of Christ we have been invited and asked to develop.
Humility is not a weakness, but it is a strength. As we realize our never-ending need for the Lord, we are able to receive His divine grace. We are able to change, progress, and grow. It has been said that humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking less ABOUT yourself.
People who are humble see their need for the Lord. They reach up and out, looking to the Lord first and then to others around them for opportunities to serve.
“Life is about Lives”- I have a whole other blog post about this. It’s my life motto. It means that life is all about serving, building, and loving others. Think about it. The happiest days of your life, you were probably surrounded by those you love most.
I am far from perfect, and I have way more bad days then I probably should. But, when I look back on those “rough” days, 9 times out of 10 it is usually selfish reasons. I woke up late and couldn’t fix my hair, I have a 12 page paper due, homeboy doesn’t love me back, or text me back for that matter. Whatever it is- it’s normally a pretty silly and self-absorbed reason.
Humility and happiness comes from thinking of God, Jesus Christ, and other people. When we are focused on ourselves, our joy ISN’T full. When our focus is out and on others, life starts to have more meaning and something happens inside of us. We are happier. That’s what life’s about. Life’s about lives.
We can overcome pride. We all struggle with pride in some way or another. It is part of the natural-man inside us. For me, it’s a daily battle, but through Christ’s Atonement, it is possible. We can change our prideful ways and thoughts little by little.