Tonight, I learned a very interesting fact about pride. Turns out, it’s not always what you think it is. See, when I think of pride, I think of people who think of people who won’t admit they’re wrong, people who think they’re perfect, or people who won’t accept help. But it was pointed out to me, through the Bible study I’m working through, that pride actually comes in at both ends of the spectrum: the people who think too highly of themselves, and also, the people who think too lowly.
This was especially convicting because I’ve gone through that. I think in the beginning of my faith walk, I was more naive than proud. It’s not that I thought I was too good, I just didn’t know how bad of shape I was really in. Over time, though, as I began to learn, I became discouraged from time to time, and where I came under attack was that I wasn’t worth the help, and my problems were far too great and I’d never get any better. Sometimes, I really believed I would just continue failing forever and ever and ever… That I was so messed up, I should just go back to my life of sinful misery because, like I said, that’s all I was worth.
Beth Moore, though.. she had me pegged. This is what she said: “Beware of the fact that pride often disguises itself. For example, I have known people who thought they were too far gone to save, too wicked, too sinful. Such people would be shocked to hear that their attitude is a form of pride as well. The think their sin problem is bigger than God.”
I’d never seen it this way before, but she is oh-so right! Humility is a good thing, but you can definitely have too much of it.
I haven’t ever considered myself as someone who struggles very deeply with pride – I’ve never had a hard time admitting I’d made mistakes, apologizing, or confessing. Even with people, I’ve just kind of gotten over the shame in admitting that I messed up. Sometimes it sucks, but I’ve adjusted to biting the bullet. But month after month after month of fighting the same battle against insecurities and fear in my relationship, I finally fell flat and exclaimed that I’d never get better. I believed in that moment that I’d always be a big old mess about everything.
Granted, by the grace of the good Lord, I’ve been forgiven for that mistake – both the one I made and the one I made by thinking that about myself – and God healed me anyway. He carried away my pain, and since then, life’s been wonderful.
But man, it was so convicting to realize what I’d done in that moment, and in every moment I ever doubted whether or not I was ever just going to have joy and security. Imagine how silly I felt… Especially because I’ll be the first to tell you there isn’t a problem out there too big for God. I realize now how much sense I didn’t make.
Pride, in and of itself, is one of the greatest hindrances that blocks us from real freedom in Christ, and I really encourage everyone to search your soul and find where you might be holding onto too much pride, be it positive or negative pride, and really learn to humble yourself before God.
I really like what Beth goes on to say about humility as well: “James 4:10 and 1 Peter 5:6 plainly tell us to humble ourselves. You see, humility is not something we have until humbling ourselves is something we do… necessitating action before possession.” Humility is a choice. It doesn’t just come to us, we make the conscious choice to be humble before the Lord, and the easiest way to do that is just read about His miraculous works, submerge yourself in His word and splendor. Or just walk outside after dark, and look up. He created all of that. If that doesn’t show you how small you are in comparison to God, I’m not sure what will.
She follows it up with, “Humbling ourselves certainly does not mean hating ourselves.” Which sadly, I needed to hear, and maybe you do too. Humility is not a sign of weakness, nor is it admitting a level of unworthiness. It’s actually a wonderful thing that exudes more strength and security than pride could ever muster up and brings us down from the lofty and inappropriate places we place ourselves sometimes.
When you bring yourself back down to a place of reality, and humble yourself before the Lord, that’s when He’s going to reach down and lift you up higher than you could ever reach on your own.