The Brotherhood of the Second Cross was established on Father’s Day 2005 where 160 men stood before their wives and children to pledge themselves to purity, self-sacrifice, loyalty, and excellence. Today, hundreds more have joined the commitment.
Pride–it’s a somewhat slippery ideal.
Pride is what you feel when you step back and take a long look at a job well done. It’s that sense of satisfaction that helps you know your contribution was valuable to something important. So you glance across the yard as you finish the mowing and trimming or maybe you step back from a newly-cleaned garage and you marvel at how good it really looks. Nothing wrong with a little pride in a job well done.
Pride is when you look down on someone who’s made a few more bad choices than you have. You feel a bit superior, judging them for their failures. Such a posture helps block your view of your own weaknesses so it feels good to avoid glancing in that direction. Pride that helps me think I’m better than others, well, that’s not a good idea.
Pride is when I start believing I can do anything. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a little self-confidence, but when it teaches me that all I really need is me–not so good. Pride can keep me from a much needed dependency on God and that’s a big step on a bad path. In fact, pride manages to lead most of the Bible’s lists of sins–the stuff God despises.
What’s the best defense against unhealthy pride–thankfulness.
Thankfulness gives credit to God for everything I have. Thankfulness recognizes that everything we have comes from Him and any ability I might possess to make things happen has that same Source. Thankfulness acknowledges how easy it can all be lost and applauds the God who holds it all together for me. Thankfulness keeps pride from swelling your head.
So as you settle in to your end chair at the Thanksgiving table and look on the faces of those God has given you, be thankful. Yes, you can be proud of their achievements and the joy that you bring to each others lives, but remind yourself that without the provision and grace of God, your table would be a lot emptier. Take pride in the life you’re enjoying, but add two parts of thankfulness for every ounce of pride that fills your heart.
We’re men who give our best strength to those we love and we do all we can to provide for their needs. But at the end of the day, we know where our help comes from, don’t we?