A Proud Look … August 22, 2012

(1,615)

Did you know that there are seven things that God hates? Of course you did. You’re just as smart or smarter than me.

But do you remember–at the top of that list is “a proud look?” You would certainly think that God’s primal distaste would be for poor church attendance or a lack of tithing; perhaps misguided prayer or ignoring the Bible. But no–it’s a proud look.

When I read that yesterday it gave me great pause. The word “pride” is an established premise in our society for psychological well-being. Simultaneously, it’s also an accusation we make at others when we want to attack their over-wrought sense of importance.

How can it be both?

Is there a certain amount of pride necessary in order to maintain any human presence? And if you exceed that magical level, does it suddenly become detrimental,  even intolerable? And while you’re answer that one, since when would human beings be able to distinguish and maintain that kind of balance?

Pride, it would seem, is similar to handing a vial of nitroglycerin to a child and calling after him, as he heads to the playground, “Play safe!”

It doesn’t seem to come with instructions. We do know this–the seven things that God hates are actually very human and are also the things that we, as people, despise. So God’s preferences are not nearly as religious as one might think–and we know that at the top of His list, in the catacombs of the despicable, is a proud look.

If I’m emotionally proud, I come across condescending, as if I have solved all the secrets of the universe and have arrived here to aid my ailing brothers and sisters. If I’m spiritually proud, there is a piety that causes people to want to hurt me because I have transformed everything practical into the realm of the supernatural, leaving me arrogantly annoying. If I’m mentally proud, it means I think I’m smarter than everybody else, which is usually reason enough to plot my death. And of course, if I’m physically proud–preening all of my outward members–I just cause those around me to try to think of ways to make me stumble, or at least sprout a pimple.

Sometimes we say, “I’m proud to be an American.” That worries me, too. Nationalistic pride is good–as long as it’s inclusive of others and doesn’t begin to believe in the supremacy of our particular type of people.

Pride is like having a knife with no handle–just two blades. The more you use it, the more you cut yourself. So here’s what I came up with–I think it is a complete package and when enacted correctly, allows us to culminate with a sense of confidence and pride.

Emotionally, I am learning me. I need to stop rationalizing who I am or comparing myself to people with lesser conviction and focus on my own emotions and learn what I can about myself without fear and shame.

Spiritually, I am learning God–not from a Biblical sense, from what others have written down in a book, but from the perspective of Him being my Creator and Father, and comprehending what His love and also His mission entails.

Mentally, I am learning earth. Right? That’s where I live. And until I am evicted or given a bus transfer, the best place for me to learn is earth–how it functions, how I can be a good caretaker and how I can submit to the wisdom of Mother Nature without appearing to be a mama’s boy.

And physically I am learning to work with what I have. In our bodies, there is a danger of being too satisfied with our present condition and certainly equally a precarious cliff we can hang from if we’re constantly disgusted with our appearance. In my case, as a large, aging, bald white man, it’s a good idea to try to play up my better parts and disguise areas that may be ready for retirement.

When you put all that together–when you are emotionally learning yourself, spiritually learning of God’s love and His desires, mentally learning the earth of His creation, and you have taken a few moments to eyeball yourself in the mirror and learn to work with what you have, you do reach a point when you can be proud. It is not a look in your eyes that exudes domination, but instead, a simple statement: I am proud of my pursuit.

It doesn’t show up in your facial expression or countenance. Instead, it is manifested in the fruit you bear, in your tasks and your dealings with others.

A proud look is when we allow one part of our being to jut out from our face while we have ignored the other portions that are ragged and rusty. But a true pride is in rejoicing over the pursuit of learning yourself, learning God, learning earth and learning to work with what you are.

It is still a delicate adventure, but to me, it makes more sense than playing with dynamite … while holding a match.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://jonathots.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/a-proud-look-august-22-2012/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: