Whenever someone brings up the issue of pride, that country song, ‘Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble’ immediately starts to play in my head.
While I can’t agree with the rest of the lyrics (I can’t wait to look in the mirror because I get better looking each day), I can understand his issues with pride. As a Christian woman in today’s society that constantly bombards me with the cat poster messages that I can do it on my own, that if I believe it I can achieve it, or the sky is the limit to your success (I’m pretty sure I have that poster in my classroom…). Sometimes, it can be all too easy to listen, to buy into the message, and to let my thoughts be overtaken by that self-empowerment mentality and start to think that I can accomplish things on my own.
The essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchasity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere flea bites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind. -C.S. Lewis
Ouch, truth bomb.
But he’s totes right.
Just this week, I have been working on my research proposal for my next-to-last Master’s class. The work has been painful, at best. I’ve researched and read dozens of articles on my topic. While working on my final project, I needed to go back to my class’s webpage to check on the rubric when I saw I had a new grade posted. I expected to see a 100 or 99, but I saw a 0. Escu me?!
When I clicked on the comments, the advisor said it was good work but I needed to talk to my professor about my topic. Immediately, anger flooded my entire body, which does not happen easily or frequently. I was ready to unleash a whole lotta nasty on someone. How could I receive a 0? Why is she just now telling me, a week away from the end of the class, that there may be an issue with my topic? Wait to I get a hold of the end-of-class survey….I’ll show you whose topic needs adjusting….
Pride, that disgusting beast, took over.
Luckily, Jesus reeled me back in, as He always does.
Proverbs 29:23 says, "A person’s pride will humble him, but a humble spirit will gain honor."
I was totally blind to my pride that was going unchecked with my class work. The weekly grades, which normally were far above average, kept fueling my ego, tempting to think, Look what I have done. Look how smart I am. Me me me. I know God put that gentle little reminder into my week to give me a hearty spoonful of humility and to remind me I didn’t accomplish anything, rather He accomplished through me.
Now, on the flipside of pride, there is confidence.
I’m not talking about Ross's leather pants confidence (if you own and wear leather pants, please continue to rock them for those of us who can’t find the strength to do so). When you’re confidence comes completely from yourself, that’s still pride. You’ve got to kiss that good-bye, as we are called to “die to ourselves”. But you also don’t want to push that too far into the land of self-depreciation.
A wise woman from my church once said, “Self-depreciation is thinking less of yourself. Humility is thinking of yourself less.”
Instead of having a pity-party for one, dying to ourselves should mean letting the needs of others come before our own. Once we have done that, we can replace that pride with confidence in God, recognizing only He can strengthen us.
How can you put all your confidence into God? By remembering that the work has already been done on our behalf. So stop striving! In this life, there are no gold stars to earn in order to gain eternal salvation. We just have to accept what Christ so freely and graciously offers to us: unconditional love. Knowing that we have eternal security, we gain confidence that nothing- pain, suffering, sadness, illness, death- can separate that love from us. And that, my friends, gives me confidence to go about my daily life, knowing I am supplied with the tools I need to glorify Him through all I do.
Okay y’all. It’s time to put on those leather pants for His glory.
1. Take 5 minutes to have a chat with God about where you are prideful in your life. If you have a hard time recognizing it, ask Him to make it apparent (He’ll do it. Don’t worry).
2. Ask Him to replace your anti-God state of mind with humility, and to grant you confidence in Him.
3. Meditate on Proverbs 27:1-2- Don’t boast about tomorrow, if you don’t know what a day might bring. Let another praise you, and not your own mouth- a stranger, and not your own lips.
Have a fabulous Monday, you wonderful person, you! See ya tomorrow!
Healthy Happy Texan
I'm a Foodie, Fitness Instructor, and Follower of Christ. Add a passion for teaching others, dark chocolate, bacon, and dogs -- and that's me in a box.
Come on, let's live a little!