Sunday morning was arguably the most I’ve ever felt like a rock star, contending only with my college graduation. On Sunday, Alan put in a really great word for this blog, which was met with a lot of applause and cheering.
I was overwhelmed by the response. I’d like to take a moment to thank you, the reader. Whether you’ve been following me from day one or you’re reading this for the first and perhaps only time, this blog would not exist without you and people like you. I would’ve given it up a long time ago.
I know I’ve thanked you guys before, but I honestly can’t thank you all enough. I receive the kindest feedback and compliments all the time – people who tell me they needed it, people who’ve told me I made them cry in a good way, people who say they’ll pass it along because they know someone who’ll enjoy it. And I’m alternatingly thrilled and shocked that I can brighten someone’s day or help somebody out like that. So thank you for letting me have the opportunity to do so.
In addition, writing this blog allows me to discuss God and His immeasurable love and to write, all of which I love to do. Truthfully, this blog is the one and only way I get to use my English degree (which you may or may not think I actually earned depending on how many typos and errors you catch). Thank you for enabling and encouraging me to continue doing what makes me happy.
I’m very thankful that Alan preached on pride after the lovely things he and everyone else said about this blog and me because if he hadn’t, it would’ve gone straight to my head. I can guarantee that with 128% certainty. I’m thankful that God used Alan to put me in my place before I had time to leave it.
Pride is a problem.
It’s no secret that pride isn’t at the top of God’s list of Most Desired Qualities. There are many Bible verses about pride and how uncool it is, some of which Alan read/discussed Sunday. (I encourage you to listen to his sermon via the church website, abstractchurch.org, if you’re interested.) My personal favorite verse concerning pride is Proverbs 16:18. The NLT translation phrases it, “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.”
Pride wouldn’t be that big of a deal if no one had it, but we all suffer from it in some form or capacity. If you deny it, you’ll more than likely do so in a prideful tone that will indicate that you’re also a liar.
Pride is slow and silent, making it hard to see and fight against in our own lives.
The odds are against us from the start. We’re used to having to build ourselves up and put only the best things out into the universe to get ahead.
Need that promotion at work? Come in early, stay late, boost numbers, be meticulous, and be quick.
Want to look trendy or stylish? Earn lots of money to spend on achieving and maintaining the look you want and hardly ever deviate from it.
Want to be adored by everyone? Be relatable, but never put yourself in a position to seem inferior. Allow room for a little sympathy. Hold opinions, but be subtle about it, and don’t come on too strongly.
We’ve been taught, trained, conditioned to believe that constantly being in situations that fill us with pride, turning us into a generally proud person, sends us on a path to greatness.
And yes, it is great to be in outstanding situations. Being awarded, promoted, or recognized is fantastic. But what is a reflection of a great life is who gets the credit in those situations.
There’s nothing wrong with thinking that you’re awesome so long as you know and admit that God is infinitely more so. The real question is: when someone tells you how awesome you are, do you want to high-five yourself or do you want to high-five God?
Pride makes us all about us when we should be all about God. It’s ridiculous when you consider it. If something good happens, is it because of us – the ones who are just doing whatever it is we do – or God – the One who made us, who put us where we are, who directs us – that should be thanked and be praised? Pride makes us think we’re better than we actually are. Slowly, a pedestal grows beneath us. We think we’re so important. We talk about ourselves a lot. Maybe we even become a little inconsiderate of others. The next thing we know, we see others down below us until God kicks the pedestal out from underneath us.
That’s the destruction and the fall. And it hurts. There’s no cushion below us to catch us and cradle us. We’re unprotected because we won’t learn otherwise. We won’t learn that it’s not all about us, that we’re not infallible, that we’re nothing on our own.
Losing your pride is a step towards a greater life because it shows God that you can handle great things. The more glory and credit you give to God, the more you magnify Him instead of yourself, the more you’ll find yourself in situations and circumstances to glorify God.
Pride can destroy many things and none more than your relationship with God. It won’t get you anywhere you want to be. Humility will only earn you favor with God and other people, and it will take you to such grand places that you’ll always get a chance to practice it.
By Carrie Prevette