24 PridePosted: July 15, 2012
Last post showed how the performance trap feeds our pride. We tend to think more highly of ourselves than we ought. In humility, we need to consider others better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3). We have inflated egos. We think we are capable of great feats. We are capable of many things. God’s works are wonderful. We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). We are created in His image (Genesis 1:27). In addition, we are able to learn and adapt in our circumstances. Furthermore, we experience mastery over many of the issues of life. The fact that you can read this sentence and understand it shows your ability to learn and think.
However, our abilities have limitations. We are finite creatures. We do not like to admit our limitations. We prefer to think of what we can do rather than what we cannot do. We feel a need to prove ourselves, then, because we are fighting our shame. We do not like feelings of shame. Shame feels shaming. It is painful. We strive to get rid of these negative feelings. We use pride to battle shame.
Pride, however, is the flip side of shame. Shame says we are dreadful. Pride says we are superior. In reality, the coin has no power to define us. We are sinners saved by grace. We are now saints, but this is God’s work in us, not our own doing (Philippians 2:13).
God warns us against pride:
[The Lord] mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble. Proverbs 3:34
God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. James 4:6, I Peter 5:5
Humility differs greatly from shame. Shame says we are awful. Humility says we are human like everyone else; that is, we sin and make mistakes. Shame wallows in how poorly we have treated others. Humility acknowledges the ways we have hurt others and repents of those things. Shame rejects grace as too kind, too considerate. Humility accepts grace as a gift.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand that He may lift you up in due time. I Peter 5:6 (also James 4:10)
Letting go of pride and shame; learning to embrace humility,
WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement
Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received so that others can better see. Prayers needed.