Proverbs 16:18-Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
It is unfortunate, but young children learn pride at an early age, even if we do not want to admit this truth. Perhaps we have come to a time when we can freely admit that we have over done the ‘congratulatory praise’. You know which ones I am referring to- running through the house hoisting our children in the air, confetti flying, because they finally went pee-pee in the potty! The party we throw when we find that ‘our’ brilliant child mastered picking up their own toy! It does not stop at those first few years. As children grow, we over praise every single effort made on the soccer field, football field, ballerina stage and even the classroom.
It is not that we have set out to teach our child that their self-esteem and self-worth are mastered in the arena of competition, but my own personal experience taught me how, unknowingly, this is what I had done. It has taken me many years to teach my son that no matter how good he is on a football field, or at math, his heart is the vessel by which love flows. When his heart is only set on himself and his own accomplishments, instead of love flowing out from him for others, he has a dead sea of self -just sitting stagnant within. To lay down the desire to be better than or superior to is truly a work in progress our entire life. It is one that our Lord is ready to help us face.
Pride holds us in a one position pointing at self. This life should constantly do one thing, point to Jesus. Pride is all around us and can halt that forward progress toward Jesus at any time. A person’s motivation at success can stem from a deep yearning to out-do Joe Smith down the road. One’s title within the church leadership may place that nose a little higher from God intended. Often we block the view of Christ because of our upturned noses or puffy chests!
Without releasing our pride, we cannot fully see what God has planned for us as it beautifully unfolds. What we fail to realize when living in pride is the blessings that will flow if we live in complete humility. To be humbly obedient to the Lord ensures a path of righteousness.
Proverbs 3:6 tells us, “..in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
If we are not living a life in submission to our Lord, then we are living a life that brings us nothing more than a reflection of self-indulgent, disobedience. Our outward walk will only reflect our inward, self-seeking desires, and at some point you will collide with the Lord’s desire for your life. In his greatest love, our Father will gently ‘bring us down a few pegs’.
Whether we are teaching our children, or ourselves, how to let the “me, me, me” hunger go, we must take notice daily of our attitude in the different arenas we face. At home with your spouse, at work, or at church, and often times within, as we encounter the Lord. You have to surrender that need to hold on to a pride that can interfere with the work of your Savior and all he has planned for you!
Aligning your will with His will display just how powerful he is in the heart of a faithful servant! Though it is not a competition, you will know you won and you remain humbled by His love!
(written July, 2015)