There are many definitions of pride.
In this case, I’m using pride as related to being haughty or arrogant. This could mean that I'm better than you, that what I have is superior to what you have, or that I'm more important than you are, so please step aside.
Yes, pride can be related to, I'm proud of my family or my team or my contributions, but I'm talking about pride that relates to arrogance, egoism, and a holier-than-thou attitude.
Grace is the opposite.
I'm referring to it here as being courteous, showing goodwill, or acting in an attractive or polite manner.
Let’s put it to the test.
I’m driving in heavy traffic, and someone wants to move into my lane.
Do I choose grace or pride? What will my decision be?
Probably, if my day is in chaos, I will choose pride. After all, it's my lane and right now I am in control here.
If on the other hand I feel good about myself and am having a great day, I will choose grace and let them in.
I was talking to a friend of mine the other day. She told me a story about her being in a terrible hurry to get home. She found herself behind a driver who was going about 15 mph under the speed limit. She said when she attempted to pass, the driver sped up. Being in a hurry she gassed it and began to pass. The other driver accelerated, making passing impossible. So, she slowed down and moved back into the other lane and the car ahead slowed down again. After floor-boarding her car and passing the other driver, she screeched into the subdivision.
The other driver followed her and pulled into her drive, she rolled down her window and the bad words began to fly. After a brief exchange, my friend told her to leave, or she would call the cops.
She went inside and began to feel very guilty about having this kind of conflict with another person she didn’t even know.
About an hour later she was going back to work and looked down the street to see about four houses down the driver's car parked in the driveway.
My friend was still so upset and she decided to stop and apologize to the woman, trying to put grace above her pride.
She went to the door and found that the woman was resting and did not want to come down and talk to her.
Her husband told my friend that his wife had just returned from the doctor with a serious diagnosis of cancer and was struggling. She was trying to sleep and get herself together before the kids got home and she had mentioned to him what had happened.
Embarrassed to the max, my friend slinked back sadly to her car and left. Now the guilt was multiplied 100 times.
Isn't it interesting how we may feel so self-righteous and proud of who we are and how important we are and if others get in our way, they must be doing something wrong?
How dare they. Do they not know how important I am?
Notice how when my friend’s anxiety came down it allowed grace to come forward.
Grace gives us an opportunity to clean up some of the nastiness that's created by pride.
I don't know about you, but I have probably exercised pride in this manner many times.
Now I wonder as I was being so haughty and arrogant in past circumstances, what might have been going on with the other person.
What a humbling place to be.
Remember we have a choice when we face life circumstances…will we choose pride or grace?
Watch for the hot spots.
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