Certain things are necessary for a life of meaning, happiness, and fulfillment. They aren’t the “niceties” of life. They are the “necessities” for a successful life.
According to the Founder of Christianity, one of those necessities is a healthy sense of pride. Jesus, to be sure, didn’t say it, or state it quite that way. He rarely used the word “pride.” He only used the word once that I am aware of.
However, a sense of self-esteem, self-worth, self-respect, and especially self-love was continually on Jesus’ mind and central to his words.
In a pivotal conversation he had with an attorney, Jesus summed up everything He believed in and stood for: He told him that the crucial thing for people to do in life was to love God, love their neighbors, and love themselves. Loving ourselves the way we love God and loving our neighbors was the decisive thing. “Do this,” Jesus said to the attorney, “and you will live.”
Pride was the real thing for Jesus. It all stemmed from the conviction that everything and everyone came from God, that all people were God’s children, and that all things were God’s creation. Everyone and everything had infinite value and worth.
Surprisingly, pride has often come to mean something very different in our world. Still, the Founder’s words remain valid and true. Pride is still the real thing, for the same reason: the conviction that everyone and everything have infinite value and worth.
Look for the image of Someone Greater inside yourself. Look for ways to share it with someone else. Look for means to nurture the seeds of self-esteem, self-worth, self-respect, and self-love in your own life.
“Do this,” Jesus still says, “and you will live.” Do just that much, and your life will have everything.
Reverend Greg Renstrom is Minister at Wesley congregation in Downtown Minneapolis.