I have listened to many sermons in my life. Time and again I have heard that “Pride” is one of two roots from which all sin in our lives stem. I have thought about this, pondered it, and studied it for myself. After hours of self-reflection and personal investigation through Bible study, prayer, and looking with a magnified set of “readers” into my own life, I would say I 100% agree that Pride is the root of a majority of sin in my life.
I have found there are several kinds of pride that exist. One type would be obvious pride that anyone can see in us, but is hidden from our view. Sometimes pride exists but we label it as something else. And then there is a pride that exists that we view as God-given….which can be lethal!!!
For me, the pride investigation is ongoing, a work and discovery in process. NOT FUN at ALL, even embarrassing at times, but rewarding nonetheless. I do wholeheartedly believe in the short phrase many of us have read or heard, “NO PAIN, NO GAIN!” This is where I have chosen to live the “Back 9” of my life! Reading Andy Stanley’s new book on being rich, oh so convicting. Reading biographies about people many have never heard of but who have done great things for God. I am sure I will be looking at the backs of their heads in heaven one day! I have mentioned this book before but it is worth mentioning again, Tony Campolo’s book, “Who Switched the Price Tags?” This book, along with Mark Batterson’s book, “All IN,” have been used, coupled always with my Bible time, to help me discover the unseen areas of pride in my life.
Control is an area where I have been very prideful. It is laughable now, how naive and “down right stupid” I have been to think I am in control of my life and others!!! Seriously, I have been a Bible reader for most of my life, but I was reading without seeing! Does anyone relate?????? Making this discovery for myself has been life changing…..the way I would describe it? There was a time in my life when reading the Bible was like getting in the car and driving to the grocery store and not remembering anything about the drive……….it was so familiar and so routine…such a habit…..That was what God’s Word had become to me–routine, habit, familiar. I really wasn’t paying attention to how it pertained to me personally! I now, just to be perfectly honest, feel like I am standing “naked” in front of you readers! LOL….not comfortable at all!! But as God has called me into this ministry, part of the call is to be “transparent!” I don’t pretend to be like Jesus at all (but am seeking to be). But if He can be stripped naked, beaten, and hung on a cross for me, then I can spend the Back 9 being naked before Him and transparent to the people He puts in my path….to encourage them to live for Christ!
Back to the subject of my pride. One way it was manifested was through control. Several scriptures that I knew by heart, but had become “ROUTINE,” and I glazed right over them were…..
Proverbs 16:9, “The heart of a man plans his ways, but the Lord establishes his steps,”
Job 12:10, “In his hands is the life of every living thing and the breath of ALL MANKIND.”
Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you, I will help you I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
I found myself being fearful a lot of the time. Why? Because I was trying to control people and situations, I pridefully took God’s place. I had to come to a screeching halt in my life, “dropping my hands,” and giving God back the reins. I had to put the “YOKE” back on HIM, giving him what HE owns. I don’t own it……..TRUSTING HIM AND HIS TIMING….. I had to understand, HE knows best, not me. It doesn’t have to look like I think it should. In fact, most of the time, It has looked very different from what I had pictured in my own heart and mind.
Funny, very funny now, I like, no LOVE, God’s canvas and His paint brush in my life much better than mine! His skill……..His timing…….His ideas…….His thoughts…….His plans……His ways………..are much greater than mine. I now cling to the scripture in regards to “dropping my hands” and giving up that control….Isaiah 55:9, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
I leave you with a few thoughts today.
Proverbs 11:2, “Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
“Pride is the never failing vice of fools.” ~Alexander Pope
Pride is something we all possess, everyone has it and is tempted by it, myself included…..The big question is am I/are you willing to endure the pain of looking in order to Gain the wisdom….that God so generously is waiting to give in this area?!