While conscious pride may not be driving a conflict in its inception, it certainly is what enflames and sustains it because “Where there is strife, there is pride”. Bears normally retreat when startled by humans, but a mother bear protecting her cubs is far more likely to viciously attack all sudden threats. Though it looks like rage, it is actually fear. Fear is a natural response in a fight or flight situation. Humans also attack when feeling threatened. Keeping an issue out front by blaming the other person is a fear response. Projected blame protects our pride, keeping our weaknesses from being exposed. But God’s love caps off the fountainhead of strife since “Perfect love casts out all fear”. Father, bathe my soul and my tongue in Your perfect love and deliver me from angry fears.
John Bunyan’s “The Pilgrim's Progress from This World, to That Which Is to Come” is an allegory written while he was imprisoned for his Christian beliefs. Until we reach the Golden Gates of Heaven we must progress in our walk of faith here on earth. Each time I think I understand God’s ways and means He turns the diamond and new facets of His splendor emerge. For the true believer there is no spiking the ball in the end zone on this side of Glory; there is no settling down where we are in this life. Not only am I tolerant of this constantly changing status, I am genuinely thankful for it. I am being pulled toward eternal purpose that I cannot fathom but I instinctively know awaits me. So I’ll keep my shoes on until it’s over. Lord, though I struggle in Your arms, You never let me go. Keep me moving toward Your perfect will. Help me never miss a turn or stop unnecessarily. Keep me progressing toward Your perfect will.