I’ve thought a tremendous amount about pride for over a year. I thought about it when I posted my before and after picture from hitchfit. I thought about it 6 months later when I wrote about all the awesome fitness milestones I met last year. I thought about it when I wrote about my awesome 10K PR last year too.
And I still wonder about pride.
One of my closest friends in the world has got the best handle on this deadly sin. I look at her in awe and I just scratch my head.
I asked her about it recently. Her simple response was, “Pride is a sin I have control of.” And “but I also know, I am nothing without Him.”
It is easy to see why I look up to this woman, right?
So what sparked this conversation? Why is this even in my head?
Well, I’m taking a break, a HUGE break from all things fitness at the moment. By previous normal standards I should be on the treadmill training for a run I’ve done every year (but one) since 2009. I should be lifting weights and focusing a lot of effort if I want a PR this year. I should be making my Calendar, marking the other races I want to do throughout the year. I should be tracking my body fat. I should be measuring and weighing my supplements and tracking my progress
But I am not. I am not doing one of these things. I’m on a break (cue in Ross and Rachel – “We were on a break!!!”).
So now I’m on the outside and I’m seeing my other friends who are working hard on their fitness goals, posting their check-ins at the gym, posting their selfies, and posting their messages about fitness, happiness and all thing healthy on FBland. And I wonder, is this pride?
I am not going to entertain the topic about whether or not pride is wrong. The Bible says it is wrong so it is wrong. It is not up for debate. Pride is wrong. Period.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. – Proverbs 11:2
So what do we do with this? Especially for someone one who’s focusing their life in fitness do fitness and not be proud?
The only thing I can glean from is from my own personal experience.
One of the things I did daily while during my transformation was post something motivational about health, fitness or even scripture. It wasn’t to rub in anyone’s faces about how they are doing it wrong. It equally was not me telling them how I WAS doing it right. I just felt this weird duty, the same duty I feel to write in general, to inform folks, to encourage folks, to let them know I was where they were (in being overwhelmed or unmotivated, etc) and it will/is/is supposed to get better. That’s what the majority of what those posts were about.
I mean, truly, it would be no different than what I’m doing now with many more words. I’m doing my damnedest to be inspiring to lead people somewhere else.
And then I think about the writings I did about accomplishments I achieved and I surprised myself. I reread my reflective post about the greatest run I’ve ever had (a 10K last year). I don’t think there’s a whole lot to be ashamed of there. It was reflective from a standpoint about why I enjoy running (it actually made me miss it… JUST A LITTLE… not enough to go lace up my shoes.) and what it feels like to be part of the racing community.
I did have a post last year reflecting back on my 37th year of life. While I did reflect spiritually a tremendous amount, because so many life events happened at once for me, I did seem very prideful. I boasted about all the races I did throughout the year and all the awesome things that happened with me and fitness.
The discussion with my friend about pride naturally came to the term HUMBLE. “Being humble before God” I think is how she put it. So I got a little silly and said, “where does it stop? When my boss says, ‘Nice spreadsheet, Jamie.’ What am I supposed to do? Respond, ‘PRAISE JESUS!’?” And I guess this is the only place I still don’t have closure. I don’t fully understand when I’m supposed to be outward about being humble before God and only allowing Him to take credit or when I’m supposed to just accept the compliment but still give honor to God in my mind.
I guess it just takes practice… to recognize those times when pride has seeped in or your ego is getting in the way or whatever the issue, and to start to humble yourself before God. Give God the glory. Let it all be Him. Realize that it really is Him and not you. You in your own right didn’t lose that 50 pounds, you didn’t land that $5M account, you didn’t sell 100 cars this week… without Him you are nothing.
This is difficult I realize. Why would God care about someone selling 100 cars or losing 50 pounds? I don’t know. Why does God need someone to deal with heartache or depression or grief?
In looking back, I can tell you that I, on my own merit, didn’t do my hitchfit transformation alone. Nope. There was no way I alone was getting up at 4 o’clock in the morning to do cardio and then to turn around and do weights over the lunch hour and sometimes again in the evening for 5 to 6 days a week. If it was on my own merit then right now I would be doing the same. It doesn’t work that way. It wasn’t me, it was Him and in that scenario I see it plain as day.
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” – James 4:6
In the words of Mother Teresa:
Humility is the mother of all virtues; purity, charity and obedience. It is in being humble that our love becomes real, devoted and ardent. If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are. If you are blamed you will not be discouraged. If they call you a saint you will not put yourself on a pedestal.
Wouldn’t that be an awesome way to live?