Letters to Jesus (Unhelpful Mindsets and Attitudes)-1
I have written to You many times before about my thoughts on humility and how it eludes me. I am fascinated by the counterpoint of pride and humility in the growth of a spiritual life. To me, the one incontrovertible fact is that the “devil” is the “self” – all that focuses on the self, all the vanity that attaches to the self, and all the conceit that makes the self more attractive to us than anything else – all of this works efficiently against spiritual growth. The forceful currents of pride and humility push and pull at me as the tides of my self-interest rise and fall. I have gone through this cycle so many times that I (being a slow learner) am finally starting to learn something from it. But it is a tiny beginning and it always seems to keep slipping back.
Pride is a monstrous boogie-man that terrorizes almost every aspect of my life. I do not think I’ll ever be totally rid of it. I know this because every time I catch myself focusing on someone other than myself, I fall into the trap of being proud that I can do that. I want so much to the one in the shadows, head bowed, begging for mercy. But I see myself all too often as the Pharisee thanking You I am not like other men. This reveals itself in my constant judging of others and my fixation on my being the one who can help them, straighten them out, or bring them to You. I think people see this in me and it does more damage than good. It turns people away from me. When you think about it, the people we are truly drawn to are the one’s who are humble and have learned how to transcend self.
You see how prevalent pride is in me. In my desire to be humble lurks a desire to be recognized for it. There was a pop song a few years back with a lyric that said, “You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you…” – that’s me! I’m always thinking that in one way or another everything is about me. You must keep reminding me (for I am a slow learner) that it is You who live in me and are my center. What everything is really about is You.