Pride is one of the great dragons every Christian is called to face and battle. But this dragon does not usually introduce himself as a demonic fiend asking to be friends. This dragon comes as an angel of light. He comes like Halloween inside out. The fiend comes in the guise of virtue, dressed up like friend, like a conscientious and pious old lady in a Flannery O’Connor story.
One example of this is in over analyzing and lingering on our own shortcomings and failures. When we have failed, when we have not spoken as clearly as we might like, when the end product is not as sharp or elegant or tasteful as we might have hoped, there is always room to learn, to grow, and to improve. Obviously if there was sin, confess it, ask for forgiveness, and repent. But learn the lesson and move on. If you could have said it better, made a better presentation, or prepared a better dinner, take a moment to note how you might improve in the future, take steps to remember (make a mental note or an actual note), then move on.
But it’s exceedingly easy to invite the dragon over for tea. It’s easy to put a little leash on the cute fella and lead him around with us for several days or weeks or months or even years. And we remember and regret, remember and retell, remember and bring it up over and over again, constantly whipping out that little mirror checking ourselves out, all in the name of humility or weakness. But that serpent is poison. That dragon is hunting for your soul. Learn the lessons, confess the sins, and then move on.