As a child I was given good principles, but left to follow them in pride and conceit.
-Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice
When I was sixteen I fell in love with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Something about the language enraptured me. The story reminded me of Beauty and the Beast, my favorite fairy tale. Through the years, though, it has become much more to me than just a story. To me, there are many life applications in this, my favorite novel. The most recent has been the conviction that many of us (and myself in particular) fall into pride like the main characters. To see what pride looks like, watch Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. They both exhibit pride (and prejudice!). Mr. Darcy’s pride is apparent, whereas
covers hers with laughter. She pretends to be the “everywoman” and to eschew pretension, but she secretly thinks that her understanding is superior to everyone else’s. Elizabeth
We know what apparent pride looks like, but secret pride is hard to pinpoint. We go to church and we say all of the right words. We sing the songs and smile and shake hands and pretend to love everyone. But when push comes to shove, we look down on those who are different from us. Yes, even when they aren’t all that different! We don’t truly love and accept others the way Christ loves and accepts us! We don’t extend the same grace to others that we want (and need!) extended to us! We think that we are superior in some way: “their marriage is unhappy;” “their children are unruly;” “their clothes aren’t just right;” “they never talk;” “they talk too much;” or whatever small thing that irks us.
It is certainly not easy to love and accept others the way that we should, but that is what Christ has called us to do.
Of course, that is easier said than done, and I don’t have all of the answers to the “how.” What I do have is the example of Christ: the One who walked and talked and supped with sinners just like me.