2 Corinthians 12:7 – I will say this: because these experiences I had were so tremendous, God was afraid I might be puffed up by them; so I was given a physical condition which has been a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to hurt and bother me and prick my pride.

Gratitude Day 783

My pride needed pricking. And I was so self-absorbed that I did not see it.

Recently, I was having a conversation with a dear friend. I had disclosed with her that I was having a hard time forgiving someone. This person has made plenty of poor choices the last number of years. They are trying to move towards a healthier place in life. The choices have long been prayed for, over and over and over.

Yet, as this person tries to remake their life, I have been withholding forgiveness from this person. Because of repeated poor past behavior, I am leery whether this person has honest intentions this time around. Quite honestly, I feel that the previous repeated patterns of thousands of broken promises have left me jaded and anticipating that the shoe will drop. One. More. Time. The person has said many unkind things to me. Indicated they never care to speak to me again. Yet, when something is needed, this person often contacts Hubby Rick and I. I have lost count of how many times I have helped this person out, trying to keep healthy boundaries.

I do not want acknowledgement for helping this person. This is not the point of today’s sharing. But maybe I do? Otherwise, why did I point it out?

Nonetheless, I harbor no desire to forgive this person right now. As I shared this with my friend, she quietly pointed out to me that maybe forgiveness is not the problem. My pride is.

Oh, how painful it can be to hear the words you need to hear and obviously would prefer not to hear.

But they were the words my head and heart needed.

My friend is right. For the last period of time, it has been more important to me that I am right about this person and their situation. I justify my inability to forgive because I want to continue to be right. Rather than thinking about this person and what is going on in this person’s life, I am making the situation all about myself and making sure I feel good. I justify my lack of desire to forgive because my pride is so stubborn it wants to be right rather than filled with grace.

Whew. What an interesting flip of the coin that I have been allowing in my thought processes.

My friend is right. Taking someone else’s situation and turning it into our personal mission really is not very helpful. It’s prideful. It’s making the business about ourselves, rather than acknowledging that other people need opportunities to get their lives back in order. They need encouragement and cheerleaders. They need people who will sit in the bleachers of their lives and root for them, especially after multiple mistakes and poor choices.

Don’t get me wrong. Shifting my perspective does not support this person’s previous poor behavior and choices. It simply keeps the focus on what is most important. It reminds me that this person needs grace just like I do. Grace from God and grace from me and others surrounding this person.

Yes, forgiveness is necessary. Important. Required for me to really move on in a healthy way. Yet, expecting forgiveness so I can feel good about my inability to extend grace? Well, that is simply just pride.

I am still working through all of this. I do not have it all figured out in my head nor my heart yet. I continue to talk with God about how my perspective needs to shift. But I also am now acutely aware that my pride must be kept in check.

Situations just like these are why community is SO important. Had I not had a conversation with my friend, my pride would have continued to remain unchecked. I give my friend great kudos for appropriately addressing my issues. She did it in such a gentle and helpful way, I had to listen and acknowledge that she was right.

Have I fully forgiven this person? No. But I continue to challenge myself to release my pride and embrace an attitude that allows for more grace. Is my perspective shifting? You bet. Will I allow myself to grow and discover new things about myself? I certainly pray that I will.

Friends – it is so easy and natural for us to look at someone else and piously assume that we have it more together than they do. While this may be true on the surface, if we dig a little deeper, we will most likely find sins of the heart that haunt our lives as well. Pride. Arrogance. Lack of self-awareness. Downplaying our own mistakes and making a bigger deal about other’s shortcomings.

When someone speaks out of love to us, I pray that we will listen. Embrace what they are saying. Carefully see if there is truth in their comments. Discern how we can do better.

Pride can be very tricky. It sneaks in just where we do not expect it. It also parades itself around, anticipating that we will downplay it in our lives, which only re-enforces the need to have some pride police in our lives.

I am thankful my friend saw our conversation as an opportunity to help me grow. I pray that I will work through my pride, discover appropriate ways to interact with this person with whom I am struggling right now and be thankful for someone who was brutely honest with me.

For the honesty from my friend to re-examine a situation in my life, I am very grateful.

Blessings –


Loving God – I am so thankful that You are a part of my life. Daily, You model unconditional love for me and everyone else. Forgive me for the times that I have allow pride to misinterpret a situation in my life. Teach me ways to allow me to release my pride and more accurately be present in a situation. Amen.

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