The Cure To Vainglory

In my previous post we spoke about what Vainglory is and how destructive it can be to the human spirit. In this post I’d like to explore its origins and the cure. Remember, we can’t totally cure this so the title is somewhat misleading. While we remain in the body the cure to vainglory is non-existent but we can do a few things that will at least bring it from a raging fire to a glowing ember.

The origin of vainglory is Pride, the root and mother of all sin. The origin of pride is the Devil and then we have original sin. But that’s not all. Vainglory is like a virus that is passed from one generation to the next and is not perceived to us as being a disease but something “natural”. However, unlike Adam and Eve, lets not blame any of these for our condition. Playing the blame game is what got us into this mess in the first place instead of simply taking responsibility for ones own actions.

Playing the blame game does not cure anything at all, only makes matters worse. While we could certainly say that being born into a culture or type of original sin plays an influence, in the end we are responsible for who we are and what we’ve become. That is actually the first step towards a cure to own oneself and be willing to take that finger you’re pointing at the world and towards oneself not only takes courage, but the grace of God.

How do we get on the path to recovery from vainglory? by being aware that the embers of original sin in us were fanned by the culture around us who themselves were set alight by their fathers before them and so it goes on. Becoming disillusioned with the self and the world around you is important. What you were taught, how you behave, the reason why you behave that way and where it comes from. All of this is crucial to ones spiritual development.

Some Christians say to me “Grace of God helps”, but isn’t awareness of oneself a grace? Yes. Even the act of getting off your chair of spiritual indifference and laziness to seek out God is a Grace. If you’re reading this and taking it seriously, examining everything I’m saying and taking it all in, that’s a Grace too. Everything that leads a person to the Lord is a Grace combined with the free will of the person responding to it in good faith.

Don’t look only at your own culture but the world over. Question all of it. Look at how they all behave the same way, fighting one another to have the respect and glory of the world around them. Look at how miserable it is. Examine yourself when you are praised by others and that thrill you get and compare it with the feeling of compassion you feel for your wife. The one is counterfeit and short lived, the other more eternal. the former is transient and does not last whereas the latter is ongoing should it be sincere.

Observe your behaviour when a person does not praise you no matter how good you dance for them. What happens you? Depression and sadness sink in. Now, ask yourself, “Why am I sad because this person does not have a good opinion of me?” Go ahead think about that for a moment and try to answer it because I can’t help myself and want to answer it for you.

Ready? It’s because you were taught that when someone praises you, you’re supposed to be happy and when someone rejects you were supposed to get sad. And you know what else? You were taught that it’s all “natural” hahahahahahaha. When you are happy regardless of the good or bad opinion of others then you truly have shed the garments of peasantry and although you walk among the rich or poor yet truly you are a King.

Saint Paul said “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (Philippians:4:12)

Now, lets dare to rephrase that. How about we put it like this. “I know what it is to be praised, and I know what is to be insulted. I have learned the secret to being content in any and every situation, whether given lots of praise or none at all, whether living with the good opinion of others or in want of it.”

Look at how anxious you are to get the good opinion of your Boss because you foolishly think you can’t be happy without it. Now, LAUGH IT THE ABSURDITY OF IT. I find that helps. Catch yourself right at the moment you begin to feel down because you haven’t got your Fathers approval and LAUGH AT THE INSANITY OF IT. Tell this stupid drug of vainglory it is no longer your master and you will no longer be its slave.

I have found you out. I have routed you and although I continue to feel the jolt from the stomping of your feet on my soul, yet my awareness of you will be the end of you. Apply this not only to vainglory but all the passions of the soul and you will, with the Grace of God, brick by brick dismantle the prison you built for yourself with the help of the culture around you.

In training martial arts (Krav Maga) we done an exercise where they all jump on top of me. It was a massive group that piled on me and I had to fight, kick and scream my way out of it. Be like that with the passions and demons that smother your soul. Use every fiber of your being to kick, scream and pull yourself from the wreckage the world dumped on you since you were a child.

Get out of it. Become disillusioned with the world and take the Kingdom of God by violence. For “the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it.” (Matthew:11:12)

If you want to break free from Vainglory you’ve got to fight. . . so. . . FIGHT.



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