Pride is a mother, and if you don’t disown her you will forever be a momma’s girl with “no ugly friends.” This is the conclusion I came to years after one of my closest friends reported to us, her girls, that she told a relative “I don’t have no ugly friends.” This was about 15 years ago when we were young, fly and high on ourselves. Though I wasn’t the one to say it, the glory of having attractive friends remained in my heart. I thought of what made them cute: genetics played a big part, and then their hair, clothes, makeup and other assets added to their beauty. And they were fun to be around, but I never attributed this to their beauty. Nor did I count their wit, intelligence, kindheartedness or “breaking their back” for you style to their beauty. Now, I always recognized my sisters’ internal qualities, but these weren’t foremost in my mind. I never considered myself shallow. But after my friend made the “no ugly friends” comment, I found myself internalizing it when I was with them. When we went out, I found myself smiling a bit more, sticking my chest out and looking around to see who was looking at us. We had careers, cars, clothes, and nice homes, and we looked good. I was proud.
As I reflect on how I felt, I realize that I was being shallow, though never blatantly so. But does it matter that my friendship pride wasn’t blatant? Isn’t what matters is that I was prideful at all? I thank God that He transformed me to look more at people’s inner beauty that seemed to give them so much outer beauty. I don’t remember exactly when this began in me, but about 10 years ago I met a stay-at-home mom, with a crisp and clean outdated dress, neat home-styled hair and a peaceful smile that said “I am content.” She may not have looked the strong black woman part, but she walked it because she was sure about herself, and it wasn’t because of her outward appearance. She knew that she was beautiful and she beamed it so (1 Peter 3:3-5).
After meeting her was when I knew I wanted to be different, not dress or wear my hair like hers, but to act like her in spite of my clothes and hair. I wanted to greater emphasize the eternal and not the external and get my friends to do the same. The road is still a challenge as I seek to disown pride, become a Daddy’s girl and rejoice in my friends no matter how they look. The big switch truly is easier as I seek to let Christ reign in and shine through me.