Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Problem with Conceit

Conceit is a lamentable product of mis-placed pride. There is required of a man to have a sense of his own ego, a value of his existence that is exemplified in a balanced opinion of himself with regard to his talents, abilities, position, reputation or any other related categories.

Self-esteem is not the dragon that generations past may have wished to slay in it's infancy. Pride is the dragon. The fire in the soul which a healthy sense of self-esteem inflames is the impetus and drive which nurtures the great minds, inventions and thoughts of the great men of history and present day.

The ego, or the sense of self, our consciousness, with which every man is imbued with from God, results in a valuing of our personal abilities to exercise judgment, define acceptable levels of tolerance, test realities, control, plan, defend ourselves, synthesize information, function intellectually, operate corporately and remember. These abilities seem to be a given, however, any authority figure in the life of a child who sees these abilities as the dragon-pride to be slayed can very effectively destroy, with the slaying, a child's sense of worth, his personal sense of value.

Conceit reveals itself in the reveries and dreams of men. Every man dreams of greatness, perfection, the grandiose. A healthy sense of self esteem will moderate the dream to the reality and rather than vex the dreamer will instill the motivation to accept the limitations of his self and strive to surpass, to have the vision of what is currently beyond capability, to drive for the goal and attain the dream.

It is far easier to clip the wings than to teach to fly. It is easier to use the excuse of being well-grounded than to allow being carried away, borne along on the wings of freedom.

The ego is not our master (and I am moving from Freud's use of the word) pride and conceit are masters. Pride and conceit drive us away from seeking wisdom, from searching for knowledge, from 'needing' help, they alienate people from people. Alienation does not necessarily mean in the physical sense, but in a mental disassociation. The reveries of a conceited mind play out the scenarios of life where outcomes always result in the glorification of the dreamer. A conceited and 'puffed-up' view to life will always embellish the hardships and extol the virtues, without regard for the reality. A dream-like and manipulative haze will always envelop any interplay of the  'actors' involved. In this the true arrogance of pride is exemplified, in that the whole of life is an exoneration and belauding of a man's life.

God desires us to be real, to accept our limitations, to edify our strengths, to love, to laugh, to take pride and very importantly, to be humble. "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven."

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