2 Things

So I've been in this conversation a few times lately about pride. What does one do to eradicate it from their life? I don't know that I'm prideful enough to think I got this one licked... but I'll share anyway...

I think the main underlying issue is a correct self-concept. Generally, pride seems to be an issue that comes from inadequacy... it's one's way to bring a person to homeostasis (for lack of a better word). A person feels beaten down so they subconsciously go to what makes them feel better.

I think a huge need is to know who we are (http://minnseltzer.blogspot.com/2005_09_01_archive.html - Scroll to Who am I?). Once identity is in Christ, not in my job, my talents, how I look, how smart I am, etc., I no longer have to live comparing myself to others and being prideful.

However, there is more to it than that. Pride by its very nature is independent. It says that it does not need God or others, it is quite capable. The reality is quite the opposite. Apart from God we can do nothing (John 15). In fact, when one looks at that whole chapter what we see is that we are really nothing but leeches. Nothing good comes from me, only from Him through me. I cannot produce the Christian life on my own. To do what the Word commands is impossible. But yet the beginning part of 1 John 5 records that God's commands are not burdensome. The key is abiding in Him. On my own it is impossible... through the power of the Spirit, it is all possible, compliments of being a parasite of the Lord.

Then we truly start to see how pride differentiates from dependence. Pride says, "I can do it myself" and "I hope they recognize me" and "I did a good job". Of course, it is littered with fear, because one knows just how inadequate they are on their own. Authentic Christianity does not curse oneself because of our inadequacy. This putting on of negative word curses should not be seen as biblical, but is truly a false humility, a sin. Authentic Christianity realizes that we are vessels. On our own, we are in trouble. But though we may not look like anything special, Paul records that we are like jars of clay (people would hide treasure in ordinary jars) - ordinary on the outside, but power through the Holy Spirit on the inside (2 Cor. 4:7).

So contrary to pride, which tries to take credit for any gift, ability, or even how God uses us, humility is intimately linked with thankfulness. It acknowledges that we could not have done it on our own. As I Cor. 4:7 notes, "What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?" Humility recognizes that, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights" (James 1:17). We need only be thankful for His blessing.

A big aspect of pride comes down to motives as well. Why do we do what we do? Is it to get recognition, admiration, or honor? Whose glory are we after? If we are living for His honor and glory, then we won't care where the credit goes. In fact, the last thing we would want to do is rob glory from God. Isaiah 48:10-11 says, "See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another." When we live for His glory it is downright exciting what He lets us be apart of. But even then He gets the glory for getting us to a place where we could be used. The more one understands their walk with God, the more they realize just how desperately dependent on them that they are; to live the Christian life on their own is impossible. However, with Him, His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matt 11:30).

But how does one get their motives to change and stay changed? Only by an immense amount of time with Him does our heart get changed. That's what is necessary to see ourselves the way He does, to see others how He sees them, and to see sin the way He sees it. He is truly faithful to change us, though, as we get saturated with Him.

Here's the catch though on pride. In order to apply these things, to walk in our identity (as more than head knowledge), to get our motives purified, to live in gratitude, etc. only will happen through His power. To think that we can beat pride on our own is prideful! We need to quit thinking we can apply this part of the Bible (or really much of any part) on our own and depend and trust on Him to do it as we surrender to Him and abide with Him.

Also even, as we know all of these things, something has to be replaced in us. We have to walk close with the Lord and get and stay filled with Him. We need to be walking in overflow of the Spirit's goodness. That is the only way to maintain any amount of humility. It will not happen just by trying to remove the bad, rather we need to be filled with the good. Like I said, we are vessels and will be filled with something, to just try to keep the bad things at bay does not work for very long, it will just creep back. No, staying filled with the good is essential.

The scary thing is how easy and subtly a lie of pride can still sneak back in even when we are seeking Him with all of our hearts. It is nice to have people who will speak truth into your life and hold us accountable in these situations. We all have blind spots and it is essential to have people point out where we are off track...

On a different note, This is a sweet song that I just love... anyway, here's Sonicflood's Write your name on my Heart. Oh, if you want to see a sweet testimony, watch the lead singer's testimony of being healed from Chron's. (http://sonicflood.com/home.htm) Click Video 3

God above
In You I live and breathe
And You will always be
Son of God
I owe my life to You
Your promises are true
Your love goes on and on forever

So write Your name upon my heart
Burn Your word into my mind
Make a temple of this body
Let Your Spirit move inside
I have wandered through the valley
And I have wondered who I am
So live in me, make Your mark
And write Your name upon my heart

God above
The first, the last, the same
All glory to Your name
My Jesus
It's You who I adore
Lamb of God and Savior
Your love goes on and on forever

Imprint on every part of me
The image of the Son
And complete in me the work
You have begun