So we went skiing/snowboarding as a family this past weekend and my daughter was certain that her amazing ability to ride a “fake” sled-like snowboard down the slope of her friend’s front yard would yield to a perfect first day on a snowboard on real hills ;) 45 minutes later, she sits pouting in the snow with her snowboard attached to her feet, wrist hurting from bracing her many falls, ski pants soaked and telling me that she doesn't want to do this anymore, and we are not even down the first “green” circle run.
“What?!” I ask, “you were begging to rent a snowboard, and now you don’t want to do this anymore?!” Yes, I was frustrated and quickly realizing that my “choose your thoughts” positivity was not being received or practiced at this point. What was the problem? Was it really that my daughter was wanting to give up?
So I asked again, “Why don’t you want to go down the rest of the hill? I’m confused, do you just want to go back in and sit down?” That’s when the truth came out.
“I don’t want to go anymore because all those people in line at the chairlift are going to see me fall because I’m not very good, and they are all awesome.”
“Oh no, not this again” I thought to myself. We have discussed the many reasons why what other people think does not matter, namely because we should be more concerned about what God thinks; and it just doesn’t seem to be sinking in. She is greatly concerned about what he/she/they think of her (even though I’m convinced they are not even thinking one thought of her at all!)
My friend and I managed to get her down the rest of the way, mainly by leaving her and shouting from a far distance “just come to where I am now!” (I’m not kidding!). Reluctantly and without choice she slipped, spun, and slid her way to the bottom. Upon arrival she looked around with panic as she crashed, in what she thought was the “grand finale” of her incompetence near the line of people waiting for the lift. To her surprise nobody pointed a finger and laughed, or made a comment or even seemed to notice at all.
Later that weekend, I prayed that God would guide me to help her overcome her insecurities about what others were thinking. That’s when I “stumbled” upon this great verse in Proverbs:
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18.
After reading this verse to her I asked her if she thought she was prideful, she answered honestly and said “sometimes I think I’m better than other people.”
One of the definitions of pride from dictionary.com states: a becoming or dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one's position or character; self-respect; self-esteem.
From this definition I helped my daughter realize that her constant concern about what other people think of her is very prideful also. She was perplexed.
“When you are worried about what he/she/they think of you, you are still making it all about you, as if you think you’re so significant that your incompetence, ignorance or even failures are due recognition from others.” I said.
I then explained that pride is not just when all you think about is yourself being better than others, but also if you ridicule yourself and are constantly under a state of fear of what other’s think in a negative way, it’s all still only about you!
We discussed how we should make our thoughts all about Him (God) and what He thinks of us and focus our mind and attention there; otherwise, God has a warning for us in Proverbs 16:18.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Humble thyself sweet daughter, I don’t want to see you in destruction and falling. In my own life I can look and see the destruction that besieged me when I was concerned more about what others were thinking of me, than what God's Word says He thinks of me.
I then shared with her the many great things that God has to say about us; regardless if we are good at snowboarding or not. I pray His Word will permeate her soul as it has mine.
Have you ever felt it was prideful to be self-loathing, or self-conscious?