Pride vs. Overcoming, An Horror Story
A long time ago, my husband and I were forced to stay away from some loved ones. The reason is simple but also very complicated. Making the long story short, the problem was control.
Control they could not exercise over our decisions, our relationship and our lives. Control to silence the voice that demanded respect in equals amounts as it was given. Their hurtful actions, full of lies, deceit and humiliation, deprived us of enjoying a large extended family as we always wanted.
They made us the center of family reunions in absence, appealing to the low esteem of some of the members or to the personal economic interest of others. And thus we were forced to stay away from the family if we decided to continue as a couple.
We accepted with pain and courage the decision that our family imposed on us, and with the purpose of protecting our love and our blessed home, we never looked back. Our hearts were wounded, our feelings tainted, and our sense of belonging was destroyed by those we cared for.
And so we began a life full of love and goals for ourselves, without worrying about the opinion of others. We kept fighting for what mattered to us, our little family of four!
From that moment, all our achievements and failures have been classified as arrogance by these people.
With effort and a lot of sacrifice, we opened a business.
An act of pride.
Weeks later, two hurricanes made us lose it.
A punishment for our pride.
We left our home, our island and embarked on a journey of no return to what is now our home: Georgia, USA. We have made our lives with a lot of sacrifice and work, and thanks to Almighty God we have not lacked anything.
Suddenly the news arrives, the families. Deep inside, our hearts want to receive them, even with suspicion of the wounds caused, and above all with the awareness of their wickedness, lies and hypocrisy.
And in a few days as if nothing had ever happened, the liars, cynics, two faces, hyenas disguised as sheep of God take out their fangs and claws to show you that in their eyes you don't deserve the inheritance of your parents, nor that of God.
And I ask myself, do you know the meaning of pride?
Is my interest to be a better version of myself, or to be better than others?
To surpass ourselves is to help us grow, to be a better person, to get a better job, to be able to pay for a car that doesn't leave us in the middle of the highway. To achieve that university degree you always dreamed of having, to be blessed with buying your own house, be able to educate your children in obedience and learning... that's not pride or arrogance. That's overcoming.
If becoming professionals is superb, we are all destined to condemnation. On the contrary, pride is believing ourselves better than others, striving to have more than our friend has, the feeling of deserving more than your brother deserves, lying, interpreting God's word at your convenience to make a profit.
Arrogance is to feel the right to scold other children but yours are "little angels".
There is nothing wrong with being happy with ourselves. It is called progress. It can be known as self-love too. It seems to me that it should not be confused by lazy people who do nothing to improve, hoping to receive the virtues and happiness without any effort. The desire to excel is a virtue, even protected in the Bible: "Every effort has its reward, but being left alone in words leads to poverty." -Proverbs 14:23. "If someone doesn't want to work, don't eat either." -2 Thessalonians 3:10. “The one who wants to have without working, in the end does not get anything; Work and you will have everything! ” -Proverbs 13: 4
I always try to teach my kids to work hard and do their best. Every day I motivate them to work and create goals, to go big. Every day I teach them to dream, plan for their future, and act. I don't teach them to settle for a future sleeping on my sofa, expecting for me to pay a 30 something years old's phone.
Working and wanting to live comfortably doesn't make people less children of God. Wealthy or poor... that has nothing to do with good or bad.
What distances us from salvation is arrogance and blindness, taking away from our brothers what is rightfully theirs, and giving false testimonies, words without doings.
Live your life full of love. Enjoy the fruits of your sacrifices, share with those who need (not with the lazy- those doesn't need, they just covet).
Feed your heart with good feelings, with love, with hope, and let God work in you!