Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Mistaking Pride for Wisdom

Have you ever wanted to shield someone from information you thought would be harmful to them? Sometimes family members won’t let one another know about illnesses until they have passed because they don’t want the other person to worry. This doesn’t make sense to me. Deep down we long for relationships because we were created for relationships. So why do we hide from relationships?

Some times we hide because of our pride. We don’t want other people to see us when we are weak or failing. We want to hide behind the fig leaf of invincibility. True is, everyone knows you are not invincible because they are not invincible.

Some times we hide because of faulty wisdom and reasoning. We believe that if we just handle the problem we will shelter others from heartache and frustration. Truth is, we (and others) often grow best through adversity. Usually, relationships are strengthened and wisdom is developed through difficulty. When we deny the appropriate people the chance to help us we both lose.

In Romans 12, the Apostle Paul calls followers of Jesus to rejoice with those that rejoice, weep with those that weep and to avoid being wise in your own eyes. It would seem obvious that you cannot rejoice or weep in the right way, then, without others. But what about the wisdom part? To avoid being wise in our eyes we must have someone else thinking through the problem with us. If we simply act on our own hunches, theories or solutions we might fall into the trap of believing we are so wise that we don’t need any one else to help us. Is that real wisdom? If I hear someone proclaim himself as wise I usually steer clear of him because I fear that person is mistaking wisdom for prideful arrogance.

So, the next time you have a significant struggle in your life, don’t go it alone. Turn to those you see as caring and wise. Let them be a part of the solution. Most likely you will figure out a better solution, and you will give the other person an opportunity to grow as a follower of Christ.

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