“As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.”
― C.S. Lewis
Writing has always been a process for me. Thoughts, words, and ideas come in gradual waves. Often times I have about five different thought processes swirling around my head. I write these ideas down and then I let them sit there. A few days will go by as I think and let these ideas grow. Eventually one or two ideas will stand out to me and I’ll take note of the ones that don’t seem to fall away.
The idea that God revealed to me the most in the passing days was one of pride. If you were to ever ask me if I thought of myself as a prideful person, my response would’ve been “heck no!”
But here’s a little secret: I am an extremely prideful person. So much in fact that I completely disregarded the idea that I was a prideful person. And what am I most proud of you ask? My independence!
I am not saying that it is wrong to be an independent person, quite the opposite actually. But the problem comes when the pride of my independence gets in the way of relationships, turning them rotten or unhealthy. My relationships with my family and friends, co-workers and acquaintances get tossed to the side in result of my over-seeking independence.
But most importantly, when it interferes with my relationship with Jesus.
I am so prideful of my own independence that I find my strength in that and use it to build up walls around me. I do this so I can show the world that I don’t need anyone in my life, I can function just fine on my own.
I see dependence as a weakness. Dependence to me is a weakness of character because nothing in this world is dependable. Nothing is never-failing so how fragile of a person might I be if I am one to depend on something or someone? To me, it seems so naive to put my trust in anything non-dependable.
But there is one being that is always, and I mean always dependable, even if we don’t feel Him or, like me, are too stubborn to notice Him.
For me a lot of times, pride looks like putting myself before God. My mentality will change to one of “well, I’ll just do it myself and do what I want because I know what’s best for me.” And yes, as you may have guessed, this never works out for me!
I can run off in a huff, push away and resist with all of my strength but at some point, I will snap back like a rubberband when my pride does not lead me on as fruitful of a path as God’s does.
“We must realize that apart from Jesus, we can do nothing.” I first read this in a daily devotional and the first though I had was, “what does that look like?”
This is not a question I have found full, perfect answers to, but I can tell you the ways it has been revealed to me:
- You do not have control, He does.
- You must come to the realization that you are not in control. You can never be nor were you ever fully independent. This has been true since the day God decided you would be conceived and brought into the world through His Grace. This one has taken me years if not my entire life to admit. I can not live life on my own and I can now say this with relief!
- It’s not about “proving myself” to anyone. The weight of the world is NOT on my (or your) shoulders! Give it up to God and He will carry all of your burdens for you and guide you through difficult times.
As humans with free will, we desire to be independent. We want to show the world that we can stand on our own two feet, and shield ourselves from any possible pain we encounter.
But this becomes so tiresome; how can we hold ourselves up in this world? The answer: we can’t, at least not on our own. We need our Savior and Father who can watch over and protect us. He is what we should–and need to–-depend on. In order for us to live our lives to the fullest, the way He intended!
My most recent humbling experience happened while going into a Sunday service. I was overcome with anxiety and feelings of not being good enough. My “hard exterior” was not at all reflective of my internal feelings. The image that was placed in my head at this time was of me crumbling to the floor, feeling bare and stripped of any facade I have ever put out. What came next was Jesus reaching his hand down to help me up. Without hesitation I reached my hand out and stood up, still shaken but walking along side my Savior as he guided me through another valley.
And to think that at 20 years old I will be consistently and perfectly humble, that from now on I will be never-failing in my relationship with Jesus, well that would just be another brick in the wall of my pride.
Like shattering glass, the walls I build with my pride will always come tumbling down for Him. The only dependable One.
Psalm 51:10 – Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit in me.
words and photo by Megan Peters