Pockets of Pride and my One Word


Today’s post is hard for me to write. The struggle hits way too close to home.

My word One Word this year is Validate.   I felt prompted to pick this word after a couple of weeks of the same two words popping up in my brain, love more. Here is what I wrote at the beginning of January.

Yet, love, didn’t seem like the word I was supposed to choose.  It’s the fruit of loving others. When we choose to love, we choose to validate.  There’s my word.  VALIDATE. This year, I want to focus more attention on acknowledging others. I want to take the time to extend overflowing acceptance and appreciation. I want others to feel seen. I want others to feel heard.

Since January 1, I’ve been taking steps to live this out in my day-to-day life.  However, I’m also beginning to recognize all the subtle ways  I choose not to live this out.  I’m becoming more aware of all the times I choose to withhold love.  This is embarrassing to admit, because it’s petty and it’s childish and it reflects a heart that has a long way to go towards loving others abundantly and with no-strings attached.

Here’s my confession:

I’ve been known to withhold Facebook “likes.” Yep, shake your head at my pettiness or laugh at how stupid this sounds, but this is one area God is convicting me about.

I sometimes quietly withhold my love for someone by choosing not to “like” their status even though I do, in fact, like their status.  Okay, so I know not all the times I do this is a reflection of my heart.  BUT, there are times that it is.  I think instances like this are scary because the other party has no clue you’re doing it.  It’s an ugliness inside me that I can keep hidden so well.  But here’s the problem. If I’m honest with myself, like I’m being in this post, I know full well that I’m doing it.  My heart knows I’m doing it, and God certainly knows I’m doing it.

I don’t want to do this anymore.  I don’t want my heart holding on to little pockets of secret bitterness. In actuality, this action (or lack of action) probably isn’t even hurting the other person. But, it is doing harm.  It hinders my ability to grow.  Anytime we withhold our love (even on stupid Facebook) we get a glimpse of  what is really going on inside our heart.

“The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable–who can understand it?” Jer 17:9 

Maybe this isn’t a problem for you.  But what about other areas of your life?  I encourage you to pause and think about ways you might be guilty of doing this too.  Do you ever subtly choose not to say or do something loving that you know (in the moment) you should do? Does a pocket of pride, hidden in that heart of yours, ever whisper withhold…nobody will even know?

Today, I’m throwing out a challenge.  Next time pride creeps in and whispers withhold, choose RIGHT THEN to do otherwise.  Choose to lavish love and validation.

10 thoughts on “Pockets of Pride and my One Word

  1. David Rupert

    What an interested self-analysis! And something I’ve never contemplated. When i saw your “one word” i was thinking you were hunting for validation. Instead, you are looking to give it. I think you are no to something. How about a goal of just one a day? Find one person who needs a good word. That’s a small, yet worthy goal we can all pursue

    1. Eileen Post author

      Interesting you should suggest that, David. That’s what I’ve been doing this month. I’ve been sending notes of encouragement to folks that the Lord has placed on my heart. I’m usually really bad at writing people notes so it’s been fun and it’s opened my eyes to relationships I’ve taken for granted.

  2. Bill (cycelguy)

    Good thoughts Eileen. I thought I was pretty over feeling bad when someone comes to the church and then decides to go elsewhere. Until yesterday when I heard someone who had come for several months, had received some help and encouragement from me, has decided to go elsewhere because we were not like the previous group she was associated with. I’m okay with that. I understand that we are not for everyone. But I heard it through the grapevine. That is what bugged me. I don’t understand common courtesy or decency (lack of it). So, yeah pride is still there. And guess what? I would have been glad to have said, “I’m glad for you.”

  3. Julie


    I love your honesty here. I’ve done the same thing with Facebook likes, but lately it’s been more of not responding to texts immediately. Not that a Facebook likes or responding to texts determine our love towards each other, but you’re right about growth. I’ve withheld both in the past due to hurt or resentment but it really took God correcting/convicting me to come to a place of humility.

    Recently, I weeded a good chunk of my Facebook “friends”. I deleted a lot of folks. Not for the purpose of growth but because they were never any one I talked to daily or at all. They never contributed or added anything to my life outside the social media realm. I made the decision based on pride and hurt, not from a place of love. I was quick to react than think through it.

    It says in scripture we are to love each other. Liking Facebook statuses and deleting people from our Facebook aren’t a determination of our love towards each other but you’re right, it represents what’s in our hearts. The online world feels more like we’re all competing with each other rather than being in community with one another.

    I don’t really know how to navigate through this in a healthy way. Loving people is an area I am still trying to improve. Not because I don’t want to but because of pride and hurt, love somehow gets pushed further down between the layers of what Scripture clearly states is right and wrong.

    You’re not alone, Eileen. I completely understand. We’ll get through it together.

    Love you! 🙂

    1. Eileen Post author

      Julie, thank you for sharing. You explain it so well too. As you pointed out, “likes” are no type of determination for our love for someone. But, we do need to pause and look at the motives and attitude of our hearts when we withhold love. Are we bitter, are we comparing are we jealous? I just know it’s the secret things like this that tend to eat away at our hearts the most.

  4. Janet Macy

    Thanks for your honesty, Eileen. I chose the One Word ‘grace’ for the same reason you chose ‘validate’.

    I want to be a person who gives grace. I had this word wandering around in my head and then I read Lysa TerKeurst words: – ” ‘today, I will be a woman who extends grace. Who holds her tongue. Who tames her anger. Who follows hard after God’s own heart and walks in His ways, through His strength!'”

    That confirmed my need to claim that One Word. I’m already wishing I’d chosen an easier word. 🙂

    I love your word and what you are doing with it. keep on keeping on .

    1. Eileen Post author

      Grace is a wonderful word to focus on, Janet. Excited to see where it leads you this year. Yes, the words really do have a way of challenging us.

      1. Janet Macy

        It’s amazing how much having a One Word changes how you think. It’s been a wonderful tool and encouragement to me the last 3 years. I’m so glad you and others gave me information to even do such a thing. This year I even have my word on a necklace.


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