Pride. It’s a loaded word. When is pride ok and when is it dangerous? It’s ok to be proud of your child, as long as you don’t think your child is far more superior to other children, in the same way its ok to be proud of your racial or ethnic heritage as long as you don’t believe your race or ethnicity to be superior to others, thus invalidating, belittling, or even using hate speech against another person’s heritage.
But I’m not going to be talking about that pride today. Today is all about the pride you gotta let go of. The pride of wanting to assert that somehow, we are better, somehow God looked down us and realized that we’re just more “special” than everyone else because we do a better job at keeping commandments, or at least looking like we do. Pride can be so insidious. You can be filled with pride and not even realize it.
One of the ways I’ve had to let go of pride is examining a very good and natural desire of every Christian to be right, clean, and perfect. I often will struggle with wanting to be right/perfect-ish and that’s a motivation I have to examine CAREFULLY. It’s just so beautiful sounding. We all should want to please God with our actions. But are we pleasing him with our motives? Do I want to be right because I want fellowship with God? Does perfection mean being like Jesus who chose to be a rejected, humble servant? Or does right and perfect mean that I can FEEL right, FEEL perfect, thus making me FEEL elevated? That cutes right down to my heart and stops me in my tracks. Do I want the humility of RIGHTEOUSNESS (total submission to God) or do I want the pride of RIGHTNESS?
These are the moments I have to let go of my intense desire to ALWAYS get every decision right. I bless God that it does take me a while to figure out life sometimes. It strips me of my pride. It reminds me that I’m human. It reminds me that it’s ok to not know what words of advice to give, so therefore, I have to give advice from the word of the all-wise God (the Bible). Most of all it reminds me that the pursuit of God and hearing his voice is not a horrible, taxing experience, but a humbling blessing of letting go of my pride and my will and surrendering to his.