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I thought I’d jot down a couple of thoughts today about forgiveness and pride.
In the Law of Moses creditors were commanded to forgive debts every 7 years. This did a couple of things. It allowed the debtor to progress and be able to provide better for his family and took a burden from him.
The creditor might have been out some cash but he too was able to clear his accounts and move on. It also made him more careful about whom he gave credit to. And there is always the implied purpose of making him feel good about himself for forgiving another.
My parents adopted a little boy and were making payments to the lawyer that facilitated the adoption. It was pretty expensive and they had been paying for a couple of years. One Christmas the lawyer sent them a Christmas card and inside was an invoice saying, “paid in full”.
I think he was forgiving the debt in the spirit of the Law of Moses but without being compelled to do so. I’m sure it was a blessing not only to my parents but to him.
This is the true spirit of Christmas, giving without being compelled to do so.
My other thought today is about pride.
The Bible says, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
I think we use the word “pride” sometimes in connection with haughtiness but sometimes it has a completely different meaning.
If we are proud of our accomplishments, it doesn’t necessarily follow that we are haughty about it.
In the Hercule Poirot mysteries by Agatha Christie, Poirot often refers to himself as “the world’s greatest detective” and yet his treatment of others is humble and kind.
One could say he is proud and yet humble about it.
He makes no bones about his accomplishments and goes about doing what he does best in spite of what others think of him.
He demands respect for what he does when he introduces himself and expects people to equate the name “Hercule Poirot” with “the world’s greatest detective.
Yet we are trained to think that if we acknowledge our talents and accomplishments that we are “proud” in a bad way.
It trashes our confidence in ourselves.
Being proud in a bad way is thinking you are above others because of your talents.
Being proud in a good way is thinking you can help others with your talents.
If you diminish your accomplishments, are you not guilty of false humility?
Something to think about.
I hope you found this useful.
Have a Merry Christmas and Hannukah season.
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