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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

FOOD FOR THE SPIRIT--Pride, the Universal Sin

I have been thinking about pride this week. I revisted a favorite talk of mine, a classic, "Beware of Pride" by Ezra Taft Benson, which reminds us that pride is the universal sin. All of us have the ability to be humble, but as a part of the natural man, pride and enmity are real temptations for each of us. I know that I need to be more humble, not in a "I-know-I'm-better-than-you-or-you way", but in being more teachable, more senstive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, in not being quick to judge others or to be easily offended. Also, as a faithful, active member of the church, sometimes I feel the adversary trying to flatter me: "Oh, Kristen, that was such an amazing lesson that you taught. You are such a fantastic member of the church! You are an awesome visiting teacher. You must be pretty important to have THAT calling. I'm sure others are just so impressed with how well your talk went. You are so great..." I am struggling lately with these part-truths, because I HAVE seen so much spritual growth and improvement in the last few years, that I partly feel entitled to revel in the natural-man feelings of self-satisfaction. And I'm not going to lie...hearing from a ward member that I did a good job on a lesson does feel good. It might sound shallow, but I really need to remind myself, and often, that all the things I am able to do are because of a loving Heavenly Father. Without him I am nothing. Today I read Ammon's own testimony of this same principle:

11 But Ammon said unto him: I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.
12 Yea, I know that I am nothing as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

As the weight continues to come off (albeit more slowly now), I am constantly receiving compliments. I am a compliment-loving girl, a people-pleaser, a sponge! I love the quote by Mark Twain, "I can live for two months on a compliment."

I can totally relate. I'm sure it's human nature to love hearing good things about yourself, but for me, it's as essential as air, food, and water. My love language is irrefutably Words of Affirmation. Perhaps this is rooted in a low self-esteem I have had for much of my life, and a need for validation. Perhaps it's just a woman thing.

Anyway, the tendancy is to hold on to those compliments without always remembering to redirect them UPWARD in the forms of praising and expressing gratitude. I feel that this should be a focus of mine and I'm going to consciously work on remembering to do this as I receive compliments of any nature.

With that being said, I'd like to publicly give my God all of the credit for any successes I've had, as well as for my future successes. I make the choices that lead to these choices, but even my agency is a gift from him. Without Him, I wouldn't even have a body from which to lose weight! He has granted me every ounce of energy, function, and most importantly DESIRE that I have needed to lose more than 70 pounds! And for this, I must praise Him! Thank you, thank you, Dear Father! I am so grateful for the hope that has been granted to me. I am thankful for the gift of prayer that carries me through the hard days: when I don't want to exercise, when Rebellious Kristen comes out to play, or when I begin to lose patience. I am thankful for a Father who has lovingly revealed to me the importance of self-compassion. I am thankful for a church that teaches the value and worth of a woman of God. Thank you, Lord for all that I am, and all that I have the potential to become!


Nicole said...

Amen, Sista! I'm right there with you. I sometimes should eat more humble pie. Thanks for the reminder and for your good example! You really are an inspiration to many of us.

K Walton said...

Thanks, Nicole! You are an inspiration to me. Can you send me an invitation to your blog. I haven't read it for forever and now I can't view it. My email is kritty28@hotmail.com. Thanks! You are one awesome chica! LYLAS

Valerie said...

I love the reminder about compliments, to "redirect them upward"! Nothing wrong with needing compliments, as long as, like you said, you don't feel it's all you and you don't need help from above.