Monday, February 10, 2014

Pride and Self Esteem

Triodion Day 2 – Fast Free Week
Yesterday we heard the Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee in which the sinful pride of the Pharisee would not allow him to see his sinfulness, but rather thank God for his goodness. In our current self-driven society in which we teach our children to consider their own happiness and value ahead of all others, this parable I suspect falls on deaf ears. We are EXPECTED to congratulate, thank, honor, praise, salute, and even feature the GOODNESS in ourselves, but at the expense of humility and proper self evaluation. We are EXPECTED to downplay sinfulness in our children in the name of self esteem.

And yet….the Christ lifts up the sinful publican who recognized the need for God’s mercy. Jesus says, “I tell you this man went down his house justified rather than the other.” (Luke 18.14) I often find that because our society expects so much praise, most people reject any discussion of sinfulness or the need for repentance. And yet….Jesus says “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4.17)

When we entertain pride in our “goodness” we tend to ignore repentance. We tend to think we are “all ready” for heaven. We tend to visualize ourselves as holy. We tend to live in total denial. The Triodion is designed to inspire us to turn away from pride and return to the understanding that we all need God’s mercy, and begin to repent. Then once the Great Fast begins (this year on March 3rd) we will be of a proper mindset to engage in the spiritual struggle of growing closer to Jesus Christ.

1 comment:

CJS Hayward said...

Yes and amen to "self-esteem" being a renaming of an ancient vice. You might see Pride.