People often tell us what to do and sometimes against better judgement, we decide not to listen, often finding out at some later stage that the person had been right. We as humans have enormous amounts of pride, despite knowing from the bible that it isn’t always a good thing.
I do believe however, that there are two very different kinds of pride. One is a foolish pride, of believing and in telling others that we have a better life than they, and spouting of ours, or of our children’s achievements shamelessly (not to be mistaken with a person’s joy in someone’s genuine achievements.) There’s nothing wrong with being proud about something, nor in telling someone about it, but the way that we do it is where the difference lies.
Some Christian people from time to time realise that they possess a wisdom that others don’t seem to have. We ask ourselves why those others don’t see things the way that we do, and becoming frustrated about it is easy. This where we come up against the very fundamental pride. People generally don’t like being told what to do, nor how to make their life better, because it comes with a price they will not pay – sacrificing their dignity or shall we say, pride. By pride, I mean, an acceptable pride, one which states very clearly; My dignity, feelings and self-respect are at stake. We cannot tell people what to do, because it means we have decided that their way isn’t good enough, and we know better, and that is misplaced Christianity.
For the mother who wants to tell her daughter or daughter-in-law how to raise her children? Before you say one word, ask yourself if your way really is the best way, or are you just telling her what you did because you don’t want her to do it differently, and truly believe your way is best? For the neighbour who is struggling with money, or a difficult separation – you telling them how to budget, keep their marriage together, or deal with other societal issues will be viewed as intrusive, and presumptuous, and not get the desired effect.
Working at the soft approach takes many, many years of practice, but can be easy to begin with in taking small steps.
Don’t ignore things that really need your help, but you can do more good in most situations by simply asking what a person wants you to do.
When you’re helping someone, remember the rules. Do it with humbleness, and don’t say any more than you have to.
A humble heart can better reach another, than an imperious one. The wisdom that God has blessed you with stands alone, and does not require the adornments of a vainglorious person to impart it. Approach your fellow people with humbleness, and they will open their hearts and minds to you.