Author: Sara Burns
I was thinking today about humility (that’s about as far as I usually get is thinking about it). It led me to think of some sneaky forms of pride—ways that pride tries to masquerade as something more palatable and excusable. I have such a wealth of personal examples to draw from in this category that I decided I need to break it up for you. No one wants to read a 100-page blog post…hahaha. No, but really. It would be seriously long. And so I have decided to start The Pride Chronicles (cue music from Masterpiece Theatre). Each part will describe one sneaky little personification of pride. Part One: Insecurity and Embarrassment.
Why would we be embarrassed about running out of cash at the checkout? Because someone might think we are poor. Why would we be embarrassed for someone to see the inside of our car or house? They may judge us as slovenly. Why would we be insecure about our business accomplishments, schooling credentials, or physical fitness level? Because we have a picture of ourselves that we want people to believe. We want to shape how they see us and so we often expend our life’s energy in making sure “they” see me how I want them to see me. I have to control the way they see me. I have to make sure I am not put in situations that reveal my weaknesses.
My advice if you share this same problem? Never get married. This hit me like a ton of bricks about two weeks into marriage. I can’t spend my whole life hiding my weaknesses from this person I pridefully want to impress because, a) this apartment is way too small and b) he’s always in it. It frustrated me to no end that he knew when I got angry, saw when I was lazy, saw me pre-makeup and unshowered in the morning, for goodness sake! I gave up the charade of perfection pretty quickly and transitioned into competition. If I couldn’t make him believe I was perfect, I could at least come out better than him. For real. I’m that prideful. (I have a feeling this blog may help in the pride-killing process of my life).
But whether you are married or not, you’ve experienced this too. It reminds me of my favorite movie to quote, “You’ve Got Mail”. (I warn you, I may speckle subsequent blogs with quotes from the same and I don’t apologize.) Back to the pertinent quote. In a discussion on how far to take a dating relationship, one male friend says to Tom Hanks, “You're taking it to the next level. I always do that. I always take a relationship to the next level, and if it works okay I take it to the next level after that, until I can finally get to the level where it becomes absolutely necessary for me to leave.”
Do you ever take things only as far as your weaknesses remain hidden and your pride intact? I do. ALL the time. Like when I don’t want to leave the house when I break out. Or how I used to make my job sound more impressive by obscurely saying I “work in sales” instead of “I am a sales manager’s lackey at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and hand out free appetizer cards to whomever will take them.”
And so as I was saying, I was thinking of humility. Moses was supposed to be very very humble. Now Moses was very humble--more humble than any other person on earth. Numbers 12:3 He was insecure though. “I can’t talk good.” Was it because he didn’t want to expose his weaknesses? If he was so humble, why did he have pride?
This is what I am thinking. Maybe humility isn’t so much the absence of pride (we human beings are consumed with pride), but it is the presence of something else.
But this is the one to whom I will look, he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word. Isaiah 66:2
Everyone has pride, it’s how you deal with it that seems to make the difference. You either acknowledge and deal with it or you try to hide and protect it. You will have many many prideful moments. How will you deal with them? Moses fell flat on his face in the presence of God a lot.
A humble person can still sin in prideful acts, but he will run back and humble himself before God and is willing to do the same before men.
We are in the process of KILLING OUR FLESH. Don’t give in, but give it up to God. Bring your pride to be sacrificed and receive humility as your reward! Humility is the reward of repentance. You get to walk away from the cross not only free from guilt for your pride, but having just been given a washing over of humility. That was your gain.
So stay tuned as next time I divulge more of the depths of my pride. I have the selfish motivation of gaining a whole lot of humility in the process (more than you, hahaha!)