I ran into a friend at church who proudly shared photos of her new granddaughter. Little Cindy, now resting peacefully at home, had a tough couple of weeks. It turns out that after a difficult delivery, the baby was facing dehydration. She had to then be hospitalized in order to receive the fluids that her body craved.
My friend looked me in the eye and said without hesitation, “it was serious, very serious.” Thankfully, Cindy is now doing much better.
Just like a health situation that can be serious, our spiritual lives can face circumstances of dire consequence as well. When faith takes a wrong turn, it's as dangerous as a car that strikes the guardrail. Take situations of mortal sin. There’s no question that adultery can destroy a marriage. There are few who doubt that murder scars a soul.
While Cindy was being watched hour by hour to measure her health, our adult lives are more subtle and the signs of sin can be invisible. Fortunately if you can spot them, pride in particular, you can head sin off at the pass. The result: spiritual hydration for the long haul.
So what are the signs of pride in an adult’s life? I suggest the following seven signs:
1. You are easily offended.
2. You are overly critical of others.
3. You cop a victim mindset.
4. You blame others.
5. You aren’t praying for others.
6. You expect that others will accommodate you.
7. You think you have all of the answers.
We could say a whole lot more about each of these. I think the key is to pray for the grace of deep humility. Fr. Thomas Augustine Judge once said that “humility is truth”, meaning that if we are honest with ourselves, we’ll be slower to judge them and quicker to demonstrate compassion. More humility leads to better honesty and as they say, honesty is the only policy for a faith that stays on the right path.
When was the last time that you caught yourself in one of the seven traps listed above?
Photo courtesy of MD