Image by maureenml0521 via FlickrIf you've been reading some of my recent posts, maybe you've picked up on the fact that the Lord has been working in our life in regards to pride.
I woke up yesterday morning feeling, for some reason, like I should do a post about pride. I thought about it, then went about my day, beginning with my Bible study.
I read a chapter of Proverbs every day. Look at the first two verses of yesterday's reading.
"Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips." Proverbs 27:1-2
It can sneak up on us in so many different ways. There are some very obvious sources of pride - what we accomplish, what we own, maybe even who we know. I've really been more aware lately of some more subtle sources of pride.
We can be proud of how moral we are. We can be proud of how well we've handled a crisis in our life. We can be proud of how kind we are, how forgiving we are, how generous we are, or how disciplined we are.
Let's shift our view a little bit. Pride can keep you from apologizing. Pride can keep you from sharing your heart. Your weaknesses. Your failures. Your humanity.
Pride can make you wear a mask. A mask that tells everyone around you that you're the perfect family, or the perfect parent, or the perfect Christian.
But none of those things are really REAL, are they? There's no such thing as a perfect anything, except our perfect God!
Job 35:12 says, "And when they cry out, God does not answer because of their pride."
Psalm 101:5 states, "I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors. I will not endure conceit and pride."
Look at Proverbs 11:2. "Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom."
1 John 2:16 "For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world."
It is so difficult to live in this world, but not be of this world, isn't it? It is a daily, hourly battle to live for the Lord, and not for ourselves and our own pleasure!
In my life recently, the Lord has slowly been peeling away layers of pride that I've carried with me for years. Pride in my marriage has been replaced with the knowledge that this marriage is NOTHING if HE is not the daily focus and reason for living for both Ivan and I. Pride in my personality/kindness has been replaced with the knowledge that unless I love my enemies, my general kindness is WORTHLESS. We had to let go of some pride to accept a Wal-Mart gift card from some anonymous friends at church who wanted to help us make it through a tough financial month or two. (If you're reading this, thank you so much! You are Christ's love in action!)
I have to kick pride out the door every time someone comes into my house and says, "What happened to your floors?"
Pride is what makes Satan Satan. Think about that. He is who he is because of pride.
I don't want to go down that road in my life. So, I want to soak up every little thing the Lord wants to teach me about pride. I want to have a gentle, humble spirit. I want to be wise.
Man, I have a long way to go. But my God can do mighty things. I have no doubt He can change this ugly, selfish heart of mine into something that looks a little more like His.
What about you? What has the Lord been teaching you lately?