I love my mom.
While I was growing up, one thing I loved about her was that I could tell her anything -- infatuations, bad decisions... well, almost anything. Now that I am a mom, I cannot imagine how much self-control it took for her to not completely flip out and smack me around. Probably because she was wise enough to know that it would not work.
When I fell apart, (oh, how I fell apart) she knelt with me, and searched for all the broken pieces. She never said "I told you so." Instead, she took up the sword and fought with me through the brambles of my foolishness and pain (oh, the pain). She was awesome.
I love my mom. I want to be just like her when I grow up.
The year I turned fifteen, I remember telling her about one particular infatuation, a bad one (I had a lot of bad ones). I told her I had it under control. And that I wasn't going to do anything stupid (riiight). To this day, I remember her words so clearly.
Ling, pride comes before a fall,
ni dong bu dong? (do you understand?)
Pride comes before a fall.
During these recent months, I long for her counsel and her sword, fighting beside me, fighting for me. I want to be a child again and curl up next to her, in the dark.
Crushes are no longer what they used to be, but they are as foolish as ever. Teenage boys no longer appeal to me (thankfully). But once in a while, I find myself ambushed by new infatuations with the world. With things that I used to turn my nose up at. With things that I thought could never-ever-in-a-million-years tempt me. I have it under control. I would never do, or want, or think anything that stupid.
But again, I was wrong.
Instead of fleeing, I dance on the edge like a two-year-old (or a fifteen-year-old). I take a stroll under the forbidden tree. I gaze at the forbidden fruit. I have a little chat with the serpent. What's the harm in a little...education? Instead of crushing the daydreams in my mind, I treat the monster like a pet. He is so cute, so interesting. So I put him in my pocket. I take him out and admire him once in a while. Thinking, no body would know, he is my little secret.
All the while, the idolatry grows. Its foul smell eats me up inside. The monster peers its ugly head, ready to kill and devour.
Ma, you have given me the sword.
Thank you for preparing me.
Now, I must fight.
Here are six ways that pride often manifest itself. I found them to be quite instructive. I am learning to be self-aware. I must say, though, having Hans around is great because he catches me before (and after) I fall.
This excerpt is taken from The Gospel-Centered Life,
Six Ways of Minimizing Sin.
I find it difficult to receive feedback about weaknesses or sin. When confronted, my tendency is to explain things away, talk about my successes, or to justify my decisions. As a result, I rarely have conversations about difficult things in my life.
I strive to keep up appearances, maintain a respectable image. My behavior, to some degree, is driven by what I think others think of me. I also do not like to think reflectively about my life. As a result, not very many people know the real me (I may not even know the real me).
I tend to conceal as much as I can about my life, especially the “bad stuff”. This is different than pretending in that pretending is about impressing. Hiding is more about shame. I don’t think people will accept the real me.
I am quick to blame others for sin or circumstances. I have a difficult time “owning” my contributions to sin or conflict. There is an element of pride that assumes it’s not my fault AND/OR an element of fear of rejection if it is my fault.
I tend to downplay sin or circumstances in my life, as if they are “normal” or “not that bad." As a result, things often don’t get the attention they deserve, and have a way of mounting up to the point of being overwhelming.
I tend to think (and talk) more highly of myself than I ought to. I make things (good and bad) out to be much bigger than they are (usually to get attention). As a result, things often get more attention than they deserve, and have a way of making me stressed or anxious.