Mount Pride

mountain-1340721352kjqIn our lives, we encounter many mountains. Some are trials that we have to navigate. Others are fears that we must overcome.

However, there exists one mountain that no one should ever climb. No one ever comes prepared to scale this mountain and no one can safely traverse this mountain, for it is that dangerous.

The purpose in climbing this mount is not for experience – people climb it for the pleasure of being elevated above others.

Its name: Mount Pride.

If we find ourselves climbing the mountain of pride, we have to deal with the dangers and side effects of altitude sickness.

One suffering for Mount Pride altitude sickness might experience:

Decreased vision and perception.
In our efforts to elevate ourselves, and in the harsh, oxygen-deprived terrain, we lose sight of where we are and who we are and whose we are.

In Mosiah, King Benjamin states:

23 And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.

24 And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?

25 And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth; yet ye were created of the dust of the earth; but behold, it belongeth to him who created you.

Every gift, talent, and even our very souls are gifts from our Heavenly Father. However, at times, we forget this fact and we go about our lives perceiving that we can do things on our own, when in fact we all heavily rely on God and our Savior for support and salvation.

Reduced physical performance.
In the high altitude, the air is thinner and our lungs do not receive enough oxygen. Likewise, while we scale Mount Pride, we lose various blessings and gifts that are vital to our spiritual well-being.

Ezra Taft Benson said, “When pride has a hold on our hearts, we lose our independence of the world and deliver our freedoms to the bondage of men’s judgment. The world shouts louder than the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. The reasoning of men overrides the revelations of God, and the proud let go of the iron rod.”

When we give in to our pride, it means that we desire the praise of people more than the praise of God. In effect, we lose our freedom because we allow others to dictate how we feel about ourselves.

Because we strive for the praise of others, we will begin to feel
Agitation and Anxiety.
We are warned in Proverbs that “Only by pride cometh contention” (Prov. 13:10). Therefore, every time we feel angry or annoyed, those emotions that initiate contention, it is because we had pride first.

The reason: pride is essentially competitive in nature. In our ascent to the summit of mount pride, we make our lives a competition.

“Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, cleverer, and better-looking than others… It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.”

C.S. Lewis. Mere Christianity, 109-11

Therein lies the trick: we have to stop comparing ourselves with others. If we seek to humble ourselves and get off our high mountain, our reactions to others’ actions will change and we will see that we truly are no better than anyone else, because we are all equal in the eyes of God.

Also, when we cease to compare ourselves to others, we will no longer feel the pressure and anxiety to be “good enough” or “up-to-scratch” by men’s standards. We will only look to God for approval.

Death Zone.
Despite all of these symptoms, some have managed to scale all the way to the top of Mount Pride. Once there, they enter a place called the death zone.

Located in elevations 8000 meters and higher, the air in the death zone has so little oxygen that it cannot support human life. Many deaths in high-altitude mountaineering have been caused by the effects of the death zone, either directly (through the loss of vital functions) or indirectly (through wrong decisions made under stress or physical weakening leading to accidents).

In the death zone, no human body can acclimatize. An extended stay in the zone without supplementary oxygen will result in deterioration of bodily functions, loss of consciousness and, ultimately, death.

Here I am obviously not talking about physical death, but of the possibility of spiritual death.

We enter the death zone when we allow our pride to take control of our thoughts and actions until we are so centered on our self that we lose contact with everything else around us – our friends, our families, and our Father in Heaven.

You may find yourself entering this zone from time to time –

when you get offended by someone and stew about it for days,
when an argument causes you to stop speaking to someone,
when you look at the accomplishments or possessions of others and wonder if you will ever measure up.

Solution: Get off the mountain before you enter that fatal zone!

Look around at your actions and their effects on others and yourself. Take notice if you start to find faults in others or faults in the acts of God. If you start to feel any of the symptoms of Mount Pride altitude sickness, remember that you are weak and of a fallen nature.

Recognize that everything that you have and are comes from a loving Heavenly Father who wants the best for you. Therefore, He would never ask you to do anything that you could not or should not do.

Lay down your pride and follow what He asks you to do, and you will descend from your mountain.
 

 

 

 
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One thought on “Mount Pride

  1. Pingback: Trust & Humility | Missionnaire

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