Our ego is like a built in pressure relief valve for when we start to think of ourselves as being more spiritual, moral, or virtuous than others.
Just as we begin to think we are doing great, that we are really making progress, our ego rears its ugly head and shatters our illusions of righteousness.
Perhaps this is God’s little inside joke to keep us humble and to keep us working toward perfection.
It is nearly impossible for us, it seems, to enjoy the fruits of our personal, relational, and spiritual growth without pridefully taking some of the credit for our progress.
Our pride is what trips us up.
We feel as though we are doing well, like we have transcended some of our grosser shortcomings, and that we are finally becoming the spiritual beings we aspire to become and then, inevitably, with pride fueling it, our ego begins to take charge and ruins the whole thing.
We say or do something we wish we hadn’t and suddenly find ourselves questioning if we have made any progress at all.
This is part of the process, however.
We have to die these little ego-driven deaths in order to be reborn of the spirit over and over again.
It must be this way so that we know who truly deserves the credit for whatever degree of spirituality, morality, or virtue we may manifest in our lives.
We are not the source of our goodness and we need to be reminded of this from time to time so that we can turn our minds and hearts back to who is.