22 Mar Servant of All
If we want to grow in Christ, we have to be proactive to let go of one big obstacle that’s in our way: PRIDE. Jesus gave us a perfect example of humility to follow.
In this post, I’ll be sharing how we can empty ourselves of self so we can be filled with Christ!
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One of the areas that I find that stops women from growing in Christ is pride. With that being said, please hear my heart with this post as I am NOT on the other side of this. This isn’t something that I have mastered and no longer have a problem with.
To be honest, we all have fallen short of the glory of God. We all still struggle with things in our lives, and pride is definitely a big one for a lot of people.
Your Soul is like a Cup
Why does pride keep us from reaching new heights with our relationship with God?
Imagine your soul as a cup. If you fill your cup with yourself (your desires, your beliefs, your vanity, etc.) then there will be little to no room left for Christ.
James 4:6 says, “He gives us more grace.”
You don’t have to be perfect in order to be striving to be humble. God opposes the proud, but He shows favor to the humble.
If you want to live a life full of grace and God’s favor, one of the first steps is learning to become humble. When you humble yourself before the Lord, He lifts you up (check James 4:10 for proof!).
Most people don’t realize exactly how much pride isolates us, not only from God but from the rest of the world as well.
Imagine this scenario: You’re at the local park having a playdate with another mom when her child bites your child. While some may roll their eyes at this scenario, a large number of parents get very upset over this sort of occurrence. Now imagine you get very upset over it, and because you “aren’t raising a child that bites” or believe that your mom friend isn’t parenting their child correctly, you decide to stop having playdates.
Was that the right response? Sure, it’s alright to be upset that your child was hurt, but is it really right to take out your frustration on your friend and stop associating?
After all, how many times have you tried to calm your toddler’s tantrum only to realize you have no control. It’s the same for your friend as well.
Yet, somehow, parenting especially makes us these strange pride monsters– we know what’s best and other parents are just lagging behind. This mentality leads to not only you losing a friend, but your child losing a playmate as well.
Over time, pride will cause you to push away everyone.
Live in a State of Repentance
The very first time that we ask the Lord to come into our lives, we’re admitting that we are wrong. That’s the first step in overcoming our pride, but it’s not something we should only do once. Consider living in a state of repentance.
Every morning you can pray and ask the Lord to show you the places that you need to repent, but this doesn’t mean that you should constantly feel like you never do anything right.
You may not feel convicted about certain parts of your life, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be. As we grow closer to God, we’re going to feel more convicted. Why? Because He’s cleaning us out!
If we’re not listening to Him, then we’re not going to hear Him convicting our hearts. He’s going to show us the things that we can do to let go of pride in our lives and grow closer to Him in the process.
One way that you can do that is by reading Psalm 51. It’s the best chapter in the Bible for having a repentant heart. Just saying, “Lord, create a clean heart in me. Renew your Spirit in me,” can open your eyes to so many improvements that God can make in your life.
Another way that pride shows up in our lives is when we try and blame other people. Everything has an excuse and the excuse always keeps you out of the frying pan.
Whenever we knock pride out of our lives and grow in Christ, we begin to take responsibility for ourselves and own up to our mistakes. When we do this, we start to change– instead of excuses for being late, we own up to being late due to procrastination, and in the future, we show up on time. Of course, all of this starts by saying, “I’m choosing to change myself.”
There are some situations where other people truly are at fault, but keep in mind your reactions to these situations.
Did you yell at the guy holding up the traffic line because of a blown tire? Did you remain silent, but fume about it internally? These are the sort of reactions and thoughts that Christ wants to help you with as well, but it starts by realizing that you’re choosing to think and act in such a manner.
Recently, I was really discontent in a position that I had, and I found myself blaming other people.
One night, while having dinner with my husband, I was venting to him. Poor guy! As I spoke, I could hear myself as if for the first time, and I realized I was putting myself on a pedestal and saying, “Well, I have no responsibility in this, and it’s all their fault.”
Clearly, this is something I still struggle with on a regular basis, but the Lord spoke to me and told me to look at myself. He said, “What can you do to change this situation?”
I realized, since I wasn’t in charge, I couldn’t change anything except my own mindset about the situation and the way I spoke to people.
By doing that, I took full responsibility of my thoughts and actions. I was able to move toward a solution in an attitude of servanthood. I was also able to see circumstances from other people’s perspectives, and it made a big difference in the way I spoke to others.
The thing about blaming others is that anytime we do it, we’re holding them to a higher standard than we hold ourselves. (It’s ok for me to be late because I have two kids, but he should be on time because he’s single!)
A good example of this comes from the book The Ten X Rule. The author says, “If your power goes out in your home, you can call the electric company and be angry, but what can you do? Sure, you can put blame on the company and feel as though you are out of control, or you could make a mental note to prepare for situations like this in the future by stocking your home with emergency candles and possibly a generator.”
If it’s something important to you, take steps to ensure that you’re not in the situation in the future. Going with the example above, if electricity is important to you, take the steps to ensure that you play your role in making sure you have it available to you.
Have you ever blamed the pastor or worship leader for not preaching a word that spoke to your heart? Or not choosing a song that touched you?
Instead of blaming them, take your walk with God into your own hands by going straight to the Word yourself. Take responsibility for your own spiritual walk. Look into devotions that you can read at home and listen to worship music on your own.
These choices will lead to you seeing the kind of growth in Christ that you’ve been craving.
Pride Will Be a Downfall
The Bible is clear about pride. It says pride will cause a downfall in your life. We’ve all heard of the seven deadly sins. Pride is one of them as are sloth, gluttony, anger, envy, greed, and lust.
As I was thinking about that list, I realized pride is really at the root of every one of those sins.
Greed is an intense, selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food. Gluttony is the action of taking in excess, be it food or substance abuse. Lust is the need to fulfill unspiritual desires in the wrong way. Envy is wanting something someone else has. Sloth is being lazy about doing something. Anger, or wrath, is feeling like you have been mistreated. Pride, at its core is just us having more of us than we have of God.
Pride is choosing our way over His.
The exact opposite of this is being humble and a servant. We see a perfect example of that in Jesus Christ.
In Philippians 2, Paul tells the Philippian church to imitate the humility of Christ. Philippians 2:5-11 says, “In your relationship with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus who, being in the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage. Rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness, and being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow in heaven and on Earth, and under the Earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”
It’s saying even though Jesus was God, He didn’t use that to His advantage. Instead, He used His pureness as God to come down to Earth as a man and save us from our sins.
Because of that voluntary humility, God exalted Him to the name that is above every name.
Choose His Will Over Your Own
If we want to be like Him, a servant to all, we have to let go of pride. It can’t be something that’s just done once or twice. It has to be a daily death to self. You have to be telling yourself every day, “I’m going to choose His will over my own.”
When you start living that way, ladies, you are going to see such growth in your spiritual walk. You’re going to be closer to the Lord and experiencing new heights in your relationship with Him and in your ministries that you aren’t going to want to go back to the feelings pride gave you.
I hope that this post encouraged you and maybe was an eye-opener to some pride issues in your life as well. I know that we could all use this. I know I’m going to come back and listen to the podcast and read the post myself because pride is something I really want to squash in my life.
The sooner that we can seek humility and imitate the humility of Christ, the closer we’re going to be to the Lord and the more we’re going to see His light shine through us.
See you next week!