Monday, 23 February 2015

Pride Goes Before Destruction

I am considering a number of activities in my life at the moment and wondering exactly why I do them - mainly blogging, crafting and various community and school committees.

I was working on a birthday present for a friend's little girl recently and hubby told me I was only making that to show off (as my friend has never learned to sew or knit). His comment totally ruined the enjoyment I was taking from making this special gift and this certainly would not be my main motivation. But he did make me think. Yes, I am happy and proud when a gift I have made is loved and exclaimed over - I have generally put a lot of time, effort and love into making it and it is lovely to be praised for it. Is this sinful pride? I'm not sure. Where does the line fall between genuine happiness at praise and being proud? 

And I guess when I think about blogging, it is lovely to receive positive comments and have total strangers praising your work. It really gives me a happy feeling to log on and see new comments on my blog. Is this sinful pride? 
As you can see by hubby's comment above, I don't get any support or positive comments on my craft at home, so I suppose blogging about it is my acknowledgement that I am doing something beautiful and useful. Is this sinful pride?
Is blogging 'praising yourself'? 

I have two friends who do a lot of work in the community and school and whenever anyone mentions them, they will say things such as 'what an amazing woman', 'how does she do it all?', 'I admire her so much for all the hard work she puts in.' 
I am also on most of the committees they are working with and I must admit that I feel a little bit of jealousy that people talk to me about them but never say I am doing a great job. Pride has reared its ugly head!

I do the work as I believe it needs to be done and am quite happy to work quietly behind the scenes. But sometimes it gets a bit frustrating when I know I worked just as hard with no acknowledgment. Wow, talk about pride in that sentence! But I will leave it there in the interests of honesty. As the above quote from C.S. Lewis shows, it is part of our fallen nature to be prideful, as it is part of human nature to crave praise and acknowledgement. But when does this cross the line into sinful pride?
I am afraid I do not know the answer - I just know it is something I am working on. Whenever I feel that jealousy coming on, I remember one of the Bible quotes I have included here.

A more mature Christian would be more help in this matter, but I guess my take on it is if I am taking on work or projects with the main motivation being other people's praise or notice of my work, that is prideful. Accepting praise humbly when given, without seeking it out, and without that being the reason you undertake a project, would be ok. 
Being a relatively new Christian (and basically 'self-taught' as I am unable to attend church), I am not very articulate, but hope I have managed to convey my meaning, and hope that it is consistent with God's Word.

 It is tempting to take on projects outside the home, while neglecting home duties, as being a home-maker is generally not acknowledged and we all feel that need to be validated. I have been guilty of this and it has been a main focus of my prayer at the moment. 

 I would appreciate any comments on this matter from some more 'expert' among you, as after hubby's comment, I am floundering a bit and am unsure on any of this.

Linking today with Darling Downs Diaries for Good Morning Mondays.


  1. I think your husband's comment was out of line and hurtful. I don't think it prideful to want to use our hands to create beauty and gifts. It springs from a giving nature. Be true to your feelings on this, I think you are in the right track.

    1. Thanks so much! I have so much doubt at the moment, so your comment really helped me.

  2. Hey Jayne, I love making gifts and giving them, it gives me such enjoyment as I am sure it does give you too. I think we all suffer the same as you do, even the more "mature" christians among us. Who doesn't like to be praised and thanked because of something we do, is this sinful pride - probably. One of our homeschooling groups that we attended encourage the children to return compliments with a statement of "praise the Lord". This turned the praise for our gift from ourselves to the one who gave us the gift. I thought this was lovely and a good thing, but I must admit it isn't an easy thing to do. My husband says to always look at someones motivation before being upset or happy about something so I suggest that you search your motivation before making and giving and I am sure that you will find that your motivation is purely just to bless someone with a handmade gift. I am sorry you have been hurt on this matter and I pray that you can give that hurt to God and ask Him to help you bless your husband abundantly. Blessings to you Jayne and thank you for sharing your heart at Good Morning Mondays.

    1. Thanks so much, Terri. I feel my motivation is blessing someone else, but I have so much doubt because of comments like that. He always says he is joking, but I figure most people who say they are only joking really mean what they say. That is a lovely idea of your homeschool group, returning the praise to the One who truly deserves it. Thank you being such a blessing to me.

  3. Wow, that is a lot to take in. That said, I too believe that maybe your husband was a bit harsh. If you were making the gift to enjoy working with your hands and provide a thoughtful gift as your main motivation then I do not believe it is prideful and am sure your friend would truly appreciate a handmade gift and cherish it more because of it.

    Being a homemaker is one of the greatest jobs in the world as we are providing safe harbor for our families and raising tomorrow's adults - a truly HUGE job in today's world. Being able to give back to the community in any way is also a truly a blessing also. But, we are human and an occasional thank you validates our reasons and reminds us why we are spreading ourselves so thin in the first place.

    Being Christian doesn't make us perfect, but helps guide us to keep working at it.

    1. Thank you, Tamy, for your kind words. I am spending a lot of prayer on this issue, to decide where I need to direct my energies. I so agree that being a homemaker is our primary role and think maybe my hubby is making pointed remarks as he feels I am doing too much out of the home and away from this most important role. Like when I need to attend committee meetings at night and aren't there to do bedtime, etc.

    2. Jayne I saw this on a friend's facebook post this morning and thought of you. The quote is by Dr. Richard Swenson who is a "physician-researcher, his current focus is "cultural medicine," studying the intersection of health, culture, faith, and the future. He has written extensively on trends in modern society, including the acceleration of stress, overload, change, complexity, and speed. Six of his books are dedicated to this general topic, and they contain hundreds of practical prescriptions (Rxs) for decompressing the increasing pressures of life." I hope it gives you some additional food for thought.

      "God does not have to depend on human exhaustion to get his work done. God is not so desperate for resources to accomplish His purposes that we have to abandon the raising of our children in order to accommodate him. God is not so despairing of where to turn next that He has to ask us to go without sleep five nights in a row. Chronic overloading is not a spiritual prerequisite for authentic Christianity. Quite the contrary, overloading is often what we do when we forget who God is."

    3. Oh, that is so true. Wow, that quote has it in a nutshell. I have been praying about it and feel that God is pointing me to quit at least some of my outside of the home commitments and focus on the family. I am doing just what that quote says, overloading way too much as I feel we need to serve others. But in doing so, I am missing serving my own family. Thanks so much - what a blessing you are!