In which I read…gleen…and write on my heart

by Craig on January 12, 2012


In Bernard of Clairvaux’s 12 steps of pride…
steps that he says, in the end, prevent grace…
step number 6 is called “conceit”…
accepting all the flattering words…
ignoring the critical ones.

(If you’d like to peek at the previous steps…one is here, and two is here, three here, four here, and five)

He says that this 6th step is a voice that cries…

“I am in no need of that correction, I already know about it. Move on”

It’s one thing to know my weaknesses.
But knowing the weakness is not the same as defeating it.

I know I’ve been “conceited” in this way. I am “conceited” in this way.

I’m a confusing little mess on this one – even to myself.

I heart flattering words…
but at the same time…
I reject and dismiss them…
almost as soon as I hear them.

I’m working on that.

And I don’t heart the tough words…
yet it’s only the tough ones that stick…
and not only stick, but I magnify them…
and they end up tougher and harsher than they began.

Both of these things…


are camouflaged versions of Bernard’s 6th step of “conceit”.

If I am to learn humility, it’s time to accept and act upon advice given in love – and not dismiss it because “I already know”. It’s time to literally grab some loving correction from the air and write it on my heart, like something else…

“I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts…” (Jer 31:33)

Don’t we all have a pretty good idea of what Jesus would do in practically any situation?

like that…
written on my heart.

So I’m going to be looking back on this last year of blogging – my first year of blogging. I’ll be going through the comments you’ve been so nice to leave, and I’m going to glean the wisdom.

A voluntary step away from pride and toward humility…
because the more voluntary steps I take toward humility…
the less need there will be for any humiliation.


I don’t heart humiliation.

I’ll reverse what Bernard wrote, and change it from…

“I am in no need of that correction, I already know about it. Move on”


I am in need of correction…

so even if I know about it…

I won’t pass by it…

but instead…

pause and reflect…

and write it…

…♥✞ღ …

on. my. heart.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Cora January 12, 2012 at 10:04 am

Craig, you opened a door in my own heart which has been creaking and buldging to be opened now for a while. Thank you for being open and honest here and for baring your own heart, for in doing so, I’ve had to bare my own and look at it. As I look back over my Christian walk, I remember in the 80’s being in a group that was going through Larry Crabb’s “Inside Out”. What I remember was, we were all aiming towards being honest, and taking the risk to share our REAL selves with the others in the group, even if it showed our weaknesses, fears, and torments and hurts. It was really harder than I thought it would be. It’s one thing to think it, to “know it”, but to say it was really difficult.

That brings me to your post: As difficult as it was to voice my heart, it was almost impossible to accept the “truth given in love” as others could see the problem and had real, concrete, doable solutions. I can still hear myself whining, “Yeahhhhh, I know, BUT. . . .”
As I hear the echo of those words and excuses, I hear my heart saying, “Though I don’t like it this way, I will not risk change and will stay where I am.” And yes, in my conceit, would fake some kind of nice humility and say something like, “Thank you so much for that, and I will pray about it.” Never did. Never intended to. And so. . . . pride grew stronger in the conceit of thinking I did not need to change anything.

I think I want to read this book. It sounds like we have the names to 12 more horses, don’t we????


Craig January 12, 2012 at 1:22 pm

and to think – he wrote this stuff a thousand years ago – times don’t change – we just get more technology. And technically these are not horses – they’re……..ummm….. sins and transgressions – even more harmful than horses ツ pride is a sneaky thing – it’s the original sin – the very first one – before Adam and Eve. And I’m wondering if you saw the lizard among the leaves in the second picture – because I glanced down at A’s comment and noticed that she didn’t see it. Get it – camouflage – I worked really hard at that – and I want it noticed darnit! ツ God bless you Cora!


Cora January 12, 2012 at 2:49 pm

I think I wrote my comment before the picture was there. I didn’t even see that green stuff til I went back — but then the cat (I mean the lizzard thing) was out of the bag!!!! So neat, though.

And yes, they ARE sin, not just voices. Pride is sneaky because it wears so many disguises. Even if I’m humble, if I notice it, like it, and think I’m great at being humble, then I’m not. I hate that when it happens. I do something good with the right motives and intentions, then I notice that I did it, pat myself on the back, puff up, and poof . . . it’s burned up like hay wood and stubble. Pooh!!!!!


Craig January 13, 2012 at 9:09 am

I think you’re right Cora – you got the early edition – so you’re excused from the big lizard cover up ツand cat out of the bag? *snort* – pride is so sneaky – as you put it – we even sometimes get proud of our humility – how insidious is that?! God bless you my friend!


Nacole January 12, 2012 at 10:31 am

LOVE the hello kitty picture! that is Laska, isnt it? if so, i cant believe you dressed him up like that! shame, shame! but oh im glad you did, for the laugh it gave me. 😉

you are SO brave! to admit here that you need and plan to go back and read all the comments, all the advice, all the wisdom! thank you for sharing in such humility…this helps me. you have a courageous heart to do this!!! i fully support you on this.

thanks for taking us through these steps. maybe i will read this book too.


Craig January 12, 2012 at 1:27 pm

first – I agree – that picture is priceless. A hello Kitty hat – on a Kitty – seriously – snort. Second, it’s not Laska. With all my pictures that are mine – I’ll leave them un-cited – but if you notice to the right and down a little bit from every picture – where it says source – if you click on that it takes you to where I got the picture. And it’s not so brave going back and rereading the wisdom from my comments – I really, really, really heart my comments – and I learn so much from them. Problem is – I always forget what I learn – so I’ll need the review ツ God bless you Nacole.


A. January 12, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I loved the kitty pic, also! He looks soooo humiliated! :) Also, for some unexpected reason, loved the plant picture…so bursting with freshness in this dark and gray (with some white) time of year. I think I will add buying a fresh, inspiring plant to my list of things to do/try per what I said on your other post. I am glad this is a two-post day! Thanks, Craig!

I would like to read the book, also. I am glad you are sharing your heart here, your crumbles of imperfection and Bernard’s wisdom mixed with your own insights. this is all helpful. Can be painful, too, at times, can’t it?


Craig January 12, 2012 at 1:31 pm

by the way,like I said to Cora – the middle picture has a lizard in the middle of it – that was the whole point of the picture – if you don’t tell me that you got that – well – I won’t cry – because I’m all – a man – and all – but I’ll be sad ツand all of the sharing – it’s never painful – just a little scary because I spent a lifetime pretending to have no problems – pretending not to be broken – it’s just time to not pretend anymore – because all of us are broken. God bless you A.


A. January 12, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Oh, dear! I confess, Craig that that ole lizard succeeded in foolin’ I totally was enjoying the leaves. I can be really shallow like that sometimes. Just totally miss the forest, the trees, and everything else going on because something insignificant gets all ‘ooooh shiny’ to me. I am grateful you are man enough to my stunning oversight. And don’t be sad…just go pet Laska and things will be all good again. And you can be thankful I just gave you a free gratitude for you next list…that you are blessed to see lizards when they are trying to hide! :)


Craig January 13, 2012 at 9:04 am

it’s okay that you missed him – he’s camouflaged – that’s the whole point ツ there’s always just a little bit more to my pictures than one might think. I heart pictures – one of my favorite things about blogging ツ God bless you A.


Martha Orlando January 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm

I’m glad I looked at the comment from A. or I, too, would have missed seeing the lizard in the leaves. How wrapped up we can become in ourselves, our goals, our stuff that we don’t see the larger picture. The truth hidden because we can’t bother to look, really look, at the way things are. And, the way they could be . . .
I don’t heart humiliation either . . . but, when it happens, we can learn so much.
If we look for the lizard in the leaves . . .
Blessings always, Craig!


Craig January 13, 2012 at 8:59 am

Martha, I’ve since added a caption to the lizard picture – or the leaf picture – whatever it is ツ some sins are open and easy to see – some are private and almost invisible to everybody – except God. Blessings to you to my friend!


Victoria January 13, 2012 at 10:24 am

and. consequently…grow. :)


Craig January 15, 2012 at 5:11 am

ugh – yes – and. consequently…grow. ツ God bless you Victoria/.


Debbie January 15, 2012 at 11:00 am

Ah Craig, thank you. To actually voluntarily step toward humility . . .I don’t know, but this got me. It what I want, so why wait to be humiliated, which isn’t what I want? God bless you as you show us things . . .things that hide like lizards in leaves. :) (no, I didn’t see it right off the bat either. had to go back! )


Craig January 16, 2012 at 1:45 pm

I’m learning as I get further along in this relationship we share with our Lord – that if we have a character flaw that needs addressing – that God wants us to address – it’s better to do it ourselves then have him do it – he’s not so concerned about the trivial things like pain when he trims branches – know what I mean? And that picture? I heart that lizard picture! God bless you Debbie!


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