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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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The Pride Effect

by Kathy Douglas

I saw how pride damaged my friendsí relationships. Then it took a toll on mine.

     “Then he forgot to call me. I couldn’t believe it!” Lisa said. “You should’ve seen his face when he showed up on my doorstep all sorry.”

    “You didn’t let him get away with it, did you?” asked Terri.
    “Are you kidding?” Lisa screamed. “You know I made him pay big for that one.”
    They both laughed as if they were telling a joke instead of talking about a relationship. As I walked to class after lunch, I thought about my relationship with my boyfriend. Do I treat Mike that way? It seemed to me that my friends had their priorities all out of whack.
    Cheri met me before class. I gave her a hug, but she didn’t smile when she said, “Hi.”
    “What’s wrong?” I asked.
    “Brooke is mad at me and won’t tell me why,” she responded.
    “I thought you guys were good friends.”
    “I thought so too,” she agreed. “I asked her if she was mad at me, and she said yes. When I asked her why, she said she didn’t want to talk about it.”
    “I’m sorry,” I said and gave her another hug. What’s the matter with people? I wondered.
    A few days later I experienced a busy Sabbath morning. My little brother used my towel, so I had to find a dry one before I could shower. I spilled my breakfast on my dress, so I had to change clothes. My cat ran off with my key chain, so I had to search for my car keys. To top it off, I got caught on a two-lane, winding country road behind someone driving 10 miles under the speed limit, which caused me to run a little late for church.
    When I pulled into the church parking lot, Mike was waiting outside for me.   “Where have you been?” he asked as he scowled.
    Mike hates being late, and he hates it when I’m late. “I got stuck behind a slow driver,” I told him. I didn’t want to recount all the morning’s mishaps, or we’d be really late. I headed toward the church door.
    “I’m not going in there right now,” Mike said. We usually sit in the front pew with my family. Mike gets easily embarrassed, so his reaction didn’t surprise me.
    “Fine,” I said as I turned and walked into the building. I found my family in their regular place. They’d saved a spot for Mike and me. I sat down and joined in the singing. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Mike slip into the back pew and sit next to one of his friends.
    At first it didn’t really bother me, but then I started thinking, Everyone knows Mike sits by me. If he’s not sitting with me, everyone will know something’s wrong.
    I felt a sting in the back of my throat. My face started getting hot. My eyes blurred with tears. I tried wiping my eyes without being noticed, but I knew my face looked red and blotchy—it always got that way when I cried, making it even more obvious that Mike and I were were having a problem.
    I’d been doing really well lately—I hadn’t been late for anything in months. It’s really unfair for Mike to make such a big deal about one little mistake, I fumed to myself.
    A few minutes later when the congregation stood up, Mike slipped into my pew and stood next to me. I knew that it was a big gesture for him. While it was his way of apologizing, I still felt angry.
    I sat down next to him but not too close. He’s not going to get off that easy, I thought. I stared away from him, not really listening to the sermon.
    Pride! The thought entered my mind like an explosion. I thought about Lisa, Terri, Cheri, and Brooke. I knew pride was a sin, but what did it have to do with how I was feeling? Aside from my own pride, did I have any reason to be upset with Mike? It was all about pride—Lisa’s treatment of her boyfriend, and
Brooke’s refusal to talk to Cheri.
    God says we need to forgive everyone. He says we need to keep forgiving, even 77 times (Matthew 18:22)!
    I couldn’t help comparing Mike’s and my situation to my relationship with God. I wondered, Do I sometimes let my pride stop me from accepting God’s offer of grace? Do I blame Him for my mistakes? Do I turn my back on Him when He opens His arms to me?
    I looked at Mike and knew the matter was finished—there was no need to talk about it. I also knew that I didn’t want to let pride get in the way of any of my relationships.
    Kathy Douglas enjoys writing, and she feels that it’s important to use the gifts God’s given us to bless others.    

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