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There is one kind of “sharing” which makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little.

While I am sure it happens across all demographic groups, it seems especially prevalent among Asian American college students.  Tell me if you’ve been there yourself:

It’s sharing time.  Perhaps it’s the weekly college fellowship meeting, or it’s the annual college fellowship retreat and everyone is gathered around a campfire, sitting silently, waiting for someone to break the ice and start sharing.  After awhile, an intrepid soul stands up, shares.   Then another.  And invariably, there will be some guy or gal who stands up to share and you just know what’s coming next.

He doesn’t want to share this, he says by way of introduction, with firelight dancing dramatically across his somber face, but God really wants him to share.  God has been teaching him a lesson this year, a lesson about . . . (drum roll please) . . . pride.  Pride over his grades, pride over his achievements, pride over other things, too (read: looks, popularity, athleticism, ability to come off as spiritual).

This kind of sharing really bothers me because this “confession” of pride is often nothing more than a thinly-veiled advertisement for how wonderful this person is.  He has so much to be proud about.  His intellectual success…check.  His athletic prowess…check.  His popularity ranking…check.  Weighed down by the trophies of so much success, he has befallen the temptation of pride, and now he would like the world to know about how bad he feels about his intellectual spiritual athletic brilliance pride.  For make no mistake: this is the kind of (seemingly) self-deprecating sharing that is wholly self-congratulatory and self-promoting.  It is also the kind of confession from which the confessor comes away with an enhanced spiritual reputation – oh, what a humble man of God! – rather than with true dust-and-ashes contrition and repentance.   And so this paragon of brilliant success has just found a way to become a paragon of spirituality in one fell swoop.    

There are some confessions/sharings that are meant to be made in the public forum, e.g. when a public sin has occurred.  Then there are some confessions which, if true, are done in solitude, on knees and tear-stained faces, dealing solely with God, just you and God alone.  The confession of pride falls in the latter category.  Anyone sharing a public confession of individual pride has some other agenda at work.

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One Comment

  1. Haha, right on. Never thought of that before. Love your blog.


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