Pride. This word is defined is as a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing or conduct.
This word has come up many a time this weekend in my heart. I must confess this to you as a sin in my life. A short coming that has always been there. I have always (at least ever since I was a cognizant child) fed on the attention of others. I wanted to be an actress, I loved (and still do) karaoke, I never minded speaking in front of others. I want(ed) people to notice me. Yes, many of these probably go back to dcTalk’s old line that we all wanna be loved, yet it’s still sinful in nature. The glory that is created from doing all these things is not mine to take.
I struggle with this desire in a number of areas in my world. In the teaching world, it is easy to get prideful in front of my students – the desire to always be correct plays a big role each day. There are times where I just have to humble myself and say to a 12 year old, you are right, I was wrong. That’s hard.
Any skill or asset that I possess is a potential problem. Musical talent (this one is pretty ridiculous to have pride about because I’m not even that good, which sounds extremely ironic, but alas, it still can be a problem), my degree, hair types (okay, maybe not), the way clothes look, the amount of time someone talks with me (these are all sounding so pathetic!) my home, overseas experiences (this one is difficult because I truly love China and tend to talk about it often), and yes, even blogging. Even as I write this, I ashamedly admit to wondering who will read it. Site stats are the death of me. (Can I block that option?)
I constantly have to keep vigilance over these things, but lately, pride has reared its ugly head at me. It breeds things like frustration, jealousy, and really, most other icky feelings that humans feel. I hate to see the condition of my heart on days like this.
K.P. Yohannan in his book Revolution in World Missions has convicted me today on a national level. He talks about the trouble of Sodom and why God destroyed it.
“Ask the average Christian why the Lord destroyed Sodom, and he or she will cite the city’s gross immorality. Ezekiel, however, reveals the real reason in 16:49: ‘Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters…'”
He goes on to compare Sodom to the state that North America, Europe, and some other rich nations are presently in. He asks good questions like why we, as such a blessed country, hoard our blessings. He attributes it to the soul-sucking power of pride.
Personally, I must get rid of the yeast in my life. Not necessarily the things that I do that I am prideful about (that’s not the real problem at all), but the root of my pride comes from having the attitude that I have pulled myself up by my own bootstraps. The reality is that this American thought process doesn’t exist. Plain and simple, no one can physically do that for themselves. It’s all about God and what he has done for us. The glory is not ours [mine] to be had. I am kind of not a big deal, but God… God is!
How do I get this concept through my thick noggin? Recognize it while it is happening and turn away from that thinking pattern. Ask the God of the universe to free me from this bondage of superiority that I so often put myself in. Realize that when he does free me, it probably means that humbling experiences are around the corner. Accept this with joy, bowing my knee so that I might be more like Christ because of it.
The truth of the matter is that I need Jesus to climb into my life and direct me. I need more of him and less of my utter failure to drive my life. It’s not about religiosity, it’s about every day life and the attitudes I possess. Will they be my own attitudes or will they be Godly ones?
If I start with a dcTalk lyric, I should end with one.
“I need an intervention, a touch of providence. It goes beyond religion to my very circumstance.”
Glory be to God.