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The little donkey

The Vineyard

Dear Friends,

I resent pride in others, or how easily some wilt when they are ignored, and how some others just “give up”, when they feel that their efforts are not fully appreciated. I know these things when I see them, and when Christian men, in particular are so puerile, I want to have nothing to do with them.

Yet, as I honestly assess my own responses to rebukes or lack of appreciation, I realize that this childish behavior still shows itself in my life. Yes, I see it clearly, at times, and I am at a loss to explain how it can still be in my heart after all I have seen and been through!

Isn’t it these three things (pride, being ignored and not being appreciated) that causes most of the problems within our churches, families and ministries? At the heart of the problem is simply this: Secretly I think more highly of myself than I should. Without telling anyone, I am annoyed that my ideas, suggestions and work is ignored. I would never admit it, but I have this aggravating idea that people don’t appreciate just how smart and talented I am.

Mankind has not really “evolved” or improved in these matters, it seems to me. And though I find my own pride and petty whining disgusting, the same vices are common to all of us—-particularly to those that think they are “pretty good people”.

So what am I to do? First, I need to stop getting so bent out of shape with others’ pride till I can bridle my own. Next, to remind myself each day that every man is in someway my superior (Carneige) and to consider the needs of others more important than my own (Saint Paul). This leaves very little room for pride and sets me up to live and learn (from watching others).

It’s said that Francis of Assisi always referred to himself as a donkey (actually an “ass”) and, as a result, never really took himself seriously (who takes a donkey seriously) but never hated himself either (who could hate a silly little donkey). We once had a donkey at camp and one of staff named it after me. It seemed quite fitting then and now.


Dean Barley

The Vineyard

336 351 2070

919 360 8493 (Mobile)

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