Updated: Jan 28
IFB teaches that if something goes wrong, it's always your fault but if something goes right, God did it.
Proverbs 16:18 reads: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
If you were raised IFB, I guarantee this verse was thrown around quite a lot in your house. Pride was letting Satan in because it is a sin and therefore are you not giving the Glory to God where it belongs, but you are also insulting Him.
This kind of thinking leads to children who cannot feel any sense of accomplishment and often parents who are unable or unwillingly to praise their own children. Give an IFB-er a compliment and see them squirm. Go into an IFB home and see if you find certificates, medals, or trophies on the mantel or inside a child's room.
What does this do to us as adults?
Friends, partners, and spouses find it frustrating that when they give you a compliment you immediately deflect. It is such a knee-jerk reaction that former IFB-ers don't even recognize they are doing it. It can take years to reprogram your mind to accept praise without fearing Heavenly judgement.
Consider: When someone compliments you, say instead of "thank you" (which triggers a wave of discomfort and/or fear)..."I appreciate you noticing that. That is so kind of you."
Succeeding in your career is considered good in the IFB only because it allows you to tithe more, have more children, and support the church in any way they think is needed including donating to foreign missionaries. Climbing the corporate ladder or being able to buy nice things or a bigger house is not encouraged. It is a sign of pride to have a large house and more than 2 cars. So, often IFB-ers will not attempt to get that promotion or raise that they rightly deserve. Forget having a boss or co-worker come up to you in front of others and praise your work. A normal person would graciously accept and feel satisfied with their work. IFB-ers will shrink from the praise and feel a sort of panic if they accept the praise even for a moment, God might take their job as punishment for their sin of pride.
Consider: Hard work should be recognized and involves a good work ethic. Take the word “pride” out of it. Acknowledging your success is simply that…acknowledging where you are. It helps guide you to where you want to be. Consider it a guide map to becoming the best at your chosen profession.
Taking the fear and retribution away from patting yourself on the back is truly freeing. Just saying the words “I’m proud of myself for….” Makes you look around waiting for the thunder bolt! Try it a few times to yourself. Say out loud, “I’m proud of myself for…” and see what happens. Go out of your way to tell other people in your life how proud you are of them and who they are and what they are doing with their lives. Get in the practice and soon you’ll see it will help you build a good and healthy relationship with yourself and be proud of the milestones in your new life.
Consider: Replace the word "proud" with "thankful" to start. "I'm thankful I got that promotion. I worked hard." Feel blessed while acknowledging the work you put into.
Pride is not a four letter word. Like most words it can be negative. When it is replaced with arrogance or superiority then it is not good. However, when used to simply acknowledge hard work and progress in your life and relationships, it is a word worth repeating often.
IFB Overcomers is an online resource for those who have left Independent Fundamentalism and are looking to heal and discover themselves. With a podcast, webinars, forum, blog and resources, we hope to help retrain your heart and mind from the mindset of the IFB and help you not only survive but overcome and then thrive!