by Leow Huey Shien

Chinese New Year is a festive season to get together with family and friends. For some, it is also the time of the year to boast about their life achievements (e.g. their children’s success, business success, relationship status, etc.). All for the purpose of feeding their ego.

Taking pride of achievements is good, as it could provide motivation to do better. However, when we allow our achievements to make us feel superior to others, which is when pride becomes dangerous. It is when we become egoistic. Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Pro 16:18).

Pride could break strong bonds between family and friends, business associates, and most importantly, it distances you from God because “…God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble.” (James 4:6).

An example of ego playing its role would be: boasting of your rich spouse even though you are in an abusive relationship, boasting about being a business owner even though the business is failing, or even boasting about your university degree even though you failed to secure a job or embark on a stellar career.

We are so prideful and fearful of being looked down upon that we continue to strive on a turning point, not realizing in the process, that we have hurt the people that we are closest to. Sometimes, we just need to understand that acknowledging and admitting that we have failed, is not the same as giving up. You have given your very best, but you have failed.

I agree that it is easier said than done to be humble and not be proud, as for some it is a long developed habit and/or attitude. Nonetheless, take time to self-reflect, practice self-awareness whenever you can, in prayer or in your free time. For “by pride comes nothing but strife, but with the well-advised is wisdom.” (Pro 13:10). So when there’s a conflict between one another, or when you are facing difficulties, be aware that pride is involved.

Therefore, “humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:10). “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” (Pro 3:5), for the Lord knows the plans for you, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer 29:11).