The Shrewdness of Subtle Pride

I occurred to me today, in a conversation I had with a man, how shrewd and subtle pride can be. I suppose you might shrug your shoulders and mutter, “So what’s new?” indicating that such an occurrence is well within common sense. To me, today, it struck me as a renewed awareness.

I find it unsettling that those who have an inner sense of pridefulness are often very quick of thought and speech. If I offer a word of encouragement overlaying a challenge to such a person, the response is facile, with a tinge of smugness and a statement of fact that deflects the underlying encouragement and challenge. It strikes as subtly condescending, coupled with a “slight of hand” in a sense, that rejects the encouragement or the challenge.

A loving challenge is rebuffed by a smirk and a subtlety.

Maybe these are times when a Mother Teresa response would be appropriate. Love the person regardless and offer him a blessing, however quiet and reserved. It is difficult not to feel defeated, though, bewildered more than a bit and left trying to make sense of it. Always rather distressing when Truth is rejected.

Our Lord did say in the Gospels that we must be both shrewd and meek, both bold and humble in our proclamation of the Gospel. Jesus certainly was all of that and at the right times. He certainly gave us a clear model to follow in situations like these. In the Gospel accounts of his passion, he was shrewdly overridden by the pride of his accusers. His response, for the most part, was silent witness to the Truth, and acceptance of his mission.

May we all follow closely the example of our Lord.

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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