I have this issue with pride. It has been a constant struggle for me for as long as I can remember. As a young child my favorite statement was, “I know!“ I didn’t want anyone thinking that they were teaching me anything new. I remember my Dad asking me, “Kristi, do you know everything?” (There was a definite sarcastic tone to his question.) I would reply without blinking an eye, “Yes!” And I believed it.
As I got older I was forced to realize that I didn’t truly know everything and I began to learn that people didn’t really like someone who knew everything. So my pride came out in other ways. . . For instance, I got really good at handing out my “verbal resume”. You know what I’m talking about, right? When you name drop, share your achievements and shamelessly promote yourself.
As I grew in my relationship with God I began to be convicted about my pride and knew it was an area of my life that I really needed to eradicate. Admittedly it was a difficult process but I began to see some improvement. I made sure that I didn’t tell people it was my idea they were using. I contentiously worked on keeping my mouth shut when I wanted to share who I had been with or what I had accomplished. It was a slow and painful process but I was encouraged with the growth I was seeing in my life.
Then one day I took a spiritual assessment test and had other people fill out an assessment on me as well - one of those people was a co-worker. When I got back the results from her evaluation I was shocked to see that she had rated me as prideful. I could feel the blood pressure rising and immediately wanted to lash out at her. “Didn’t she know how hard I had been working on this?! How could she have seen this – she must just be wrong!”
After I took a few deep breaths and calmed down, I went to her to ask about the assessment. I quietly questioned her (I worked hard to make sure it wasn’t an inquisition!) about what she had seen in my life that would lead her to say that she saw pride in my life. She shared a couple of instances where she felt that I was being prideful. I walked away wondering if she could be right. Instead of immediately dismissing her evaluation (which I confess I wanted to do), I began to pray and ask God if this was true.
As I spent time with God, He began to reveal to me that it was spot on. At first, I was devastated but as I began to listen to God’s promptings I realized that I had been “fixing” the “outside pride” but had neglected the root of where my pride was coming from. It was as if I was putting a Band-Aid on cancer.
At my core, I was prideful. I had been storing up, treasuring, holding onto pride in my heart. It looked like this: When I would see someone using my idea, I wouldn’t tell them that it was my idea but I would say in my heart. “That was MY idea! They’re using MY idea.”
I was harboring pride in my heart and it was seeping out of my pores through my tone of voice, the rolling of my eyes and sarcastic comments.
The Bible speaks clearly to this when it says, “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” (Luke 6:44, NLV)
I knew I needed open heart surgery. This was not something I could do on my own – I’d obviously tried that and failed. I began to pray and ask God to cut this sin of pride out of my heart. I was tired of making myself god – I wanted Him to be my God and nothing else.
It’s been a slow and painful process and I cannot say that I have arrived but there is growth! Not from what I have done but from what He has done in me.
Let me ask, where do you need to allow God to do surgery in your life? Maybe your struggle isn’t with pride but some other sin. Let’s call it what it is – SIN and surrender to the cleansing power of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
My friends, think what The Master Surgeon can do when we place our heart in HIS HANDS!