The "I" of Pride
Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”Proverbs 22:4, “The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.”
Right now, say the word "pride" out loud a few times. Did you notice the "I" sound in the middle as you said it? Ironically, we can easily spot in the lives of others, while being utterly blind to its presence in our own. Nonetheless, whether we want to admit it or not, we all have an "I" problem.There is absolutely no "up" side to pride. It's deadly in all of its manifestations, and it's the primary stumbling block for overcoming fear and dysfunction because we mistakenly think we can overcome them on our own. But our futile attempts to do what only God can do lead to trouble, frustration, and isolation. Why? Because when we desperately try to reframe the narrative to disguise what's really going on — hoping other people will think we're more confident than we are — we miss out on the freedom and authentic life God offers.Conversely, humility allows us to recognize our need for God's help and allows us to be transparent. Instead of a faux strength exterior, we can be ourselves and receive support from fellow Christ-followers to help us overcome the fears or issues blocking us from forward progress. This is where genuine strength and confidence begin.When we are living in true humility, we can focus on others rather than ourselves. Simply put, humility isn't thinking less of ourselves; it's thinking of ourselves less. Ready to cure your "I" problem? Then fix your eyes on Jesus and follow His example. Proceed with the spirit of humility that He modeled for us on the way to the cross. And, remember, life begins where destruction ends!
It’s time to recognize your pride by taking an “I-exam.” Is there anything you are trying to do on your own? Is there anything you are hiding from others because you're afraid to be transparent? Is there an area where you need to put others ahead of yourself? Journal what comes to mind and ask God to reveal any blind spots that may be hindering you spiritually, emotionally, and relationally.
Lord, I know that I can be arrogant and self-seeking. Today, help me to recognize my prideful tendencies and place the needs of others before my own. Thank You for always having my best interest in mind. In Jesus’ name, Amen.