I know what to do with pride. All the spiritual literature tells us to be careful about pride. In the Christian list of sins, pride ranks right up there. Pride is usually linked to our egos. Pride typically is rooted in an egotistical attempt to have it our own way. So I get it, when it comes to pride.
gets tricky, because that might imply the best way to avoid pride is to be a
loser in life. Don’t do anything good or
important and you will have no problem with pride. Be a disaster and pride will never haunt
you. We can poke fun at this
perspective, but it can teach us that aiming to be a loser in life is stupid. And most people are not stupid.
thought about it some more, it occurred to me that an alternative to pride is
confidence. I would never argue they are
synonyms. Clearly, they are not the same
thing, but I do think they may be related.
As I ponder
both ideas---pride and confidence---I came to this distinction. I see pride as the outcome; it is a
result. Pride is what one thinks or
feels about something positive. Pride in
its negative form typically points to exaggeration. It is rooted in
overestimation of the situation. “I’m
the best.” “I am the most
beautiful.” These are estimations of pride.
confidence as process, rather than outcome.
Confidence is more means than it is ends. Pride is more like fact; confidence is more
of a hope. Confidence is hopeful, but it
is not successful. The outcome is not
yet determined in the process of confidence.
There is hope for success, but failure is a possibility. Usually when pride is involved, failure is
not an option. Let’s pursue a bit
further the process of confidence.
I am glad
of the facility I have with some languages.
When I pondered the word, “confidence,” I immediately had a clue. I knew the root of the word were the three
letters, “fid-“ “Faith,” I thought to
myself. “Fid-“ is from the Latin word, fides.
And fides means “faith” or
“trust.” And of course, the “co” on the
front of any word is nothing more than the Latin preposition, “with.” So confidence is literally to have “faith
with” or to “trust in.”
If I have
confidence in someone or something, I have faith in it. I trust it.
I can even have confidence in myself.
I can trust my students. I
certainly have confidence in my kids and I hopefully will learn to have
confidence in my grandkids. But I also
realized that confidence is not the same thing as guarantee. I was correct. Confidence is hope.
is hope in the process of working itself out.
Failure is still a possibility.
But I have confidence that I or you will work something out and be
successful. For example, I have
confidence that I know some Latin. But
there is no pride in knowing Latin. I
know I am not perfect. There is so much
I don’t know. I forget some things I
As I have
been thinking about pride and confidence, I realized I did discover a good word
for confidence. That word was
“faith.” Of course at this point, it is
easy to pivot to the spiritual level. I
do have faith in God. I have faith that
God is creative and loving. I have faith
that God wants good things for me and from me.
All this means I have confidence in my sense of who God is and how God
But there is
no pride. I am not positive that this is
truly God. I have no guarantee that what
I am saying about God is exactly the case.
I am not proud that I know this God and cannot possibly be wrong.
relationship with God is a process because it is a faith journey. I have begun a relationship with God and it
is a little further down the road than it was in the beginning. But it is a process. Today was a little step on that journey and
tomorrow will be yet another step. I am
on the way. I am making my way. It is a hopeful way. But there is no guarantee. For me personally, I don’t see the destiny as
is to be with the Spirit. I have faith I
will be and trust that I am on the way. Because
I see it this way---a way of the Spirit and a way of faith---there is no room
for pride. My spiritual faith journey is
not predestined. I could be detoured,
delayed or destructed on the way.
confident in my part of the journey, but I have more confidence in God being
who God really is. In the end I will
say, “thank God,” rather than “thank me.”
There is no room for pride in this journey. There really is a good word for confidence:
faith. And with faith, there is
hope. Thank God