We live in a very self centered world.Everyone has many things and take great pride in what they own.They like to "ring their own bell" so to speak and make sure all present know that they made this or did that or own something special.
But I think pride sometimes gets a bad rap,especially in the religious community.
As I have told you before I have been a follower of St.Francias of Assisi teaching for many years,by the way his feast day was the beginning of this month.
He felt that we are nothing.All we do,talent wise, is a gift from God.He talks about the wood that an icon is painted on can take no glory for the picture and in his view we are the wood and the glory of God that emulates from us is the glory of God not ours.
Now with that said lets talk about what pride should be to we Christians.
Fr.Peter and I had a discussion of this last night after bible study.To many people who are religious feel they can take no pride in the work they do or the accomplishments they achieve.This is not so.God has given us certain gifts and talents and as such you have the right to be proud and happy for what you have done.If you are a musician your music was given to you to not only bring joy to others but to bring joy to your self.It is not boastful to show someone your talent pridefulness comes when you label it and want every one to see your talent as something special.
For example if you build something and drag everyone off the street to view it then say "see what I did I made this,see how wonderful this is, aren't I just the best.Here let me hang a sign on it so the whole world knows that I, the great one, did this." That's prideful you have just stepped past see what I made to see how wonderful I am.
The Lord says you should bring forth your talents to the world,that's what the story of the 4 servants and the coins are about.Each servant was given an equal number of coins and when the master was away they were to do something with them.One servant took his coins and made 100 fold of profit and one 50 fold and so on until the last servant made no profit at all.When the master came back he blessed each according to his profit the last,who had made no profit, was told to give his coins to the others and be gone.
We are given talents to give back to God but we also have talent to give back to ourselves.If you see no worth or value in what you are able to do and can take no pride in it then why would you want to continue doing things,you go from a freeman to a slave.
God put us here to be happy and useful,just has we would not want our children to be sad so God would want none of us to be sad either.
St.Francias did many things with his talents he made music,painted pictures,made pottery, wrote prayers and poetry.He found these talents has he tried them out but in the same respect he did not allow these gifts to overshadow the fact that God was number one in his life.
Francias tells a story of making a pot and while in deep prayer he began to notice he was being distracted by the sight of his creation so he took the pot and threw it in the fire. He felt what he had made was putting God and prayer second instead of first.
Some religious people do not understand that being to humble can also make you to prideful,when your humility stands in the way of being thanked or congratulated this can also be an offence to not only your brother but to God.Its a slippery slope to walk but if you can keep your eye on what the real prize is then the journey becomes a little less slippery.So relax and thank God for you ability to use your talents and while your at it try out a few more and learn the full realm of who you are and you might be pleasantly surprised at what you can do.