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For by the grace given me I say to every one of you:
Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought,
but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you -Romans12:3
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 The greatest problem in relationships is thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought to think. If you have a problem in your family, it's because someone there is thinking more highly of himself or herself than he or she ought. If you have a problem in your marriage, someone in the marriage is thinking more highly of himself or herself than he or she ought. Is there a problem in your church? Guess what's at the root of it? Someone in your church is thinking more highly of himself or herself than he or she ought. What about problems in society? Does your community have a problem with race relationships? You guessed it. People from one race (or several races) are thinking of themselves more highly they ought. Are there problems between men and women? It's the same thing. Someone is thinking of himself or herself more highly than he or she ought.

 But can it really be this simple? Yes! Does the problem have a name? Yes. It's spelled P-R-I-D-E.

Pride, though, has two faces. One is superiority, and it's easy to recognize. Prideful people think they are better than others. "I pray more than you, and that makes me a better Christian." "We are the only move of God in this city. You have to do it like us or else," they say (but maybe not quite so bluntly!). It's not difficult to spot superior pride. Every hair on our body rises in protest when we are on the receiving end of it. But there is another form of pride, a more insidious form, because it mimics humility. Let me tell you how it works. People with this type of pride think more lowly of themselves than they ought. Inferior pride says, "I don't care. It doesn't matter. No one has ever cared about what I think, so why start now?" or , "I'm a worm. I've messed up my life. I'm going to marry the jerk because it's all I deserve."

This sounds humble at first, but it is actually pride. Why? Because it is not the truth. Pride involves moving outside of the truth about who we are, who others are, and who God is. True humility occurs when we move within that reality.

Inferior pride is as much a barrier to relationship as superior pride. If we are not getting along with others, either they or us or both of us are moving in pride. And we know this for certain because when two people are functioning in true humility, it is impossible for them not to get along.

So what is the antitude for pride? It is to think with sober judgment in accordance with the measuer of faith God has given us. But what is sober judgment? It is humility. It is having a correct assessment. It is recognizing who and what we really are. It is moving in the truth of who we are, who oter people are, and who God is.

A proper relationship with any other person on this planet is really a matter of humility. We may not agree with everything the other person says, but we recognize that we are called to value, care for, and embrace that person. That is the basis of good relating.

Unity in any situation is simply relationship based upon humility. If we want unity in our marriage, both we and our spouse need to be moving in humility. Both of us must be willing to say "I am sorry," willing to outdo each other in forgiveness, kindness, and servanthood. Unity is achieved the same way in our churches and youth groups.

 "It can't be that simple," you protest. But it is. The problem is that most Christians don't see it because they are in despair. They are overwhelmed by the many problems around them and don't know where to start. There is only one starting point: having a right and honest estimation of ourselves and then moving in true humility. When we can do this, we will have the faith to minister to others and bring change to their lives as well.

-Love, Sex, and Relationships, Dean Sherman

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