Increasingly, God reveals pride in me that I sadly confess I still too easily slide to than to trust in Him.
Pride’s pervasiveness frightens me. From doing some simple service for my wife to attempts to live well – eat healthily, exercise, work, be loyal, properly love family and respect colleagues, my self assessment often falls short.
When pride awareness comes, confession may be more remorseful than repentant. Not so much submitting to Christ but ashamed to be found out. Admission may in fact be ulterior, luring others to affirm me for relief that is fleeting.
Roles I fancy defining me best hammer me the hardest. These are where falling short is most obvious because I camp on my sense of how others view me… obsessive monitoring of feedback.
This excerpt from a study resonates.
“You still have a most important lesson to learn: Your own strength will no more help you to stand upright than dropping yourself on a broken reed. You must not despair of me. You must hope and trust in me absolutely. My mercy is infinite…” (“A Letter from Jesus Christ to the Soul that Really Loves Him,” by John of Landsberg, 1555 from the study Gospel Transformations, pg 73)
“You must not despair….hope and trust in me absolutely.” I know this in my head.
The title of this post, “Pride aware in an unstable world” envisions me as a believer at the intersection of (1) awareness of pride as my default against (2) the backdrop of an unstable world.
Instability is the default of the world, the stage where my mortality plays out.
The dawning introduces a burdensome tension in me, and all believers, that John of Landsberg’s statement addresses. Our own strength will not help. Not much room for pride in that.
I wonder if this tension for believers is normalcy for unbelievers? Perhaps pride surfaces as something better-sounding – independence, self-determination, resolve, control, strength… Laws attempt to squelch instability.
Belief changed my paradigm even as pride clung to me, and still clings now many years later. A chorus from a Sara Groves song….
“But the places that used to fit me / Cannot hold the things I’ve learned / And those roads closed off to me / While my back was turned” (From the song, “Painting Pictures of Egypt”)
As my relationship with Christ evolves, the places that used to fit me can’t hold the things I am learning.
Most stark is that tension between goodness and depravity, truth and untruth. Despite that sin’s pervasiveness corrupts all goodness, that so much goodness exists is evidence of God here and near, gracing believers and unbelievers alike.
“the world is cold and so very, very cruel / but the sparrow and the roses / remind me there’s still so much good / yesterday is gone / today I can see / today I believe” (Jenny & Tyler from their song, “This is So Beautiful”)
Thank you, Lord for goodness. I am so, so grateful for access to Your holy Word to teach into my experience of You in my being and spirit. At every turn, Your story speaks to all of this.
“One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.” (Proverbs 29:23, ESV)
Image source site: http://www.melissahatfield.com/2012/08/20/faulty_foundations/