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Wounded Pride

Self-directed anger. Fear of failure, rejection and loss. Dissatisfaction. Envy. Like an orchestra of untuned instruments, the noisy emotions of wounded pride refuse to be comforted. In the dark halls and back rooms of our hearts, angry feelings slam doors, break windows, raise voices, and start arguments.

Feelings of not being able to measure up hound us in school, can trip us up on the job, and threaten our sense of safety and security at home. Like demon dogs of discontent, damaged emotions even follow us to church.

Those who’ve been repeatedly rejected and disrespected may have an especially hard time believing the truth about themselves. Children of troubled, self-destructive parents need extra amounts of understanding, encouragement, patience, compassion and mercy. All too often, they bear the scarred emotions of unpredictable neglect, rage, and abuse.

But will we find ourselves only when we listen to those counselors who tell us we need to learn to accept and affirm ourselves as we are.

If we really hate ourselves as much as we think we do, why are we so unnerved by our failures and mistreatment?

With immeasurable understanding and compassion, the Bible repeatedly shows us that–by indulging ourselves in destructive ways, or by berating ourselves unmercifully–our self-contempt is a way of showing that we naturally care about ourselves (Eph 5:29).

Even the most troubled among us alternate between pampering ourselves and beating ourselves up in unhealthy ways– because of a deeper instinct to esteem too highly our own opinions, thoughts, feelings, and rights.

Wounded pride, like the other members of its family, is a deceiver. It looks like self-contempt, feels like death, and acts like something that needs to be encouraged and indulged. But while everyone needs to be loved, no one needs the kind of flattery that cheers a bleeding, grace-rejecting ego. Wounded pride is not to be taken lightly. Even though stunned by circumstance, it remains a rebel (Isaiah 1:1-20), nursing its own wounds, planning its revenge, and raging against the heavens.

Father, forgive us for treating our wounded pride as brokenness and humility. Help us to see that we will never find real comfort, confidence, security, and satisfaction until we rest in Your assurance that “On this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word” (Isa. 66:2). Strengthen us to trust You when You remind us that our own feelings and thoughts must rest in You.

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20 Responses to “Wounded Pride”

  1. desert rose says:

    Your blog today goes in with what the Holy Spirit has been telling me, that “we rest in His care.” He will never leave us nor forsake us. Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. Do not be afraid, I am your God, I will give you strength, I will help you, I will uphold you. Do not fear because perfect love castes out fear. That love is none other than the one who cared so much when we have become victims of some one’s rage, self-destructive individuals. God’s just wants to bound up the wounded and heal us whether it is spiritual, emotional or mentally and physically. Sometimes we have to wait for the ‘seasons’ of our lives to realize what God has really done. We may not realize the depth of why we have suffered until we meet Him face to face.

  2. poohpity says:

    Good Morning,

    I have suffered all of the above and have spent time in counseling to undo the pain and emotional distress I have suffered. The best and healthiest counseling I have received is from reading God’s Word. I do have to admit at first when I opened His Word it was so affirming to me that God used so many that were flawed to accomplish His will and then had to realize that I to am flawed. At that time I also realized that I say and do things that can harm others too. The Bible warns us of all the damage the tongue can cause and how important it is to care for each other in love but I believe the most important thing the bible teaches is to watch our own behavior and to control our own tongues. If you look around the world it is people (God’s creation) that causes the most harm to people.

    Today I have to say that although not perfect by any means but God gave me the parents He gave me to make me who I am today and He can and does use me just like I am but I have to be receptive to His leading. To be receptive you have to get your eyes off of yourself and on to God who heals all our hurts because only He can turn them around to be a benefit to more than myself.

    Sometimes I watch how people come to my church hungry and are turned away because maybe the person administering the care has never suffered hunger. I realize how much of a benefit it is to have suffered; hurt, pain , hunger, rejection and all of the so called pains because now I can benefit someone else with empathy and can embrace them with compassion.

    With God it all works out. He uses everything for good. I am talking about EVERYTHING for good, if we get our eyes on HIM. He has only asked us to put Him first since the beginning of time and CONTINUES with patience to the end times. It works, I have imperfectly done it.

  3. paul bishop says:

    Gosh,I have no idea where to go with ” this one “.
    I know what it’s like to hate myself, as well as be
    infatuated with myself ( narcissism ). I venture to
    say that our walk can be measured by the degree ( amount )
    of faith, hope and love we have with God and others.
    These three evidence our sanctification. I believe we
    are in a building process even through ship wrecks and
    tribulation of all sorts. Gold is purified by fire!

  4. dep7547 says:

    Thanks for the wonderful prayer, Mart! Sometimes it hurts to admit that our pride is often put on trial. As a perfectionist, I tend to believe that when a trial comes up it is because I have said or done something out of line. This often leads to “humbly” comparing my life to the multitudes of wrong doings that I hear about every day. I try to place myself in the position that there are others out there who have done far worse than me and see that they seem to suffer nothing at all. This is probably pride at its most evident level!

    I try to live humbly and when things are going well, I put myself at the top of the list as chief of sinners along with Paul and, yet, this too is pride. I have often prayed that no one would be held accountable for sinning against me so that I will not harbor unforgiveness, yet I become confused when a trial occurs that I feel could only happen to me and the whole comparison process begins again. You would think that after thousands of opportunities to learn from such experiences, the truth would sink in, but every opportunity is unique.

    I guess that I tend to take things more personally as a family man than when I was single. I suppose that is because when my trials affect those who count on me, the experience becomes humiliating instead of just humbling. It is this feeling of humiliation that tends to lead me right back into the comparison scandal all over again. I would certainly appreciate any prayers and feedback that could help me to overcome this mighty obstacle. Thank you and God bless!

  5. margie smith says:

    i believe that we all at one time or the other suffer with a hurtful pride and lay our armour down, maybe just because we are tired spiritually and need a spiritual boost from god, it would be nice if we could get this boost from our loved ones more than what we do , but god knows all of our weaknesses and instructs us to lean on him and his understanding and not to others. fellowship with other believers is such a huge gift from god that will boost our moral and remind us that we are worthy of love and god’s joys, i pray that we spend more time open to sharing our love with others that only god knows have a hurting heart and need words or deeds of kindness, one outstretched hand a smile or phone call goes a long way, praise him for obediant children . we still make errors if we think we can please god by our works, he loves us just the way we are , may i always be ready to humble myself to his throne of grace. praise his holy name, jesus is awesome

  6. Becky M says:

    You took the words right out of my mouth(and thoughts right out of my mind)with the prayer on this one,Mart. Thank you and Amen.

  7. daisymarygoldr says:

    Always thought of myself as the most humble (other than Jesus of course), lowly, Christian who ever walked this earth …who would readily offer the other cheek when slapped on one…but the whole sweet self-portrait was marred by marriage. It was a shocking revelation too unreal for me to accept that there was this huge “self” that I had shamelessly worshiped all throughout my days of singlehood. Forget about showing the other cheek… if slapped once, I was willing to slap back 10 times…Pride is a sin nature that is present in all of us and is seeded by the devil.

    Personally, for me wounded pride is a perfect indicator test to prove that there is still a lot of ‘self’ in me that needs to sculpted out by God. When ‘self’ is being chipped away there is inevitable pain and sorrow…but when the sorrow focuses me on what I want, what I need, what I deserve, where I have been short-changed and where things did not go the way I wanted… it begins to consume my sole attention and energy… it further debilitates the body, disturbs my peace, impairs the mind, and breaks the spirit.

    If our emotions and feelings have been wounded it is caused by none other than God Himself (Deut 32:39) and not by the enemy as many of us mistakenly think it to be. And yes, God uses people (Christians and non-Christians) to cause these wounds and sometimes it is due to no apparent cause. Job understood it perfectly when he said “For He attacks me with a storm and repeatedly wounds me without cause” (Job 9:17).

    “Children of troubled, self-destructive parents need extra amounts of understanding, encouragement, patience, compassion and mercy”…one has to be a heartless monster to disagree with that…but healing will only come from the ONE who has created them.

    When we humbly accept and apply His Word to our lives, it not only heals but restores us (‘7 times’!) to good health and happiness which is described as- “The moon will be as bright as the sun, and the sun will be ‘7 times’ brighter—like the light of ‘7 days’ in one! So it will be when the LORD begins to heal His people and cure the wounds He gave them”. Isa 30:26

  8. Mart De Haan says:

    Thanks to all of you for your honesty and for helping to flesh this out. Paul, you’re right, in Christ, we are in process. Life with him is a journey– not a one-time fix (except for our justification). Abigail, since you asked, “yes” your thoughts are definitely in line with what I am thinking. And daisymarygoldr, I also found that marriage had a way of exposing my rebel heart and pride– big time. (please don’t take these personal references as ignoring the other good and important comments above).

  9. poohpity says:

    I have to disagree with daisymarygoldr because I do not feel that God ever causes harm in anyway to us. You cited Job and from what I read he was only guessing it was God causing his sorrow, when in reality it was satan.

  10. daisymarygoldr says:

    poohpity, you are right that satan is the one who causes “harm” and Paul also refers to it as “a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud”. However, it is God who allows satan’s evil in our lives to accomplish His divine purposes. Job was not guessing rather his response to his friend acknowledges God’s unquestionable sovereignty to do whatever He wants to do. In Job 5:18, he testifies- “For though He wounds, He also bandages. He strikes, but His Hands also heal”

    “I do not feel that God ever causes harm in anyway to us”-

    Depends on how one perceives “harm”. The ultimate “harm” for any human is death but for a Christian “to die is gain”. So with that perspective, the “harm” is actually positive and good for me and the “sorrow” caused by God either leads me to repent and be restored of my joy or remain humble and not exalt myself above God or any one else.

    On the other hand, if I consider “harm” as bad and negative that is caused by satan, then it will make me to remain engulfed in hopeless grief and self-pity all my life and that sorrow will only lead to death. A child of God cannot give credit to satan for anything – not his harm, not his sorrow…though being the proudest creature he wants to take credit for everything and is willing to do anything to grab all the attention away from God.

    God kills and He gives life, He wounds or tears us into pieces (Hos 6:1) and He heals. So, whether it is good or bad, good health or sickness, life or death, we gladly accept all things from God and give all the glory to Him!

  11. Mumma_Mary says:

    You have such a way with words, Mart. God bless you! I think all of us can attest to such feelings. As we grow up in any type of family situation, we find out as our lives unfold that others are not like us, nor are we “normal”. I, too, have been too much of a perfectionist over the years, especially in raising the kids – whose standards was I really following? Too often there have been many tears because I couldn’t measure up (to what?) over myself and then the kids. I finally realised when they left home, that I have to measure up to God’s standards only. Needless to say, my attitude, outlook and ability to relax and let things go as they will have all changed tremendously and I love life, along with God!

  12. kaliko88 says:

    I have on occasion heard messages that felt like God was poking me. This one, though, just astonished me at how close to the mark it felt. But, how do you tell? If it’s so deceptive, how do you tell if it’s just wounded pride or really is brokenness?

  13. Mart De Haan says:

    kaliko88, that’s a really good question. Let’s see if others can help with the answer…

  14. AmazedbyHisgrace says:

    Here’s another trick of satans. Leaving you confused so that you will have a road block in your path to the Lord. Whether it be wounded pride or broken Spirit, it’s not up to you to have to know or to heal yourself. Just pray and focus in on any of God’s word. He already knows your needs but it’s up to you to make that first step. Focus in on God, trust Him, read devotions as much as you can, get involved in a solid church and God will reveal and heal when it’s time.
    Along with having more things happen to me than most in a life time, I also have the hauntings that this forum speaks of. As long as my focus is on God and God’s Word is feeding me, people see a truly happy person. They have a hard time believing I’ve had the life I had. He’s helped me overcome so much. Currently, I am struggling deeply with more obstacles that are quite the burdens to bear. But you see where I am? Here. I always try and start my day with Our Daily Bread devotions, reading the bible verse first, then the story. I believe God’s blessed this devotional and has used this as a tool to guide me through so much for over 27 years!

  15. chfranke says:

    kaliko88, I just want to testify to what AmazedbyHisgrace said. I spent years reading the Bible every morning and writing as I read certain portions. Occasionally, it would seem like I was having an actual conversation with God. I told myself no, I’m just making this stuff up and it’s not really God writing these wonderful responses to my thoughts. Then I started reading “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers (which you can go to on this website). (My spine is tingling just thinking about the growth I went through during the three years I used that devotional every day.) During that period I came to know that God was with me all the time and I really was having conversations with Him, the Creator of the Universe! When you pray daily His voice becomes clearer and clearer. “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine, Oh what a foretaste of glory Divine.”

  16. poohpity says:

    I also believe that pride is a self rooted belief or thought which can lead to anger, depression and a self inflated ego. Again with this focus it is concentration on self.

    I believe that brokenness is a conviction of who we are in relation to God. A realization of our humanity which in no way no how compares to God other than being fashioned in Their likeness other than that there is no comparison. I think this is where the problems lie with the thought the we are able to do everything ourselves including knowing God. The humility comes in realizing we need God for EVERYTHING!

    I believe also that He wants communication with us because the Bible says so from the time of creation. If we know His word and learn to recognize His leading and presence we will know what is from Him and what is not. I believe we can hear His voice before we have even given our lives to Him because He can speak through everything and anything to get our attention.

    We do serve an awesome God (sounds like a song) and His desire is for us to get to know Him and in knowing Him, He reveals Himself to us in accordance with the genuine desire that we have to know Him better. If we want just a Sunday Church only relationship that will be all He reveals to us. So I guess it is up to us what kind of a relationship we want with Him and then we know there is no pride in that only submission (brokenness).

  17. nancyliu says:

    This describe to a tee about a person whom I care a lot about. I know he has a broken sprit and I have been wanting to help him to get pass it. What is the best way to help? He is married and I am a single woman and it makes it hard to approach him without risking misunderstanding.

  18. chfranke says:

    nancyliu, this is where prayer comes in. Pray for him, and trust God to work in God’s time. It may take months or years. Care for him as a brother.

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