Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses,
but our pride is in the name of the Lord our God.
They will collapse and fall,
but we shall rise and stand upright. Psalm 20:7-8
From the moment we wake til we fall asleep, this world inundates us with the desire for things. We’re exposed to more than 10,000 brand messages in an average day.
Each one of those messages is selling something different, but they all contain one consistent message: you will be more worthy, more successful, and by all means happier the more, and more expensive, things you possess.
Taking pride in our possessions has become the hallmark of our society. We define ourselves by our possessions, and by how our possessions compare to our neighbors’ possessions. The more we have, and the better it compares to our neighbors’ stuff, the more pride we feel.
Pride comes from the Old English word “prud,” meaning to be arrogant or act haughtily, a feeling of being better than others, or having inordinate self-esteem. The more we possess, and the more it costs, the more important we are.
The psalmist, however, reminds us this is all bunk. All our possessions, the things we jealously collect, and on which we build our worldly pride, will collapse and fall. All things of this world will fade away, and our bodies will wither faster than most of the things in which we place our egoic pride.
But, our faith points to a source of fulfillment that does not diminish. Our true worth is in our oneness with God, in accepting that we are made in God’s image, and in the love God gives with no concern for our possessions, our titles, or our deeds.
When we accept God as our one true and eternal source we must also accept that we could never be worth any more or less than any other child of God. In God’s eyes we all are equal, and equally loved, and no worldly concerns can ever tarnish the power of that love. In that love we all shall rise and stand upright.
God, help us today to embrace our true source of worth, to open our spirits entirely to the power of your love, and to place our trust and our joy not in earthly possessions, but in our birthright as heirs to your eternal Kingdom. Amen.