Photo Courtesy: National Media Museum flickr photostream
It’s interesting how much Isaiah talks about God humbling people and how all those who are proud will be brought low to the dust in various places throughout the text. The world of music and pride seem to work rather hand in hand so here are some things I’m pondering about pride…
- Pride chooses not to give proper credit. Whether it’s taking pride for something you didn’t actually accomplish or whether it is not giving glory to God who helped you get to where you are, there are various ways it can take shape. In Isaiah 23:9, it says “The Lord of hosts has purposed it, to bring to dishonor the pride of all glory, to bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth.” Being in the world of music can open one’s eyes to various forms of pride of life through image, inflated ego and overall sense of place in the world. It doesn’t take but a few compliments, some positive career moves and some recognition to make one lowly artist start to think they have something good. Forgetting where this came from displaces the glory and begins to feed sense of self as it morphs into a monster.
- Pride elevates our sense of our placement in the world and amongst others. We know that we are all human and that we make mistakes and that others are created in His image. Oftentimes, we forget this when we have ugly thoughts and attitudes in our mind or make rash judgments at a situation before really taking the time to get to know what is going on or to see another point of view. At times, it seems as if musicians are seen as those who had the gift of prophecy- as the best of all the gifts. We put them on a stage and we idolize their every move, because they have something that some of us can only dream of having. This strangely isn’t true- and various artists have different skills. If you only knew how much each artist really wishes they could be like their influences and how they doubt themselves on a daily basis, you might not place them so high on rungs of the ladder of idolization. One is a hand and one is a foot, but gifts like drawing, sculpting, horticulture, math savvy, memorization, communication, people skills, conflict resolution skills, management, scientific smarts, and inventing are all types of skills that are important and creative in their own rights. Music is just one piece of a larger creative pie that we all take part in.
- Self is at the root of pride. Pride whispers to us that we deserve so much more. Pride tells that we are so much better than the person less nicely dressed. Pride makes us believe that we are more attractive than someone else and therefore should be treated better or have more opportunities in life. Pride makes us burn with anger when corrected by someone. Pride causes us to disengage ourselves from those who need us and have loved us since we were young. Pride is envious of others success and being angry that we don’t have it for our own.
- Pride will one day be irrelevant. Either the ones who have lived and reveled in their own pride and self-worth will be brought low by the Maker of the world or those who have humbled themselves will be exalted not of anything of their own doing but by their attitude toward the One ruling all.
May we as musicians really strive to lay pride aside, do what we love and have been given as gifts to share with the world. May we not think of ourselves higher than we ought. May we play with fervor but not with pride. May we let ourselves be vessels of song and lay our gifts at the Feet of Him from whom all blessing flow.
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