Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Battle - Pride vs Humility

God rocked me this morning as I was reading the Bible. Those of you, who know me well, know that I am not one who exemplifies humility. I would confess that I struggle with pride most of all.

I read 1 Pet. 5 this morning. Versus 6-10 say:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

Put all these verses together and this is how it hit me. I want to be strong, firm and steadfast. But do those are not the qualities that I think of when I think of humility. More often I think these qualities sound like someone ready to go to battle for his beliefs like Maximus from Gladiator or William Wallace. But as I read the text I saw something that I have not trusted God for. True Strength comes from the Lord and that must start with Humility. What is humility? Through this verse I see it as “Realizing that we don’t have it all together, which causes anxiety, and then submitting it to God.” When I don’t submit myself – any piece of myself – to God, it inevitably causes me to worry as I try, in my pride, to handle it all. I essentially say, “I can do it God; I don’t need your help.”

If we are self controlled and alert we will be able to see the Devil use this simple battle between Humility and Pride to trap us, paralyze us and cause us to stumble. I many times have I been devoured by my pride - torn apart by the teeth of “needed appreciation” and claws of “recognition”!

After struggling, God will restore us and make us strong firm and steadfast. It’s not about my efforts to look like I have it all together and have all the answers.

I think as Christians we need to work on this – I definitely do. I know very few people that seem to be closer to having this down. I think of Josh Hawley, Rob Maxey, Jim Franz, Nick Torstensen. If you talk to any of these men, they will tell you otherwise – I think that is a prerequisite.

OK, Can I really get honest with you? This passage specifically hit me pertaining to fundraising. I worry about it because I have little control over it. God is going to fund HIS ministry. This is not MY ministry and I am not asking people to give to ME. I asking people to give to what God is doing in Costa Rica. So, following the above model, I hold on to this “job” of fundraising, not submitting it to God because “I can do it!” This eventually gives me anxiety like I’ve never experienced before causing me to be paralyzed and even take it out on those closest to me. I fear that Friends will think I don’t value their friendship – only their wallet. I fear that people won’t understand what I am doing here – that this is just one big vacation. I fear that I am not working enough and people will think that I am wasting their money. Can anyone relate to this at all or something similar?

So, I submit. I submit all of this fundraising, all of me and all of my relationships. God brings people to himself, funds his ministry, and puts it on people’s heart to give – this is not my Job.

A little venting maybe but I feel a 50lbs weight off my shoulders.

Sharing the Experience,
Phil

2 comments:

Chris Powell said...

I realize this is an old post, but never will it be any less relevant. I appreciate the great talk on pride and I honestly believe that pride is the root sin that breeds all other sin. Pride caused Lucifer to fall from Heaven, and it caused Adam and Eve to fall from God's perfect world and His personal, constant presence.

Think about any sin, any shortcoming of mankind, and it will always point back to pride. How often do people seek counseling for pride? Never that I've heard of, it's an oxy-moron.

Keep at it, fight the good fight.

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to battle the same sin of pride because I have not known enough failure in my life. I've found little reason to rely on God because I feel like I can push hard enough to get through anything. As much as I don't like to admit it it's true, but I've recently been encountering situations which are eating me up inside. Which oddly enough I'm thankful for because it's forcing control out of my hands that I would never have willingly given up. Your words and quotes helped me see a truth in me that I always knew was there but never wanted to admit. From now on I'll try to draw strength from God and not my self. Maybe if I submit this in writting I'll feel more obligated to stick by it. Pray for me, even though you don't know me God does and it will get to me somehow I'm sure. Thanks for listening to me vent to anyone who read this whole thing.