Archives For pride

Is not to gloat.

I think we all know that. But we still do it for some reason. Why?

History is against us and we can sit and complain about what happened in the Garden of Eden all day long. Still today, pride and envy plague the best of us because we’re human. It has the ability to overcome us and bring the worst out of us.

My latest bout with gloating was more in my head. It had to do with the confusion on why Albert Pujols is playing so poorly with his new team, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

As a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan, I wish so many great things for Albert Pujols. He gave us so much and I wish he would have stayed in St. Louis. I wish the negotiations last fall would have gone better. Oh I just wished he would have just come out and said that the decision to leave was complicated and it involved so many factors that only he, his family, and God knew. As of today Albert Pujols is batting .197 with only 1 homer after over a month of play in a new uniform with a near record 10-year contract. His performance thus far is hardly the impact compared to his previous 11 years batting well over.300 and belting 30-40 homers a year. As a Cardinals fan, he has made it quite easy to gloat especially since his team is in last place and St. Louis is in first. Even though I wasn’t openly laughing about Albert Pujols, in my heart I certainly was.

I’ve made my peace knowing that the Cardinals will move on and of course be fine. Albert Pujols is by far one of the greatest players of our generation and he’ll get his game back in due time and hopefully make an impact for his new team. I pray more that he’ll continue to embrace humility in this time to ultimately give more and more glory to Christ for why he is where he is. After all, his faith made as much of a headline as did his bat.

My encouragement is this:

If you are holding that grudge, let it go.

If you have an inner smile when someone you don’t like messes up, give it up. It will eat you up for years to come and you will never live free and wise to be the person God wants you to be. 

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. – Proverbs 11:2 (NIV)

Thank God it didn’t end for Adam and Eve that fateful day because in God’s plan, Christ took on their sin. He took my sin. He took yours.

Albert Pujols will forever be my reminder that God’s grace overcomes my gloating, my pride.

Stop worrying about your “Albert Pujols” and open up your heart to God. 

When you do this, your ability to live free is glorious. 

I was impressed with the 15 minute story on 60 Minutes this week about “Redshirt Students”. I became aware of this issue since having kids and if you do not know much about it, you can read a great article in Huffington Post. To summarize the issue, many parents are holding back their kids to start Kindergarten a year later. Why? The idea is so their kids will be older and have an edge on other students. They could be physically bigger to be more developed athletes (read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers on Canadian Hockey players). They could be more advanced in the classroom. They could eventually be the first to drive at 16 to have a social edge. They could also be better leaders just for the fact of being older. It seems to be an issue affecting boys more than girls but nevertheless it is happening to both. I envision a Tiger Mom’s saliva dripping from its mouth at the thought of this.

There are plenty of negatives to this like being bored in the classroom, have behavioral issues, trouble relating to the younger students, etc. Yes, it is confusing for the kids.

But this is not about the kids. 

Photo Credit: Premus

Brooke and I have two wonderful, unique, and imperfect girls. Our oldest daughter will be starting a Pre-K class next year so this issue hits home as we observe what other parents do for their kids. Brooke and I could technically hold back our daughter a year from Kindergarten and start her at 6 1/2.  Yes, 6 1/2, which is crazy to us. Despite being the youngest in her class, so far she has every ability to keep up with the older kids. There are many instances of younger kids need to be held back, which is understandable and shows how each situation is unique.

The idea of redshirting students reminds me of my experience dealing with some of my friends’ parents at a young age. When I was even eight years old, I knew that these parents were pushing my friends at every sport. They verbally abused them, practically broke out a whip to keep them practicing, rarely praised them, etc. It was disgusting and if they were smart enough to start their kids earlier in school, they would have (maybe they did). But most of my friends who were pushed around so hard by their parents were stressed, unhappy, and eventually ended up in serious therapy (or should have). I am thankful for my parents were not pushy but encouraging in that process and ultimately helped me to be successful in the things I was most passionate about in those years.

Why do parents do this?

There are three reasons:

  1. Envy: They see other parents’  kids “succeeding” early in life. They see it as necessary to make sure their kids do the same or better. It is pure envy.
  2. Fear: God forbid their kids would not be the best in something or not succeed. They feel the need to “protect” their kids because they fear failure.
  3. Pride: Even parents want to feel significant. Perhaps it is through their child’s success? Perhaps they are trying to make up for some issue in their own life and forcing it on their own kids? But pride is at the root of all of this.
All of this points to a redshirt life. We all are susceptible to this lie.

The redshirt life is about safety, control, and lack of adventure.

Brooke and I have discovered as parents how easy it can be to be caught in this trap. The idea of redshirting our kids is a reminder that Brooke and I need to give our kids up to God. We want to be great stewards with the gifts God has given us, especially our kids. But ultimately this all is a reminder that we need to give up control. God reminded me this week through 2 Timothy 1:7 (King James),

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear: but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

There will be many more times we will encounter issues like this. May we all be in prayer for our kids and to also ask God to reveal our own hearts in the process. The verse above is about trusting God, thinking with the good mind he gave us and to always act in love for our children.